The Delaware Hayes High School wrestling team had its best day of the season March 2 at the Division I district tournament, when a program-record five athletes qualified for the state tournament.
Next season, the Pacers are hoping to have their best day at state.
"We will return three state qualifiers and seven district qualifiers," co-coach Kevin Rieman said. "With this core, the sky is the limit."
Junior Corbin May and senior Jacob McCloskey placed in the state tournament held March 7-9 at Ohio State. May went 3-2 and placed seventh at 182 pounds to finish the season 37-9, and McCloskey went 3-2 and placed eighth at 195 to finish 39-15.
May defeated Perrysburg's Ethan Garee 1-0 in the first round but was pinned by eventual champion Trey Sizemore of Cincinnati LaSalle in a quarterfinal. He rebounded to beat Ryan Prusinowski of North Canton Hoover 4-2 but lost to Dublin Coffman's Lennox Wolak 11-2 before pinning Cincinnati Elder's Austin Belcher in 4 minutes, 43 seconds in the seventh-place match.
"Corbin is a two-time state qualifier who wants to work his way even higher up the podium next season, and that's a very realistic goal," Rieman said. "It is going to be an exciting year."
McCloskey lost his opening match at state 12-3 to Brecksville-Broadview Heights' Ethan Hatcher, who went on to finish third. McCloskey then defeated Olmsted Falls' Justin Jaeckin 3-1 and Canton McKinley's Micha Clemson 4-3 before losing to Dublin Scioto's Deron Pulliam 5-3 and Fremont Ross' Caleb Wood 8-2 in the seventh-place match.
"What an exciting end to a great career for Jacob," Rieman said. "He is what our program is all about. He worked hard and earned everything he got. We are so proud of him and will be telling his story to our future athletes."
Senior Zach Williams (138) and junior Mason Sutandar (170) both went 0-2 at state, while junior Emmett Cain (160) was unable to compete after failing to pass a skin test. Williams finished 37-7, Cain finished 42-13 and Sutandar, who missed a month of the season with an injury, finished 22-9.
"Although Zach fell a little short of his personal goal of placing at state, what a career he has had," said Rieman, whose team scored 10 points at state to tie for 36th behind champion Lakewood St. Edward (194.5) as 72 teams scored. "He was a three-time state qualifier and four-time district placer and we will really miss his leadership."
Williams and McCloskey were the only two seniors in Delaware's lineup.
In the district tournament held March 1 and 2 at Hilliard Darby, May finished second, Cain placed third and McCloskey, Williams and Sutandar all placed fourth, as the top four in each weight class advanced to state.
Among the other expected returnees are four district qualifiers in juniors Nathan Robinson (220, 33-16) and Zach Pokorny (heavyweight, 14-12) and sophomores Tamas Eder (106, 25-19) and Ryan Chupko (132, 9-19).
Also expected back is freshman Paolo Sferrella (126, 11-11), who was a district alternate.
"They are already itching to get back on the mat and start their training toward next year's goals," Rieman said. "After another year of training, we are so excited to see what this group accomplishes.
"Returning Corbin May, Emmett Cain and Mason Sutandar will really help push the room to new levels."
Murfield, Rohrer bowl at state tourney
Seniors Dillon Murfield and Kelsey Rohrer represented the boys and girls bowling teams, respectively, in the Division I state tournament at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Competing March 9, Murfield rolled a 598 (205-203-190) series to place 26th of 100 competitors, with the top 15 earning all-state honors.
"Dillon had a strong season and really kept his head on his shoulders," coach Darin Halstead said. "He was really throwing it well late in the season and getting to state was a great way for him to finish."
Rohrer competed March 8 and placed 45th of 104 competitors with a 511 (164-207-140).
"I struggled a bit in the first game and really fell off in the third game, but it was just an honor to be here for the second time," Rohrer said. "I'm just happy I made it as a senior. Even though I wasn't even the best bowler on my team, I made it when it counted and I tried to do the best of my ability."
Both advanced from the district tournament March 2 at HP Lanes. Murfield had the second-highest series among 106 competitors, rolling a 685, and Rohrer finished sixth of 104 participants with a 580.
Murfield competed at district as an individual, while Rohrer competed with her team.
The girls team just missed advancing to state, as the Pacers placed fourth (3,441), just 24 pins behind third-place Westerville South (3,465), which joined Westerville Central (3,785) and Big Walnut (3,629) at state.
"Missing state was tough on me as a coach and all of the girls because 24 pins was just so close," Halstead said. "Now, we'll be losing a bunch of seniors from the girls team and we'll lose the leader from an inconsistent boys team."
Rohrer was joined in the girls team's district lineup by seniors McKenzie Knodell and Alyssa Williams, junior McKenzie Cooke and freshman Hannah Halstead.