Dublin Scioto wrestling coach Adam Huddle knows that Daniel Segura has ‘one goal in mind’ entering the Division I state tournament this weekend.
Segura, a senior, helped lead the Irish in the district tournament March 6 and 7 at Hilliard Darby, going 4-0 and finishing first at 152 pounds to become the first four-time state qualifier in program history.
Segura will be joined at state, which runs Friday, March 13, through Sunday, March 15, at Ohio State, by three teammates in seniors Deron Pulliam (182) and Donovan Hardin (heavyweight) and junior Dylan Le (113).
Segura is seeking his first state title. He finished fourth at 145 last season after placing fourth at 138 as a sophomore and going 1-2 at 132 as a freshman.
“He’s on a mission,” Huddle said. “He’s always been on a mission. He’s been on a mission to win a state title since the day I met him in about sixth grade. He’s got one goal in mind. We have to go to work. It’s one match at a time. He looks really good.”
Segura pinned Marysville’s Shaun Hill in 4 minutes, 29 seconds in the championship match at district to improve to 45-2 on the season.
“The only thing I see right now is the state tournament. That’s the only thing I’m looking for,” Segura said. “It feels good to be the first four-time state qualifier (in program history). We’re bringing the four Ds (first names of Scioto’s state qualifiers) again.”
Pulliam will be competing at state for the third time, while Le and Hardin will be making their second state appearances.
“We’re all back,” Huddle said. “It’s fantastic. We have a little bit of experience. We should be walking in there with our heads pretty high and ready to go.”
Like Segura, Le and Pulliam went 4-0 and won district titles. Le beat Upper Arlington’s Daniel Beam 11-2 in the final to improve to 35-11 on the season and Pulliam defeated Coffman’s Nick Copley 5-1 in the final to improve to 31-3.
Hardin, who is 38-10 on the season, went 3-1 and placed second at district, losing to Darby’s Bradley Weaver 4-2 in overtime in the final.
“This means a lot to me because last year I went 0-2 (at state),” Hardin said.
“This year, I’m really looking to place top five. I’m wrestling better this year because of weight control and my coaches are helping me with my under hooks and how I need to pressure and make sure I have good mat management. Everything wouldn’t have happened without my coaches.”
Also competing at district for Scioto was sophomore Matthew Howard, who went 1-2 at 145 as the top four finishers in each weight class advanced to state.
Scioto finished fourth (106.5 points) at district behind champion Coffman (174.5) as 40 teams scored.
Freshman led way for gymnastics team
Freshman Taylor Thacker led the gymnastics team, not only representing the Irish in the state individual meet Feb. 29 at Hilliard Bradley, but also becoming the first gymnast in program history to finish in the top six at state to reach the awards podium.
Thacker competed at state on floor exercise, tying for fourth (9.475) of 36 competitors. She was the program’s first state qualifier since 2010, when Paige Waugh tied for 21st on floor (8.85) and finished 33rd on vault (8.45) and Minori Minagawa tied for 25th in the all-around (34.6).
In 2009, Minagawa became the first Scioto gymnast to compete at state, tying for 25th on uneven bars (8.275).
“I’m not surprised,” coach Kristen Willms said of Thacker’s state performance. “She loves floor. She’s really good at floor and she felt really confident going in. … It’s her freshman year and it was a good experience for her to be (at state). I know moving forward she wants to be an all-arounder. We have to have goals that we can accomplish next year. For her to end on a high note is a good start for us.”
Thacker qualified for state by winning floor (9.5) at district Feb. 22 at Worthington Kilbourne.
She finished 18th in the all-around (34.0).
“I did club (gymnastics) before, so this is still stressful, but it’s not as stressful as club,” Thacker said. “This is a little surprising. I thought my scores were going to go down from club, but they’ve pretty much been the same. Floor and (balance) beam are my favorite events.”
Freshmen Elena Charria (31.575, 54th) and Kaitlyn Bassingthwaite (31.175, tied for 61st) and junior Sara Sun (28.025, 94th) also competed in the all-around at district.