A pair of Marysville High School wrestlers will lead the area contingent into the state finals Saturday, March 1 at Ohio State.
Nine area Division I wrestlers entered the semifinals with hopes of reaching the finals, but only Marysville’s Hayden Lee at 113 pounds and Austin Pfarr at 220 were able to advance.
Lee (32-3) defeated Mason’s Patrick Kearney 11-1 in the semifinals and will wrestle Massillon Perry’s Jose Rodriguez in the final. Lee defeated Rodriguez 3-0 in the final at 113 at the Top Gun Tournament at Alliance on Jan. 18.
“He’s in the way of my state title,” Lee said of Rodriguez. “It’s the last match of my high school career. I’m a senior, so I’m going to leave everything on the line and I’m just going to go out there and wrestle the way I’ve been trained all my life to do.”
Rodriguez is the defending state champion at 106. Lee, a transfer from Garrett (Ind.) High School, finished sixth at state in Indiana last season and is a now four-time state placer.
Pfarr (45-1) defeated Springfield’s Devin Nye 5-2 in a semifinal and will face Cincinnati Moeller’s Chalmer Frueauf in the final.
Seventh-seeded Marysville lost to second-seeded Moeller 50-12 in the quarterfinal round of the state team tournament Feb. 8 at Ohio State, but Pfarr and Frueauf did not meet.
“That would be a dream come true,” Pfarr said of him and Lee winning state titles. “We talk about all the time. That’s the main goal. We trained so hard this whole season, so now it’s right in front of our eyes and now we have to go get it.”
Marysville (60.5 points) entered the final day second in the team standings behind Massillon Perry (163) and ahead of Moeller and Oregon Clay (57), which were tied for third.
Seven other area Division I wrestlers reached the semifinals before losing.
Looking to fight back for third place were Olentangy Liberty’s Jon Furnas at 120 and Giuseppe Penzone at 126, Central Crossing’s Josh Wimer at 126, Dublin Coffman’s Dominick Demas at 138, Hilliard Davidson’s Bobby Smith at 132, Marysville’s David Sparks at 138 and Hilliard Bradley’s Jake Stratton at 170.
In Division III, defending state champion Patrik Garren of Ready appeared headed for the final at heavyweight as he led Fremont St. Joseph’s Central Catholic 5-1 in the second period, but Garren was pinned in 3 minutes, 49 seconds, ending his repeat hopes.
Northridge’s Jake Adkins at 106 and Hartley’s Grant Rathburn at 138 reached the semifinals before losing.
In Division II, Big Walnut’s Alec Eisnnicher lost his semifinal match at 170.
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