Sparks earns 100th career wrestling win
On a night when junior David Sparks reached a milestone, the Marysville High School wrestling team remained in control in the OCC-Central Division.
The Monarchs defeated visiting Hilliard Davidson 43-27 on Jan. 31 to improve to 6-0 in the league.
Marysville will look to clinch the outright league title when it visits Olentangy Liberty on Thursday, Feb. 7.
Thomas Worthington, which is second in the league at 5-1, lost to Marysville 43-27 on Jan. 11.
Sparks (126 pounds) earned his 100th career win by pinning Davidson's Zach Duhl in 2 minutes, 54 seconds.
"That's huge," coach Shawn Andrews said of Sparks' achievement. "We wrestle a tough schedule, so for him as a junior to get 100 wins, I'm real proud of him and I know that's a nice little milestone for him.
"But I know he has other things that are more important towards the end of the year."
The Monarchs' win was part of a week that saw them advance to the Region 5 final of the Division I state team tournament. They will play host to Hilliard Darby on Wednesday, Feb. 6, with the winner advancing to state dual matches Saturday, Feb. 9, at Ohio State's St. John Arena.
The eight regional champions will compete at state, beginning with quarterfinal matches.
Marysville advanced to the regional final by defeating Olentangy 61-18 and Olentangy Orange 44-24 in Region 5-A dual matches Jan. 30 at home.
Sparks (126) and Chase Boyd (160) won both of their matches by pin.
Against Davidson, Marysville took a 23-0 lead on pins from Boyd at 170 (5:55), Alex Roberts at 182 (34 seconds) and Austin Pfarr at 195 (3:46), and a win by technical fall at 220 by Morgan Miller (18-2).
Davidson's first 12 points were the result of Andrews opting to forfeit to the Wildcats' Travis Gusan at heavyweight and Lee Wilson at 132.
The Monarchs led 43-15 before Davidson scored the match's final 12 points.
Taleb Rahmani also won by pin for Marysville at 120 (4:56), and Noah Forrider defeated Bobby Smith 7-2 at 145.
"I was happy with our kids," Andrews said. "We had some kids win some close matches that were important. It's just trying to build towards the end of the year like I say all the time. It's all about getting to the end of the year and wrestling your best match at the end, and I think we're getting closer to it now."
Swimmers set for sectional meet
The swimming and diving teams will compete in a Division I sectional meet Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Union County YMCA.
Other teams competing will be Dublin Coffman, Dublin Jerome, Dublin Scioto, Hilliard Bradley, Darby, Davidson, Olentangy, Liberty and Orange.
The winner of each event qualifies for district Feb. 16 at Ohio State. In addition, 27 at-large district berths will be awarded in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites. Divers do not compete until the district meet.
The Monarchs prepared for sectional by competing in the OCC-Central meet Jan. 26 at Thomas.
The boys finished sixth (72 points) behind Upper Arlington (428), Liberty (229), Thomas (214), Coffman (200) and Davidson (96) and ahead of Central Crossing (51).
Seniors Ashton Broadhead, Trevor Murray and Nathan Wasik and junior Braxton Cruea were fifth in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:43.33). Broadhead, Cruea, sophomore Colin Biddinger and freshman Ryan Groehl were sixth in the 400 free relay (3:56.2), and Cruea, Groehl, Murray and Wasik were sixth in the 200 medley relay (1:56.21).
The girls were seventh (48) behind UA (452), Thomas (240), Liberty (185), Coffman (182), Davidson (115) and Central Crossing (52).
Senior Allison Rubadue, junior Jessica Cowgill and sophomores Andrea Daily and Morgan Dewitt were sixth in the 200 medley relay (2:13.54). Cowgill, Dewitt, junior Aubry Beany and sophomore Sydney Joseph were seventh in the 200 free relay (2:00.49), and Beany, Daily, Joseph and sophomore Cassidy Rausch were seventh in the 400 free relay (4:36.95).
"The swimmers swam well at the OCC meet," coach Ann Rausch said. "Many have (personal records) in their events. The swimmers have been training hard all season and are ready for the sectional meet. With the sectional meet (in) Marysville (at the YMCA), this is also a plus for our swimmers because they tend to swim fast at our pool."
Girls basketball team prepares for district
The girls basketball team will look to gain momentum heading into the Division I district tournament when it plays host to UA on Tuesday, Feb. 5, and plays at Central Crossing on Friday, Feb. 8.
The district tournament begins Feb. 16.
Marysville lost to Coffman 54-44 on Jan. 25 and to Liberty 50-35 on Jan. 29.
Against Coffman, senior guard Kayla Ogan scored 13 points, senior post player Katy Turner scored 12 and sophomore forward Hannah Long scored 10. Against Liberty, Turner scored nine points.
"We have played fairly well going back to (Dublin) Scioto (54-47 loss Jan. 22)," coach Aric Tucker said. "We just are having problems finishing the game. We were up at half versus Scioto and Liberty. It's just a matter of maintaining our focus and staying disciplined. The girls continue to work and play hard. We're trying to get a couple more wins."