Looking for a second consecutive berth to the Division I state tournament, Worthington Kilbourne senior wrestler Jay Thompson entered this week as a long shot to compete Friday, March 13, through Sunday, March 15, at Ohio State.
Thompson went 3-3 and placed sixth at 220 pounds in the district tournament March 6 and 7 at Hilliard Darby, making him an alternate for state. The top four finishers in each weight class at district advanced to state, so two of those competitors would have to miss the tournament for Thompson to compete.
Also competing at district for the Wolves were sophomore Iain Rojas (152, 1-2) and senior Sean Hoffman (138, 0-2).
Coming off a third-place finish in a sectional Feb. 29 at Marysville, Thompson began district with a 3-0 win over Darby's Blayne Barnes and a 5-3 overtime loss to Dublin Coffman's Riley Ucker.
He then defeated Upper Arlington's Jake Badgeley 6-3 and Olentangy Berlin's Matt Kirsop 5-2 before losing to Dublin Jerome's Joe Huber 8-6 and Olentangy Liberty's Kaden Tong 5-3 in the fifth-place match.
Thompson, who will wrestle at the University of Indianapolis, went 0-2 at 220 last season at state.
"He did a lot of good things for our program," coach Jose Martinez said. "He still has more wrestling to do down the road and he's accomplished a lot this season."
Coming off a fourth-place finish at sectional, Rojas lost a 9-5 decision to Berlin's Israel Foston in the first round of district but rebounded the next day to win 7-2 over Coffman's Erik Arndt in the first consolation round. He then lost to Gahanna's Paulo Dragin 8-4 in the second consolation round.
"I feel like I wrestled well," Rojas said. "I just need more practice in finishing and executing in matches."
"We're going to build around (Rojas) the next couple of years; he's the man," Martinez said. "Hopefully he'll take this experience and realize, 'hey I was 1-2. A couple more matches, I might have been able to go to state.' "
Nursing a right knee injury, Hoffman lost both matches at district after placing fourth at sectional.
"He was behind the eight-ball as far as trying to get by that injury," Martinez said. "But he hadn't ever made it this far, and he was definitely happy to make it here. I think had he been a little bit healthier, things would have been a little bit better."
Kilbourne finished 31st (8) at district behind champion Coffman (174.5).
Girls bowlers wrap up season
The girls bowling team concluded its season by finishing 14th (2,620) in the Division I district tournament Feb. 29 at HP Lanes behind champion Westerville Central (3,599). Freshman Delaney Rossette rolled a 494 three-game series to lead the Wolves and finish 15th of 108 bowlers. Freshman Brenna Burrell (62nd, 394), junior Grace Meisel (73rd, 340) and sophomore Ellie Needleman (77th, 297) also rolled three games.
Junior Connor Burke was the lone representative for the boys team at district, finishing with a 519 to place 42nd of 109 bowlers.
Rossette was first-team all-OCC-Cardinal, while Burrell received third-team honors.
Burke was second-team all-OCC-Cardinal, helping the boys win the league title at 6-1.
Sophomore Samuel Knuth, senior Kerim Pintol and junior Cole Niemantsverdriet were third-team all-league.