Sophomore Dez Gartrell of the Hilliard Davidson wrestling team accomplished one of his primary goals in just his third year competing in the sport.
Gartrell qualified for the Division I state tournament for the first time by placing fourth at 152 pounds in the district tournament held March 6 and 7 at Darby.
However, the state tournament, which was to be held March 13-15 at Ohio State, was postponed indefinitely March 12 and ultimately canceled March 26 by the OHSAA because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
"It's really tough because this was something that I've worked for since I've wrestled," Gartrell said. "It's been a long time coming. The goal was to make it to state and hopefully place. I can't go to state now because of the coronavirus."
Gartrell, who was the Wildcats' lone state qualifier, went 3-2 at district to finish the season 42-6. He went 5-0 in OCC-Central Division matches and shared first-team all-league honors with Marysville's Erryl Will.
"He had an awesome season," coach Chris Kline said of Gartrell, who went 0-2 at district last year at 145. "He really progressed a lot. We accomplished a goal that he wanted to accomplish. He won't get the chance to compete at state this year, but he's only a sophomore. He has a bright future."
Gartrell already is looking forward to next season.
"I'm proud of myself, I'm proud of the work I've put in," he said. "I'm just happy. I want to win state."
The Wildcats had two other district qualifiers in freshman Richard Lawrence, who went 2-2 at 182, and freshman Wyatt Moore, who went 1-2 at 120.
Moore finished 33-12 overall and went 4-1 in the OCC-Central to share first-team all-league honors with Upper Arlington's Daniel Beam and Westland's Trent Jude, while Lawrence finished 29-14 overall and went 4-1 in the league to make the second team.
Seniors Nick Lingaman (160, 9-8) and Braden Eaton (195, 14-21) both competed in a sectional Feb. 29 at Marysville and were third-team all-league.
Davidson's other sectional competitors were sophomore Quin Hopping (138, 15-22) and freshmen Josh Henderson (145, 8-22), Lance Jelen (170, 12-24), George Monroe (126, 7-22), Ethan Riegel (113, 18-17), Wyatt Sherer (106, 17-22) and Lane Sowers (132, 10-20).
"Everything is looking great," Kline said. "We have a bunch of great kids who have bought in and they're really hard-working kids. If we can't have practice, they get upset. They like wrestling. We have a bunch of kids who want to be dedicated wrestlers."
Senior Jackson Sowers (145) missed most of the season with a shoulder injury.
"I thought he was going to be a state qualifier," Kline said.