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Wrestling

Westerville North sends four to state tournament

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Westerville North High School wrestling team will look to carry the momentum of finishing second in the Division I district tournament into the state tournament, where four Warriors will compete Thursday, Feb. 27-Saturday, March 1, at Ohio State.

North scored 120.5 points at district Feb. 21 and 22 at Hilliard Darby to finish behind Marysville (147.5), which won its third consecutive title as 37 teams scored.

"We want to be competitive every year," coach David Grant said. "Last year we were third and this year we're second, so it says we've put together some consistency. We hope to be right here next year fighting for another title."

The top four finishers in each weight class at district advanced to state.

For North, juniors Nic Kramer (195 pounds) and Gage Archer (heavyweight) won district titles.

Kramer defeated Central Crossing's Robbie Fusner 2-1 in his title match and Archer pinned Teays Valley's C.J. Kinzer in 3 minutes, 40 seconds in his final.

Kramer (29-7 overall) will face Maple Heights' Monterol Johnson (29-10) in the first round at state, and Archer (31-8) will take on Troy's Alex Dalton (33-8).

"I was third at sectional and I was down on myself, but my coaches made me believe in myself," Kramer said. "It's a great coaching staff. I want to place top five (at state)."

Junior Jakob Hinz reached the district final at 170 before losing to Hilliard Bradley's Jake Stratton 6-4. Stratton's takedown with 11 seconds remaining in the match provided the decisive points.

Hinz (30-8) will face Austintown-Fitch's Camran Rezapourian (48-9) in the first round at state.

"It was a nice mix," Grant said. "The big guys stepped up. You always hope that you'll get some finalists in the upper weights, but they stepped up."

Senior Santino DiSabato will make a return trip to state after finishing third at district at 120. DiSabato defeated Dresden Tri-Valley's Slade Tyson 6-4 in the third-place match.

Last season at state, DiSabato went 3-2 and placed seventh at 113, finishing 39-9 overall.

DiSabato (38-5) will face Brunswick's Josh Heil (5-2) in the first round.

"The goal is always to get there first, but now my goal is to win it," DiSabato said. "It always has been, but obviously this year more so than others since it's the last shot at it. I just have to get after it this week."

Senior Andy Struttmann finished fifth at district at 220 and is a state alternate. Sophomore Brandon Goldsmith was sixth at 145.

Senior Hunter Sintobin (152) and juniors Don Didion (132) and Mason Pillow (160) were 1-2 at district, and senior Nick Durieux (138) and freshman Josh Grant (126) were 0-2.

South's Llaneza advances to state

South senior Caleb Llaneza will compete at state for the first time after finishing second at district at 152.

"That was part of the goal," he said of qualifying for state. "The overall goal was to place this year. It's still doable. I just have to wrestle my game plan and stay good on my feet and keep on circling."

Llaneza lost to Pickerington Central's Aaron Yarger 12-0 in the district final. He entered the sectional tournament Feb. 15 at Pickerington Central undefeated, but was pinned by Yarger in 52 seconds in the final.

Yarger, who is 35-2 this season, finished sixth at 152 last year at state.

Llaneza (40-2) will face West Chester Lakota West's Kevin Leonhardt (41-2) in the first round at state.

"Caleb has done everything he has needed to do to get to the state tournament all year long," coach Kerry Burton said.

Freshman Marcus William-son, who won a sectional title at 160, reached a district semifinal before being pinned in 3:01 by eventual champion Cody Pollitt of Olentangy.

Williamson (13-6) finished sixth after being pinned by Bradley's Keegan Driscoll in 4:41 in the fifth-place match.

Freshman Tyler Pivetz was 1-2 at 113, while freshman Ray Gordon (120) and sophomore Zach Wachalec (220) both were 0-2.

The Wildcats finished 17th (31) at district.

Central finishes season at district

Central qualified three wrestlers for district, but did not win a match.

Junior John Fitzgibbon (132), sophomore Will Green (138) and senior Adam Lowe (170) all were 0-2.

Fitzgibbon finished the season 18-23, while Will Green went 27-12 and Lowe went 19-15.

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