Seniors Chase Haimerl, Josh Keese and Charlie Kneessi are heading back to the Division I district tournament for the Thomas Worthington High School wrestling team.
Freshman Mason Gates will join them at district Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, at Perrysburg, where the top four finishers in each weight class qualify for the state tournament March 8-10 at Ohio State.
"The seniors put themselves in a good position heading to districts by placing first or second (in the sectional Feb. 24 at Whitehall)," coach Brad Todd said. "They are focused and ready going into districts with the mindset of making the state meet."
Haimerl went 3-0 at sectional, winning the 145-pound title by beating Mansfield Madison's Trenton Osborne 6-4 in the final. He is 32-9 on the season and will face Holland Springfield's Dylan Stoll (21-15) in the first round at district.
Keese (170) and Kneessi (182) both finished second at sectional.
Keese (32-13) lost to Ashland's Jakob Beverly 9-6 in his sectional final and will face Perrysburg's Ethan Garee (29-12) in the first round at district, while Kneessi (29-9) lost to Ashland's Brycen Light 5-4 in his sectional final and will face Berea-Midpark's David Weaver (33-17) in his district opener.
Gates (220) placed fourth at sectional. He is 10-11 and will face Toledo Bowsher's Trenton Ervin (16-2) in the first round at district.
Junior Ethan Glasgow (160) and sophomore Greg Laws (heavyweight) are district alternates after placing fifth at sectional. Glasgow is 12-24 and Laws is 9-25.
Also competing at sectional was freshman Joe Rhodes (152), who went 0-2 and finished 1-8.
The Cardinals placed seventh (84) of nine teams at sectional, behind champion Ashland (304).
"I'm pleased with the way we performed at sectionals generally," Todd said. "We kind of expected the seniors to make it out. I'm very happy for Mason. This will be a great experience for him and we're excited to see how he does. He is never afraid of competition and goes after anyone."
Girls medley relay places 21st at state
The girls 200-yard medley relay of Emily Huber, Rachel Rinaldi, Becca Taylor and Maddie Holub achieved one of its goals in the Division I state swimming and diving meet that concluded Feb. 24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
After squeaking in with the 24th and final seed, the relay placed 21st in 1 minute, 49.02 seconds in the preliminaries Feb. 23. It was the lone state event for the Cardinals.
"I wanted them to improve on their seed and maybe get into the finals (top 16)," coach Jim Callahan said. "We don't concern ourselves with times because they rarely drop at state and every pool is different."
The same four girls have comprised the relay for three years, but the lineup will change next year as Huber and Taylor are seniors and Rinaldi and Holub are juniors. The relay reached state in 2016, but did not advance to state last season.
The relay advanced this year by placing seventh (1:48.36) in the district meet that concluded Feb. 17 at Ohio University after finishing third (1:51.51) in the home sectional Feb. 10.
At district, the top two finishers in each swimming event automatically qualified for state. In addition, 16 at-large berths were awarded in each swimming event based on times statewide.
The Cardinals scored 111 points at district to finish eighth behind champion Upper Arlington (274) as 30 teams scored.
Huber, Taylor and Holub all competed in two individual events at district. Holub placed fifth in the 200 individual medley (2:09.42) and 12th in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.73), Taylor was sixth in the 200 freestyle (1:55.65) and eighth in the 100 butterfly (57.48) and Rinaldi was seventh in the 200 IM (2:12.36) and ninth in the 100 breast (1:07.18).
The 400 free relay of sophomore Audrey Taylor, Rinaldi, Holub and Becca Taylor was eighth (3:37.6) at district.
Among other expected returnees are juniors Peyton Hull and Julia Nelson and freshmen Katie Bozoti, Maia Lin and Nevin Woods.
The boys team ended its season at district, where it finished 17th (28) behind champion Dublin Jerome (303) as 29 teams scored.
Freshman Eli Short had the top finish, placing 11th in the 50 free (22.1). Sophomore Andrei Proca was 16th in the 500 free (4:55.02) and 17th in the 200 free (1:48.73), sophomore Sam Steele was 16th in the 200 IM (2:02.48) and the 200 free relay of senior Jack King, sophomore Derek Taylor, freshman Grant Simeone and Short was 13th (1:31.53).
Girls basketball team losing four seniors
The girls basketball team is losing four seniors, including one of its all-time scoring leaders in guard Jazzlynn Gaiters.
MiSharita Holt (forward), Kelly Lewis (guard) and Maddy Miles (guard/forward) were other seniors on the roster for the Cardinals, who finished 11-9 overall after losing at sixth-seeded Northland 54-40 in the second round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 23. Thomas was seeded 18th and had a first-round bye.
"We are definitely going to miss the seniors, but we mixed in a lot of newcomers that gained valuable experience this season," coach Laurie Barr said.
"Losing Jazzlynn will hurt, but I'm hoping we can collectively work hard to make up for some of that. But Jazz helped us in so many ways and the proof of that is all of those records she set."
