Brusco, Johnson reach state
Editor's note: Because of early deadlines, results from the state wrestling tournament will be in the March 10 edition of ThisWeek Delaware.
Two of the Delaware Hayes High School wrestling team's program-record eight district qualifiers advanced to the state tournament.
Junior Shawn Johnson (195 pounds) and freshman Greg Brusco (113) both placed second in the Division I district tournament Feb. 22 and 23 at Hilliard Darby to qualify for state, which concluded March 2 at Ohio State.
The top four finishers in each weight class at district advanced to state.
Brusco opened state Feb. 28 with an 8-6 victory over Loveland's Brandon Tucker to move to 38-6 on the year.
Johnson lost to Cincinnati Sycamore's Tinashe Bere 10-2 in the first round and to Cuyahoga Falls' Joey Repasky 6-2 in the first round of consolations to end the year at 36-10.
"(Johnson) deserves this because he's got one of the best work ethics of any kid I've ever coached," coach Josh Heffernan said. "He went to camps and clinics and was always in the weight room (during the offseason). He won a bronze medal for Team Ohio in the Junior Olympic Games last summer in Houston. He's such a great role model and he prepared himself to be successful."
Johnson went 3-1 at district. He pinned Pickerington Central's Jordan Maynard in 3 minutes, 31 seconds in the first round and Darby's Alex Martin in 5:13 in a quarterfinal before beating Olentangy Orange's Lenn's Kamba 6-1 in a semifinal. He then lost to Marysville's Austin Pfarr 12-1 in the final.
Brusco also went 3-1 at district. He opened district with an 8-3 win over Pickerington Central's Ryan McElwee in the first round, pinned Dublin Jerome's Josh Transue in 5:54 in a quarterfinal and beat Hilliard Bradley's Rob McGrath 9-0 in a semifinal before being pinned in 4:35 by Mount Vernon's Dakota Riley in the final.
"Greg has been wrestling since he was a fetus almost," Heffernan said, jokingly. "He eats and sleeps wrestling and is a real goer and explosive. Sometimes we need to reel him in some and be more conservative with his risks and shots, but he's always moving and pressuring his opponent."
Juniors Andrew Sierawski (182, 41-8) and Raymond Simpson (160, 35-13) and freshman Chris Martinez (170, 33-15) all went 2-2 and reached the third round of consolations.
Also competing at district were juniors Nick Beyer (145, 29-22) and Colton Richard (220, 21-7) and freshman Raezel Garrett (132, 25-17), each of whom went 1-2.
The Pacers scored 62.5 points to finish 10th behind champion Marysville (163) as 35 teams scored.
Boys basketball team falls in district opener
The boys basketball team lost to defending state champion Pickerington Central 66-53 in the first round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 23 to finish 16-7.
Forward Jae'Sean Tate had 32 points and 12 rebounds to lead the 10th-seeded and host Tigers. Delaware, which was seeded 14th of 42 teams, trailed 24-22 at halftime, but Central scored the first nine points of the second half to stretch its lead to 33-22 and extended its advantage to 42-29 by the end of the third quarter. The Pacers never got closer than 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Senior point guard Mike Wells had 22 points to lead Delaware, which shot 35.2 percent from the field (19-for-54) and had 15 turnovers.
Senior post player Griffin Kinney had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Pacers and sophomore forward Khalil Iverson added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Swimmers compete at state meet
The girls swimming and diving team scored in three of the five events in which it was represented during the Division I state meet that concluded Feb. 23 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
The Pacers scored 10 points to tie for 40th behind champion Cincinnati Ursuline (234) as 55 teams scored.
Juniors Regan DeWitt and Brittany Puthoff each scored in her individual event and as members of the 200-yard medley relay.
DeWitt finished 15th in the 500 freestyle (5:09.8) and Puthoff placed 15th in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.01). The medley relay of DeWitt, Puthoff, senior Lindsey Norris and sophomore Sam Curtin placed 14th (1:49.79).
"Regan was seeded 21st in the 500 free and Brittany was seeded 16th, so they both moved up," coach Bill Rietz said. "The 200 medley relay was seeded 19th and finished 14th. Regan lowered her 500 free school record for the third time this season in the (preliminary heats) when she went 5:08.16. Although we didn't have anyone finish on the podium and scored fewer points (at state) than last year, I thought the girls swam very well."
