Central Crossing's Wimer ready for state
Josh Wimer doesn't expect to get caught up in the atmosphere in his second trip to the Division I state wrestling tournament.
The 120-pound junior from Central Crossing High School said he got distracted last season, even though he went 4-2 and finished fifth at 106.
The tournament runs Thursday, Feb. 28, through Saturday, March 2, at Ohio State.
"Coming down that tunnel (onto the floor at Value City Arena) was sweet," said Wimer, who went 3-1 at district last weekend to improve to 41-5 overall. "It's dark inside and they have all of these pictures of the three- and four-time state champions on the walls. Then you see the light at the end of the tunnel, you step out there and it's sweet.
"Last year, I was flat-footed going into my first match and was pretty nervous. Now I know what to expect and I want to have fun with it. I'll be ready."
The top four in each weight class at district, which was held Feb. 22 and 23 at Hilliard Darby, advanced to state.
Wimer finished second, losing to Olentangy Orange senior Artem Timchenko 3-2 in a final. Timchenko enters state at 33-0.
"I started slow (in the final) and you can't do that," said Wimer, whose team finished 18th (46 points) at district behind champion Marysville (163) as 35 teams scored. "I have to wrestle as hard in the first period as I do in the third."
Last season at state, Wimer was joined by 2012 graduates Dez Hauber and Vince Pickett. Pickett went 3-1 and was runner-up at 170 and Hauber went 0-2 at 145.
At district, freshman Jackson Lakso (103) lost to Hilliard Davidson's Trent Gill 7-5 in overtime in a fifth-place match. He went 3-3 and is 32-16 overall.
Also competing at district were junior 126-pounder Gavin McKenney (2-2 at district, 23-18 overall) and four freshmen -- Robbie Fusner (2-2, 26-16) at 195, Ethan Leapley (2-2, 20-18) at 132, Kameron Teacher (1-2, 18-18) at heavyweight and James Wimer (2-2, 26-16) at 113.
"We had seven at district, all were underclassmen, and five were freshmen," coach Jamie Ramirez said. "I don't believe any other team (at district) had that many (freshmen) here. We gained some great experience."
Grove City heavyweight is state alternate
Grove City junior heavyweight Chandler Evanichko finished fifth at district and is an alternate for state.
He defeated Columbus West's Bryan Gray in a 12-2 major decision in the fifth-place match.
"I was mad (going into the fifth-place match)," said Evanichko, who was 4-2 at district to improve to 42-9 overall. "I should have been a state qualifier, but that didn't happen. I have to work hard to make sure that happens next year."
Senior Tavon Hudson (195) lost to Reynoldsburg's Jordan Reed 9-3 to finish sixth. He went 3-3 at district and is 28-18.
"Tavon started wrestling as a sophomore," said coach Jay DiMasso, whose team finished 23rd (25) at district. "For him to come this far in such a short amount of time is quite an achievement. He did a great job."
Also competing at district were seniors Zane Chappelear (1-2, 29-10) at 152 and Vince Plageman (1-2, 9-6) at 182, juniors Justin Belmonte (0-2, 14-17) at 220 and Cole Capehart (0-2, 16-23) at 120 and freshman Will Marshall (1-2, 25-18) at 103.
Junior Cortez Marshall (21-21) was fourth at sectional at 113 to qualify for district, but withdrew because of a leg injury.