James Gundling of the Worthington Kilbourne High School wrestling team made a successful debut at 138 pounds during the Division I sectional tournament Feb. 18 at Central Crossing.

James Gundling of the Worthington Kilbourne High School wrestling team made a successful debut at 138 pounds during the Division I sectional tournament Feb. 18 at Central Crossing.

The junior won all four of his matches, defeating Upper Arlington's Emilio DiBenedetto 4-3 in the final to run his record to 32-4. Gundling, who had been competing at 145 during the regular season, had an easier time in his other three matches. He won one with a pin and defeated two opponents by a combined score of 27-5.

"This is my first time going at 138 this year," Gundling said. "Most of the guys I hadn't seen before, but the kid I (had) in the final I also beat in the final at (the season-opening Lee Spitzer Golden Bear Invitational on Dec. 3) at Upper Arlington."

Gundling, who was named Most Valuable Wrestler in the UA meet, advanced to the district tournament for the second consecutive season. He hadn't competed since the Cruiser Invitational at Groveport on Jan. 28 because of a lower back injury. Three of his regular-season losses came against returning state qualifiers.

"I missed quite a bit of time," he said. "But I'll be good going to district."

The top four finishers in each weight class at sectional advanced to the district tournament on Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25, at Hilliard Darby.

Gundling will be joined at district by sectional finalists Mike Mayberry (195) and Alex Meehan (220) in addition to six other teammates who qualified through the consolation bracket at sectional. The Wolves scored 174 points in the 10-team sectional to finish third behind Dublin Coffman (196.5) and Upper Arlington (174.5). Olentangy Orange (168.5) was fourth.

"Our kids are excited," coach Brett Shaut said. "But we can't let up now. Our goal is to get as many guys out as we can."

The top four finishers in each weight class at district advance to the state tournament March 1-3 at Ohio State.

Mayberry, a senior, went 4-0 at sectional and raised his record to 35-1. He pinned his first two opponents and dominated Upper Arlington's James Lowery 13-2 in a championship semifinal before defeating Grove City's Caleb Dick 11-3 in the final.

Meehan, a sophomore, has benefitted from working out with Mayberry in practice. Meehan defeated Darby's Chad Miller 10-1 in a sectional semifinal, but he defaulted the title match against Orange's Zach Hall after banging his head on the bare floor taking down Miller out of bounds in the second period. Meehan is 26-6, and his status for district was not immediately known.

"Mike pounds on me in practice, and that's really prepared me," Meehan said. "I owe a lot of my success to him."

The Wolves also advanced third-place finishers Austin Oberly (106), Wasim Soomro (126) and Jude McCullough (heavyweight). They have records of 22-10, 21-13 and 13-5, respectively. Oberly and Soomro both came all the way back with three victories in the consolation brackets after losing in a championship quarterfinal.

Also qualifying to district were fourth-place finishers Lucky Shaut (113), Zach Badowi (120) and Kyle Wahl (132). Their records are 17-5, 29-8 and 19-9, respectively.

Gundling will face Pickerington North's Cody Notestine (21-14) in his opening match at district. Mayberry opens against Delaware's Shawn Johnson (20-19), Meehan faces Canal Winchester's Max Lacey (29-13), Oberly faces Westerville Central's Michael Hines (25-13), Soomro faces Hilliard Davidson's Lee Wilson (31-4), McCullough competes against Marysville's Kyle Thirkield (32-7), Shaut faces Davidson's Jake Davis (36-6), Badowi opens against Olentangy Liberty's Giuseppe Penzone (36-7) and Wahl faces Gahanna's Drew McDougle (40-5).

•Thomas has five district qualifiers after finishing sixth (85.5) in the sectional Feb. 18 at Marysville behind champion Marysville (257).

Davidson (183) was runner-up, with Mount Vernon (164.5), Delaware (125.5) and Dublin Jerome (112) rounding out the top five.

"We did OK," coach Mark Gundling said. "We held our own, especially in the consolation rounds."

Junior Andrew Shackelford was the team's only sectional finalist. He lost 3-2 against Mount Vernon's Matt Lybarger in the final and enters district with a 28-5 record.

Will Coleman (113) and Noah Messerall (126) both placed third at sectional, raising their records to 6-10 and 15-16, respectively, and Kasey Ackley (120) and Brooks Gilmore (heavyweight) placed fourth and are now 23-12 and 17-14, respectively.

Coleman, a sophomore, lost in a championship quarterfinal, but he bounced back to win two tight matches in the consolation bracket by defeating Jerome's Liam Dunlea 3-2 and Columbus West's Thomas Johnson 5-3.

Alex Good (145) and Nate Good (160) finished fifth and are district alternates.

At district, Shackelford opens against Lancaster's Shaun Norris (13-21), Coleman faces Orange's Connor Borton (29-7), Messerall faces Darby's Jake Donatelli (32-6), Ackley goes against Reynoldsburg's Xander Straughter (30-6) and Gilmore faces Grove City's Chandler Evanichko (20-17).