Columbus Academy wrestler Gyvnn Mendenhall was looking forward to competing in his first Division III state tournament.

The sophomore was coming off a second-place finish at district March 7 at Heath and was hoping to reach the awards podium at state with a top-eight finish.

The state tournament, which was scheduled for March 13-15 at Ohio State, was postponed and later canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

"It stinks that state had to be canceled because I was very excited to wrestle, but it's understandable why things are the way they are," Mendenhall said.

The state tournaments for girls basketball and hockey and the regional tournament for boys basketball also were called off.

"It's just one of those things. You have to take it in stride and do the best you can, and that's pretty much what I tell the kids all the time," coach Paul Bukky said. "You can't worry about it. You can't complain about it. I can tell (Mendenhall) is disappointed."

Mendenhall entered state at 41-5 and was hoping to become the program's first state placer since 2003, when Scott Smith won the title at 189.

Mendenhall was Academy's first state qualifier since 2018, when Josh Pearson went 1-2 at 220.

Last season, Mendenhall went 2-2 at district at 195. He is 64-11 for his career.

"Next season the expectations will be even higher, so I have to be ready for everyone because I really don't have a choice," he said.

Mendenhall accounted for all of Academy's 24 points at district -- the Vikings tied Frankfort Adena for 22nd behind champion Marion Pleasant (132.5) -- after he won a sectional title Feb. 29 at Moral Ridgedale.

He also was first-team all-MSL-Ohio Division.

"He had a great season," Bukky said. "He qualified for state. That's the ultimate goal for kids. They want to go as far as they can go in their sport. He's one of the top 16 in his division. He was probably at least a (state) placer. ... He's a great kid. He's so resilient."

Also at sectional, freshman Tiko Bdoyan placed fifth at 132 to become a district alternate. He finished 30-5.

Other sectional competitors were juniors Max Nanda at 126 (14-30), Chris Sugar at 145 (30-13) and Ethan Stahl at 182 (23-17), sophomore Chase Chavarria at 220 (11-14) and freshman Zech Kim at 152 (14-21).

Kim, Stahl and Sugar were second-team all-league.

Sam Lichten (220), the lone senior on the team, missed the season with a back injury.

Juniors Will Duncan (152, upper arm) and Keir Gorospe (138, elbow) and sophomore Zara Syed (113, concussion) missed time with injuries.

"I always wonder what it would be like if I had a full team and I had some more talented kids," Bukky said. "The four or five kids we have are pretty talented. They're good kids, they work hard and they give you everything that they have, so I'm pleased with the season."

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