The Westland wrestling team matched last season's performance by qualifying five competitors for the Division I district tournament March 6 and 7 at Hilliard Darby.

The five qualifiers this year and last winter were the most since having eight in 2008-09.

Junior Bryson Palmer (126 pounds) and sophomores Jakob Hurley (145), Trent Jude (120) and Tyler Jude (113) made return trips to district, while senior Johnny Douglas (152) competed there for the first time.

The top four finishers in each weight class advanced to state Friday, March 13, through Sunday, March 15, at Ohio State.

Westland was seeking its first state qualifier since 2007 when Chris Brogan went 0-2 at 215.

"I was pleased with our efforts (at sectional)," second-year coach Brent Allerding said. "We thought we may be able to get a couple more qualifiers, but knew getting five would be difficult as well. It was one of the more difficult sectionals in our district and I thought we wrestled well all day. There were definitely some nerves from the guys early on, but I thought we wrestled physical, confident and had great effort."

Westland finished eighth (109) in the 12-team sectional Feb. 29 behind champion and host Upper Arlington (239).

Palmer and Hurley won titles to lead the Cougars. Palmer defeated Reynoldsburg's Luke Goeschl 2-0 and Hurley defeated UA's Mason McHugh 9-5 in their finals.

"I was very excited to win the sectional championship," Palmer said. "Coming off my (Most Outstanding Wrestler) award at Canal Winchester (on Feb. 15) and now (being a) sectional champion just makes me wonder how much further I can go. I've got amazing teammates and coaches to thank for that. They've always pushed me and made sure to go over the little things and I feel that's what really gave me the edge in some of my matches at sectional."

Trent Jude and Douglas finished third, and Tyler Jude was fourth.

Trent Jude won his third-place bout by forfeit after Mount Vernon's Rylan Firebaugh reached the match limit of five on the day.

Tyler Jude had to settle for fourth after forfeiting his third-place bout after reaching the limit of matches.

"I was pleased with how we finished the day winning all of our finals matches other than Tyler having to forfeit because of the five-match limit," Allerding said.

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