As Grove City High School wrestling coach Jay DiMasso studied the Division I sectional tournament Feb. 25 at Marysville, he projected his team could qualify at least seven competitors for district.
DiMasso correctly analyzed the brackets, as the Greyhounds will have seven wrestlers competing Friday, March 3, and Saturday, March 4 at Hilliard Darby.
The top four finishers in each weight class will advance to state March 9-11 at Ohio State.
"After we saw our draw, we thought if all things go well, we're going to get seven (to district)," DiMasso said. "It happened, (as) every kid that was seeded to get out got out. ... It's an exciting time. The kids are excited. They're pumped up. (Sectional) was a good day for them."
Grove City did not have any sectional champions, but four wrestlers -- seniors Tanner Kennaw (170 pounds) and Dane Whittier (heavyweight), sophomore Hunter Barker (152) and freshman Blake Stevens (113) -- were runners-up. The top four finishers in each weight class advanced.
Whittier, who went 0-2 last season at district, was pinned by Dublin Coffman's Ben Frye in 21 seconds in the sectional final.
DiMasso was pleased with Whittier's draw for district and believes he has a solid chance to earn his first state berth. Whittier is 38-5 overall.
"Dane has a really good draw," DiMasso said. "It's the most ideal scenario for Dane. He has to go out there and wrestle and leave it on the mat, but he's lined up in the matchups that he can win or has already won in the past. We know his pathway to the final is reality."
Kennaw went 0-2 at district as a sophomore before missing last season with a knee injury. He was pinned by Coffman's Lennox Wolak in 5:21 in the sectional final and is 34-9.
"We have to have good practices this week, good preparation, eat right and stay on weight," Kennaw said of the keys to qualifying for state. "Getting help from my teammates is going to be something I'm really going to need. Hopefully some of the guys that maybe didn't make it they could come back and give us some good looks during practice."
Barker, who is 22-10, advanced to a sectional final before losing to Marysville's Tyler Bates 16-1. Stevens, who is 28-12, lost to Hilliard Davidson's Micah Dusseau 24-9 in his final.
Also advancing to district were senior Andy Beatty at 120 (third, 17-6), sophomore Justin Swavely at 132 (third, 33-9) and junior Tanner Stevens at 220 (fourth, 33-7).
Last season, Tanner Stevens was 0-2 at district at 182.
The Greyhounds finished fifth (134 points) of 11 teams at sectional behind champion Marysville (244.5).
"We were successful as a team," Kennaw said. "We brought 12 and we have seven qualifiers."
Boys basketball team
to face Olentangy
The boys basketball team will play host to 26th-seeded Olentangy in a Division I district tournament second-round game Friday, March 3.
The 17th-seeded Greyhounds had a first-round bye and are 11-11. They have not played Olentangy, which defeated 12th-seeded Westerville North 71-68 in the first round Feb. 25.
The winner plays 11th-seeded Dublin Jerome or 18th-seeded Coffman in a semifinal Wednesday, March 8, at a neutral site to be announced. Grove City did not play Jerome or Coffman this season.
The district final is March 11 at Ohio Dominican.
Girls basketball team
earns tournament win
The girls basketball team advanced to a Division I district semifinal with a 61-45 win over visiting Canal Winchester on Feb. 21.
The 15th-seeded Greyhounds were 14-9 before playing third-seeded and OCC-Ohio Division rival Pickerington Central on March 1.
The winner plays sixth-seeded Hilliard Bradley or 12th-seeded Thomas Worthington in a district final Saturday, March 4, at Ohio Dominican. Grove City did not play Bradley or Thomas during the regular season.
The district champion plays in a regional semifinal Tuesday, March 7, at Otterbein against Big Walnut, Coffman, Pickerington North or Westerville South. In OCC-Ohio play, the Greyhounds lost to North 58-57 on Dec. 6 and 61-40 on Jan. 20.
The regional final is March 10 at Otterbein.
Against 22nd-seeded Canal Winchester, Gina Conti scored 24 points, Erin Kilmurry had 14 and Molly Michalak added 11.
season at district
The gymnastics team closed its season in the 23-team district meet Feb. 25 at Thomas, finishing 14th (124.025) behind state-qualifiers Thornville Sheridan (138.65), Olentangy (137.425) and Dresden Tri-Valley (135.825).
In addition to the top three teams advancing to the state team meet Friday, March 3, at Bradley, the top nine individuals in each event and the all-around advanced to the state individual meet Saturday, March 4, at Bradley.
Freshman Anna Stoll led the Greyhounds at district, placing 21st of 90 gymnasts in the all-around with a score of 33.1. She tied for 17th on uneven bars (8.2), finished 18th on balance beam (8.6), tied for 30th on floor exercise (8.45) and tied for 47th on vault (7.85).
Also in the all-around, sophomore Kaelyn Kuder tied for 53rd (30.425), junior Macy Mills was 60th (29.925), sophomore Morgan Lemponen was 62nd (29.75) and freshman Bailey Bennett was 69th (28.7).
Junior Rylie Sines competed on floor and beam.
Others eligible to return are juniors Lauren Andrews and Cailin Wright.
"They have the commitment," coach Mark Hartley said. "In high school gymnastics, this is their offseason, so it's up to them whether they come in and put the time in to work out or not. It's not like club gymnastics where you go year-round."
Grove City went 4-3 in OCC-Central duals and finished fourth in the league with 20 points, behind Marysville (32, 7-0), UA (28, 6-1) and Davidson (24, 5-2) and ahead of Central Crossing (16, 3-4), Coffman (10, 2-5), Westland (10, 1-6) and Franklin Heights (4, 0-7).