Like many high school wrestlers, Big Walnut High School junior Bailey Munday has a regular routine to get himself prepared for a match.
"I like to use music to just focus on one thing so I'm not all over the place," he said. "That's something that I always try to stick to. Last year, my pre-match routine at (the Division I) district (tournament) got messed up."
This year was much different.
A state alternate last season, Munday went 5-1 and placed third at 120 pounds in the district tournament March 3 and 4 at Hilliard Darby to earn a state berth. The top four finishers in each weight class advanced to the state tournament held March 9-11 at Ohio State.
After pinning Olentangy Orange's Rocco Torio in 1 minute, 19 seconds in his opening match, Munday lost to eventual champion Gio DiSabato of Hilliard Davidson by major decision, 17-5. He bounced back to win his next four matches, pinning Upper Arlington's Joey Orlando in 2:32 and beating Marysville's Regi Reed 11-3 and Mount Vernon's Cameron Farmer 7-2 before pinning Whetstone's Justin Rodriguez in 2:37 in the third-place match.
The win over Farmer clinched Munday's state berth.
"(Farmer is) tall and lanky, and I'm shorter and stocky, so I was a little bit concerned going in because of that," said Munday, who was 45-6 entering state. "But since I had beaten him three times before, I was pretty confident."
Munday found his favorite spot on the mat against Rodriguez.
"When I get on top, my biggest thing is breaking the person mentally," Munday said. "I was running an arm bar, putting my head into his shoulder. It hurt so much ... that I was able to stick him."
Also competing at district were junior Cole Foster, who went 1-2 at 138 to finish 32-13, and sophomore Levi Piceno, who went 0-2 at 113 to finish 11-13.
Big Walnut scored 22 points to tie Mifflin for 22nd behind champion Olentangy Liberty (236.5) as 42 teams scored.
state bowling tourney
Kaitlyn Morrison made history for the girls bowling team by becoming its first state qualifier.
The sophomore rolled a 571 (177-220-174) series in the district tournament March 3 at Sawmill Lanes to tie for 10th of 133 competitors and earn the fourth and final individual state berth.
The state tournament was March 10 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
"I think it finally all clicked together," Morrison said. "It wasn't my best series. I was a little worried about my last game because I didn't think it was high enough to qualify, but it ended up working out."
Morrison was the girls team's only district competitor.
"She's really gotten consistent with her spares down the stretch," said coach Scott Morrison, Kaitlyn's father. "She's a really confident bowler right now, and she's even-keeled out there."
The boys team was represented at district by sophomore Jack Belcher, who bowled a 534 (168-184-182) to place 73rd of 127 competitors, and sophomore Johnny Lemaster, who rolled a 470 (132-167-171) to tie for 95th.
"It was really an off day for them," coach Morrison said.
Logan's Austin Huffines (646) was the fourth and final individual state qualifier.
by injury at state
Three-time state-qualifier Mary Dimitroff had an additional opponent to contend with during the individual state gymnastics meet March 4 at Hilliard Bradley: a sprained ankle.
The injury, suffered in the days leading up to the state meet, kept the junior from competing in the all-around.
"I really don't know what happened," Dimitroff said. "I just rolled it and it popped. I told my coach I wasn't going to go get it checked until after states, just in case it would prevent me from competing in (the uneven) bars and vault."
Big Walnut's only state qualifier, Dimitroff placed 35th on bars (7.5) and tied for 19th on vault (9.075).
"I know several people got injured in our district, so it's just unfortunate to see that happen to people who would've placed at state," she said.
At district Feb. 25 at Thomas Worthington, Dimitroff was runner-up on vault (9.15), placed sixth (8.75) on bars and finished seventh in the all-around (35.0) as the top nine finishers in each advanced to state.