The Marysville High School wrestling team continued its domination of the Division I district tournament, winning its third consecutive title while advancing five competitors to state.
The Monarchs scored 147.5 points at district, which was held Feb. 21 and 22 at Hilliard Darby, to finish ahead of runner-up Westerville North (120.5) as 37 teams scored.
Marysville has won four of the last five district championships.
"We were excited coming into it. It never gets old," coach Shawn Andrews said. "We're excited to win three in a row (and) four out of five. Having guys win a district title (put) them in a better spot (for state). We're excited to have five guys go on and seven placers."
The top four finishers in each weight class at district advanced to the state tournament Feb. 27-March 1 at Ohio State. Among the Monarchs' five state qualifiers, three won district titles.
Senior Austin Pfarr capped Marysville's strong weekend by winning the district title at 220 pounds. He defeated Delaware's Andrew Sierawski 14-4 in the final and was 42-1 entering state, where last year he finished fifth at 195.
"People stepped up that needed to step up," Pfarr said of the team title. "They scored some big points for us. Our training and our schedule are intense, so that helped. It's awesome winning three district titles in a row. Not many people can say that."
Senior Hayden Lee won the title at 113, defeating Groveport's Shakur Laney 8-0 in the final. Lee was 39-3 entering state.
Marysville's other district champion was senior David Sparks, who defeated Mount Vernon's Lane Hinkle by injury default in the final at 138.
Sparks, who entered state 36-9 overall, is a four-time state qualifier. He finished eighth last season at 126.
Junior Taleb Rahmani reached the district final at 145 before losing to Dresden Tri-Valley's Kade Kowalski 3-2. He was 41-7 before state, where last year he placed seventh at 120.
Junior Alex Sepeda finished third at 152, defeating Canal Winchester's Nick Hammond 3-1 in overtime in the third-place match. He was 29-5 before state.
Finishing sixth were freshman Derek Sharp (120) and senior Darius Walker (heavyweight). Also competing at district were Troy Messer (2-2 at 126), Nick Rioch (2-2 at 160) and Noah Satterfield (0-2 at 170).
Boys basketball team earns tournament win
The boys basketball team won its first Division I district tournament game since 2010, defeating 32nd-seeded Watkins Memorial 81-65 in the first round Feb. 22 at home.
The 17th-seeded Monarchs were 14-9 before playing at 13th-seeded Olentangy Liberty in the second round Feb. 28.
Marysville trailed 18-11 after one quarter before outscoring the Warriors 26-13 in the second quarter and 44-34 in the second half. The Warriors finished 10-12.
Logan Roston led Marysville with 22 points, followed by Case Chamblin with 18 and Jevon Knox with 10.
"We played pretty well," coach Ryan Grose said. "We were a little slow out of the gate, but we executed our game plan pretty well. Anytime you can score 81 points in a game, you're creating yourself a lot of opportunities and we were pretty efficient offensively being able to put the basketball in the hole."
The Marysville-Liberty winner plays sixth-seeded Pickerington Central in a district semifinal Wednesday, March 5, at Westerville Central, with that winner playing fourth-seeded Zanesville, 11th-seeded Westerville South or 35th-seeded Hilliard Davidson in a district final Saturday, March 8, at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Marysville lost to Davidson 67-65 on Jan. 10 and defeated the Wildcats 59-51 on Feb. 14.
The district champion plays Franklin Heights, Gahanna, Grove City, Groveport, St. Charles or Upper Arlington in a regional semifinal March 13 at the Fairgrounds.
Sorensen advances to state gymnastics meet
Senior gymnast Selena Sorensen became the program's first state qualifier, advancing from the district meet Feb. 22 at Worthington Kilbourne. She competed on floor exercise in the individual state meet March 1 at Hilliard Bradley.
Marysville restarted its gymnastics program this season after not offering the sport since 1980. The program was offered for four seasons, but never had a state qualifier.
Sorensen finished fourth (9.125) on floor at district. The top eight finishers in each event, including the all-around, advanced to state.
"It was pretty exciting," coach Amber Calvert said. "It was pretty neat to see this. She's the first ever to go from Marysville to state. I'm sad that it's her senior year, but I'm happy that she was able to have this her senior year so she could experience this for her school."
Sorensen tied Tri-Valley's Lorin Wise for 20th of 103 gymnasts in the all-around (34.025) at district.
Marysville finished 17th (120.325) of 26 teams as Dublin Coffman (143.85), Kilbourne (141.025) and UA (137.7) advanced to the team state meet Feb. 28 at Bradley.
Also for Marysville at district, Hannah Burns was 63rd (30.35) in the all-around, followed by Molly Tuchfarber (86th, 27.75) and Carly LaDu was (93rd, 26.55).
"Our team did really well," Calvert said. "We stayed on (balance) beam a lot better. That's always hit or miss for us, so I was pleased with that. I was pleased overall with the girls, their attitudes and their excitement."
Cline named volleyball coach
Randy Cline has been named girls volleyball coach. He replaces Jennifer Burton, who resigned after last season.
In Burton's three seasons, the Monarchs had an overall record of 20-45. Last year, they finished 11-12 overall and 7-7 in the OCC-Central Division.
Cline, 42, has more than 20 years of coaching experience at the prep, collegiate and club levels. He owns Elite Volleyball Training Center in Plain City.
"Marysville is the perfect fit for what I was looking for," Cline said. "It has one school that is largely supported by the community. I look forward to building a strong base for Monarch volleyball."