Also competing at state were the 200 free relay of senior Susan Thomson, Puthoff, DeWitt and Curtin (1:40.72, 21st) and the 400 free relay of Curtin, sophomore Bethany Ward, Thomson and Puthoff (21st, 3:40.81).
The boys team scored three points at state to tie for 52nd behind champion Cincinnati St. Xavier (270) as 57 teams scored.
Junior Anthony Hinton accounted for the Pacers' points, finishing 14th in the 50 free (21.69). Senior Cam Hackett placed 19th in the 500 free (4:43.5) and the 400 free relay of Hackett, Hinton and seniors Anthony Sanfillipo and Thomas Lenhart finished 22nd (3:16.49).
"I thought the boys swam well, too," Rietz said. "Cameron was our first boys individual state qualifier since 2006. We had five seniors combined on the teams and they all finished their careers at state. Four of the five either swam career-bests or second-bests at state and all five of them left their names in our program's record books. That's quite a feat."
Bowling teams fall shy of state
The girls and boys bowling teams fell short in their quests to advance to the state tournament held March 1 and 2 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
The girls team finished fourth (3,255) of 18 teams in the district tournament Feb. 23 at HP Lanes behind the three state-qualifiers in Cardington (3,682), Briggs (3,614) and Lancaster (3,318).
Junior Anna Williams placed 12th of 118 competitors with a 524 series to lead the Pacers, followed by juniors Katie Fleming (515, 14th) and Kayla Bowmar (490, 24th) and sophomores Kaity Crowe (467, tied for 32nd) and Taylor Schurr (442, 54th).
Westerville Central's Savannah Slark won the district title with a 625 and North Union's Stormie Jamison secured the third and final individual state-qualifying spot with a 529.
Delaware placed fifth (2,990) in the 25-team sectional Feb. 15 at Columbus Western Bowl behind champion Briggs (3,757), as the top nine teams advanced to district.
The Pacers finished 16-5 overall and went 4-1 to finish second in the OCC-Cardinal behind Westerville Central (5-0) and ahead of Gahanna (3-2), Westerville South (2-3), Westerville North (1-4) and Big Walnut (0-5).
The boys team finished 10th (3,604) in the 18-team district Feb. 22, as Newark (3,935), Whitehall (3,902) and Westerville Central (3,895) qualified for state.
Senior Alex Hohe led the Pacers, tying for 24th of 117 competitors with a 561. Freshman Dakota Brugler placed 38th (532), followed by senior Nick Pierce (506, 53rd) and freshman Noah Bowmar (472, 68th). Sophomore Jordan Lanham played two games (322).
Newark's Austin Martin (728) won the district title and Granville's Jon Massey (657) secured the third and final state berth. The Pacers qualified for district by placing fourth (3,446) in the 30-team sectional Feb. 16 at Eastland Lanes, behind champion Westerville South (3,766).
Delaware finished 12-9 overall and 2-3 in the OCC-Cardinal to finish fourth, behind co-champions Westerville Central and Westerville North (4-1) and Westerville South (3-2) and ahead of Big Walnut (1-4) and Gahanna (1-4).
Season ends for gymnastics team
The gymnastics team ended its season in the district meet Feb. 23 at Worthington Kilbourne.
Delaware finished 18th (111.875) of 24 teams, as Kilbourne (140.625), Dublin Coffman (138.925) and Thomas Worthington (136.125) advanced to the state team meet March 1 at Bradley.
The top nine finishers in each event and the all-around advanced to the state individual meet March 2 at Bradley, but Delaware did not have any qualifiers.
Freshman Loegen Wade (28.925) led the Pacers in the all-around, finishing 68th of 97 competitors. Sophomore Aaiyah Ximines (28.25) was 73rd and freshman Melissa Mason was 78th (27.35).
Each event had 130 or more competitors. Ximines was Delaware's highest finisher on vault (8.025, 45th) and uneven bars (7.0, tied for 62nd) and Wade led the team on balance beam (7.675, 61st) and floor exercise (7.4, 88th).
Also competing at district were seniors Desi Owens, Nikita Patel and Kaitlin Poyssick, junior LeAnn Borchers and freshmen Angela King and Megan Stewart.
Delaware finished fourth (111.25) in the OCC-Central meet Feb. 9, behind Kilbourne (137.45), Hilliard Davidson (127.225) and Olentangy Liberty (125.525) and ahead of Westland (101.525) and Scioto (89.25). The Pacers went 2-3 in league duals.