The Division I sectional last Saturday at Pickerington North was one to forget for the majority of the Gahanna Lincoln High School wrestling team, but the Lions still have a couple of shots to get a wrestler to state for a second consecutive year.

The Division I sectional last Saturday at Pickerington North was one to forget for the majority of the Gahanna Lincoln High School wrestling team, but the Lions still have a couple of shots to get a wrestler to state for a second consecutive year.

Matt Nelson finished second at 140 pounds to reach the district tournament for the third time in his career, and Adam Jah took fourth at 152 to make it to district for the first time. Last season, graduate Andrew Evans became the Lions' first state qualifier since 2003.

Coach Kyle Bentley said he didn't believe the Lions would advance more than three or four wrestlers to district, but he still came away disappointed in the overall performance. Gahanna was 12th (41 points) of 13 teams as Central Crossing (227.5) won.

"I don't know what else to do but go back to the drawing board and do things the way I've always done them," Bentley said. "I changed a lot of things this year, and obviously it didn't work."

Jah felt he had the best day of his career last Saturday. Last year, he finished fifth but lost in the consolation semifinal, the match to earn a spot at district. He said when he reached that round last season, he knew it would be a defining moment.

"Last year, I got my butt kicked so bad," Jah said. "I measure accomplishments off of my progression. If I were to do the same thing I did last year, I'm not progressing. I was just determined to get that last match and go to the final. I knew coming into the final that I had progressed."

Jah beat Ryan Bott 10-6 in the consolation semifinal, setting up a third-place match against Turok Tucker of Logan. Jah lost 7-6 to finish fourth, which means he will have a stiff test in the first round at district. Jah will open the district tournament against Matt Sopczak of Riverside Stebbins. Sopczak, the Centerville sectional champion, enters the tournament at 31-14. Jah is 19-17.

"I know I'll have a tough match in the first round," Jah said. "It will be a first seed, but I just want to take it to him, let him know that he wrestled Gahanna, and let him know what Gahanna is all about."

Nelson enters the district tournament looking to reach state for the first time. He finished second at the sectional for the second consecutive season, but he had a much closer match in the final than last season, when he lost to Tommy Sasfy of Reynoldsburg 11-2. Last Saturday, Nelson lost to Bryan Hoffman of Worthington Kilbourne 6-4 in the final.

Nelson will open the district tournament against Nick Kowaleski of Grove City, the third-place finisher from the Watkins Memorial sectional. Kowaleski is 24-14 and Nelson is 35-6.

In his first two trips to district, Nelson went 3-4.

The only other Gahanna wrestlers to win a match last Saturday were Nick Brown, who was sixth at 189, and Alex Dragt, who went 1-2 at 135.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Gahanna Lincoln wrestling team:

Last Saturday -- Finished 12th (41) behind champion Central Crossing (227.5) in Division I sectional at Pickerington North. District qualifiers were Matt Nelson (140, second) and Adam Jah (152, fourth).

Friday-Saturday -- At district at Hilliard Darby. The Lions tied Lancaster for 26th (20) behind champion Reynoldsburg (130) last season. The top four in each weight class will advance to state March 5-7 at Ohio State.