Josh Wimer has a goal to be first.
Not just first at 126 pounds in the Division I state wrestling tournament, but the first from Central Crossing High School -- athlete or program -- to win a state championship.
Wimer is 41-3 entering state Thursday, Feb. 27-Saturday, March 1, at Ohio State. The senior won a district championship Feb. 22 at Hilliard Darby and will be joined at state by teammates Robbie Fusner (195, second at district), James Wimer (113, third) and Jackson Lakso (106, fourth).
"This is my last chance and I really want a state title," said Josh Wimer, whose team finished third (90 points) at district behind Marysville (147.5) and Westerville North (120.5) as 37 teams scored. "It would be the first (at Central Crossing) in any sport. Coach (Jamie Ramirez) said he would get a banner to put in the (school's) gym, which is great."
Josh Wimer cruised to the district title with three pins and a major decision. In the title match, he pinned Giuseppe Penzone of Olentangy Liberty in 2 minutes, 24 seconds.
"Winning a district title is awesome because in some ways it's more difficult wrestling here than at state," he said. "Around here, everyone knows your style of wrestling and knows what you do. Everyone is new at state."
Josh Wimer qualified for state for the third consecutive season. He placed fifth at 106 as a sophomore, but last season he did not participate at 120 after being disqualified because of a skin infection.
"I'm always a little nervous," he said. "But I know I have trained hard and put in the work. I know I can do it."
Fusner, Lakso and James Wimer all are sophomores who will compete at state for the first time.
"It's great to be able to go as a sophomore," said Lakso, who went 3-2 at district to improve to 42-7 overall. "All of the hard work we have put in has paid off."
Fusner went 3-1 at district to improve to 35-11, and James Wimer went 4-1 to improve to 32-10.
"I tell the kids that every week in the postseason is a clean slate," Ramirez said. "It doesn't matter if you win sectional, everyone starts district at 0-0 -- the same with state. You have to prove yourself every time you go on the mat."
Ethan Leapley (138) went 2-3 at district, placing sixth, and finished at 21-19. Kameron Teacher went 2-2 at heavyweight to finish 33-8. Gavin McKinney (132, 32-11 overall) did not participate after suffering a knee injury at sectional.
Evanichko advances for Greyhounds
Senior Chandler Evanichko advanced to state for Grove City, which finished 21st (25) at district.
Evanichko placed fourth at 220, going 4-2 at district to improve to 40-13. He will be making his first appearance at state.
"It's great to finally make it after the past three seasons," he said. "All of my coaches have been a big help. It's indescribable."
Also competing at district for the Greyhounds were Jake Crosby (170, 2-2 at district, 34-14 overall), Cornelius Marshall (126, 1-2, 26-17), Cortez Marshall (120, 0-2, 23-20) and Marcus Nasdusak (106, 0-2, 23-20).
Will Marshall (29-7) did not participate after not making weight at 113.
"You go into district with the goal of getting at least one out to state and any after that is all icing on the cake," coach Jay DiMasso said. "Chandler probably wrestled his best tournament and did well to get to state. It's great for him to make it."