Gusan completes perfect season with title
Hilliard Davidson High School senior Travis Gusan delivered in dramatic fashion to win the heavyweight championship in the Division I state wrestling tournament March 2 at Ohio State.
Gusan's takedown with 8 seconds left in the first overtime lifted him to a 3-1 win over Canton GlenOak's Corey Siegfried in the title match.
"I tried to get a good opening," Gusan said of his decisive takedown. "He was a tough kid, he had a strong base and I just had to find an opening."
Gusan, a transfer from Walnut Ridge, finished the season 50-0 and became the program's sixth state champion.
"He was very patient," coach Dominic DiSabato said. "He could have got very frustrated, he could have tried to force things, but he's learned over this year from last year just to be patient."
Last season at state in Division II, Gusan finished second at heavyweight after being pinned by Washington Court House's Riley Shaw in 4 minutes, 35 seconds.
"Last year I said I was going to come back, do my best winning it and I had the support of my coaches, Dominic DiSabato and (Josh Chilcote)," Gusan said. "It's all coaches, day-in and day-out, and wrestling hard."
Junior Bobby Smith reached the final at 126 pounds but lost to Massillon Washington's Ivan McClay 3-1.
Smith trailed 2-0 after one period and made it 2-1 with an escape in the second. A transfer from Ready, he finished 44-4 and reached state for the third year in a row.
As a freshman, Smith was fifth at state in Division III at 103. Last season, he was 1-2 in Division III at 126.
Davidson's other state qualifiers, Lee Wilson at 132 and Nick Lawler at 138, went 0-2.
Wilson, a senior, re-injured his right shoulder in the first period of his championship preliminary match against Bedford's Shawn Williams and was forced to default.
Wilson (40-6) also lost his first consolation match by default. Lawler, a senior, finished 37-12.
The Wildcats finished seventh (48 points) behind champion Lakewood St. Edward (117) as 89 teams scored.
Junior Trent Gill (35-9) was a state alternate at 106 after finishing fifth in the district tournament Feb. 22 and 23 at Hilliard Darby. The Wildcats finished second (107) at district behind champion Marysville (163) as 35 teams scored.
Davidson (224.5) won the 10-team sectional Feb. 16 at Westland ahead of Delaware (214.5) and lost to Pickerington Central 40-31 in the Region 6 final of the first state team tournament Feb. 6 at home.
The Wildcats finished third in the OCC-Central Division at 5-2, behind Marysville (7-0) and Thomas Worthington (6-1).
"We had a good year," DiSabato said. "From where we started to where we are now, we lost a lot of guys to graduation, we had some injuries and we had some guys not come out. Our kids from 106 all the way to heavyweight, everybody improved throughout the year and we ended up (district) runners-up, seventh in the state, two state placers, four state qualifiers and six district placers. We had a hell of a year."
Darby's Walker finishes fifth at state
Darby senior Matt Walker finished fifth at state after defeating Cleveland St. Ignatius' Anthony McLaughlin 5-2.
Walker, who finished 46-5, lost to McLaughlin 7-6 in a second-round match March 1.
"I wasn't scared to lose this match," Walker said of his rematch with McLaughlin. "I just went out there and had fun. It was the last match of my year, last match of my high school career."
Last season at state, Walker was 0-2 at 160.
"I have no regrets at all," he said. "It was a fun four years here. ... I think I've left a mark and a lot of other people have, too."
"Matt is probably one of the most liked kids in the school," coach Brendan Moody said. "He's a big teddy bear, so having him as one of our leaders was big and it shows the younger guys how it's done."
Junior Sean Black was 1-2 at 145 at state and finished 36-14. Senior Sam Valenti (38-11) at 120 and junior Trevor Parker (37-12) at 182 each went 0-2 at state.
Valenti, who was an alternate, entered the tournament after Central Crossing's Josh Wimer had to withdraw because of a skin condition.
The Panthers tied St. Charles for 44th (11) at state.
Darby lost to host Marysville 49-22 in the Region 5 final of the state team tournament Feb. 6. The Panthers were seventh (77) at district and scored 212.5 points to win the 10-team sectional Feb. 16 at Pickerington North ahead of North (202).
The Panthers won the OCC-Cardinal at 7-0 ahead of Bradley (6-1).
It was the first league title for Darby since 2008 when it won the OCC-Ohio, which was the fifth consecutive league championship for the program.
Darby clinched the title with a 29-27 win over Bradley on Feb. 7.
Other key wrestlers were seniors Adam Ruiz at 126 (28-16), Dalton Mankin at 160 (24-19) and Alex Martin at 195 (21-11) and sophomore Chad Miller at heavyweight (25-20).
Bradley's Stratton competes at state
Junior Jake Stratton was Bradley's lone state qualifier. He went 0-2 at 170 and finished 33-14.
The Jaguars did not score at state. In the state team tournament, Bradley lost to host Darby 36-22 in a regional semifinal Jan. 30.
The Jaguars finished 12th (60) at district after winning their first sectional title Feb. 16 at Watkins Memorial. They scored 205 points to finish ahead of Pickerington Central (200.5) in a 10-team field.
Senior Sam Riggs was a state alternate at 182 and finished 23-8.
Bradley qualified a program-record 11 wrestlers for district.
Other key wrestlers for were seniors Hunter Kidd at 195 (28-8) and Fraser Smith at 220 (22-18), juniors Rob McGrath at 113 (36-12) and Ryan McGrath at 132 (36-13), sophomores C.J. Campbell at 106 (36-12), Keegan Driscoll at 145 (16-12) and Justin Lemmermen at 126 (19-15) and freshmen Will Stratton at 120 (25-20) and Chris Wall at 138 (25-19).
"We competed very well and made steady progress," coach John Riggs said. "We definitely did some very positive things with a team overall that was very young. We have 10 out of 14 starters returning and a lot of varsity experience back in the mix."