Gaiters leaves with seven school records. She set single-game marks in points (35) and steals (11) in a 61-29 win over Mifflin on Feb. 1 and in rebounds (23) in a 54-48 loss to Chillicothe on Jan. 29. She set single-season records in points (391) and rebounds (232) this year after setting the single-season 3-point accuracy record (45.5 percent) as a junior. She also set the career record in rebounds (804) and finished third in career points (1,099).
Gaiters averaged 19.6 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals this season and was named the OCC-Cardinal Division Player of the Year as Thomas and Dublin Scioto both went 9-3 to share the league title.
Hilliard Bradley and Jerome tied for third in the league at 7-5, followed by Hilliard Darby (5-7) Kilbourne (4-8) and Delaware (1-11).
"The highlight of the season was winning our second straight OCC title," said Barr, who shared league Coach of the Year honors with Scioto's Jen Music.
"The girls really wanted to make a tournament run, but we had a tough draw and didn't play our best game (against Northland). We didn't set strong screens and we didn't play well enough defensively. We also missed a number of chances on putbacks under the basket."
Junior guard Breanne Beatty is expected to lead the Cardinals next year after averaging 15.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists and making first-team all-league.
Also expected to return are junior guards Haley Byrnes and Amia Samuels and sophomore guards Brooke Ackley and Hannah Scott.
Ackley averaged 4.3 points and was honorable mention all-league. Holt averaged 3.2 points.
Season ends for bowling teams
No members of the girls and boys bowling teams advanced from their respective Division I sectionals at HP Lanes.
In the girls sectional Feb. 24, the Cardinals placed 31st (2,239) of 37 teams, behind champion Gahanna (3,642), as the top 16 teams and top 16 individuals not on a qualifying team in each sectional advanced to district Saturday, March 3, at HP Lanes.
Sophomore Samantha Haunty placed 112th of 208 competitors with a 358 three-game series. She was followed by freshmen Ohana Trevino (122nd, 324) and Hannah Innes (126th, 317) and senior Abby Montag (136th, 299). Also competing were sophomores Martha Clapp and Katie Deminoff.
Competing as individuals in the boys sectional Feb. 23 were seniors Nate Johnson (97th, 435) and A.J. Whitlatch (149th, 306) and sophomore Peri Kargiotis (154th, 295).
Gymnasts end season at district
The gymnastics team ended its season in the district meet Feb. 24 at Kilbourne, as the Cardinals finished 13th (125.3) of 24 teams and did not have any individual state qualifiers.
Thornville Sheridan (145.425), Olentangy (139.5) and Bradley (135.425) qualified for the team state meet Friday, March 2, at Bradley. The top eight finishers in each event and the all-around advanced to the individual state meet Saturday, March 3, at Bradley.
Audrey Maxwell had a team-best 31.6 in the all-around to place 37th of 93 competitors. Regan Macerollo and Camryn Patton tied for 48th (30.8).
Maxwell had a team-best 8.15 on vault to place 33rd of 134 participants and she and Emma Zedeker tied for 36th of 141 competitors on balance beam with a team-best 8.35. Zedeker had a team-best 7.55 on uneven bars, placing 52nd of 136 participants, and Macerollo had a team-best 8.35 on floor exercise, finishing 44th of 138 competitors.
Vicky Gomez finished 60th in the all-around (30.1).
Boys basketball team falls to Raiders
The boys basketball team lost at 10th-seeded Reynoldsburg 55-40 in the first round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 24 to finish 5-18.
The 40th-seeded Cardinals trailed 19-13 at halftime before being outscored 19-8 in the third quarter.
Kyler Block had 11 points and Julius Mallory scored eight for Thomas.
@Brad_ThisWeekAt a glance
*Record: 11-9 overall, 9-3 (tied for first) in OCC-Cardinal
*Seniors lost: Jazzlynn Gaiters, MiSharita Holt, Kelly Lewis and Maddy Miles
*Key returnees: Brooke Ackley, Breanne Beatty, Amia Samuels and Hannah Scott
*Record: Boys -- 0-13 overall, 0-10 (11th) in COHSBC-B, 0-6 (seventh) in OCC-Cardinal; Girls -- 1-12 overall, 1-9 (10th) in COHSBC-B, 0-6 (seventh) in OCC-Cardinal
*Seniors lost: Boys -- Nate Johnson and A.J. Whitlatch; Girls -- Abby Montag
*Key returnees: Boys -- Peri Kargiotis and Luka Srsic; Girls -- Samantha Haunty and Izabella Vazquez
SWIMMING & DIVING
*Finishes: Boys -- Third in OCC-Cardinal, third at sectional, 17th at district; Girls -- Third in OCC-Cardinal, second at sectional, eighth at district; did not score at state
*Seniors lost: Boys -- Jack King; Girls -- Mollie Gladden, Emily Huber, Katherine Miller and Becca Taylor
*Key returnees: Boys -- Andrei Proca, Eli Short, Grant Simeone, Sam Steele and Derek Taylor; Girls -- Maddie Holub, Peyton Hull, Maia Lin, Rachel Rinaldi and Audrey Taylor