Notebook: Dublin Jerome Celtics' Austin Wagner seeks first trip to state wrestling tournament

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Jerome's Austin Wagner won his last 11 matches at 132 pounds and will take a 16-5 record into the Division I sectional tournament Feb. 27 at Upper Arlington.

Once his club wrestling team was cleared to return to action last summer following a temporary shutdown due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Austin Wagner was eager to compete and get physically stronger.  

Part of his motivation was based on setting up his final high school season with Dublin Jerome this winter.  

The senior, who qualified for the Division I district tournament each of the past two seasons at 113 pounds but now is competing at 132, and his Jerome teammates will compete Feb. 27 at the Upper Arlington sectional.  

“It’s kind of been on and off, with some good days where I have really good matches and some bad days where I’ve lost matches I shouldn’t have lost,” Wagner said. “But overall, it’s going pretty well. (The postseason is) definitely something I’ve been looking forward to. At 132, people use a lot more strength. At 113, it’s kind of about quick movements and a lot of really technical stuff, but at 132, I think strength plays a bigger role.”  

Wagner qualified for district as a sophomore but was unable to compete because of a skin issue. Then last winter, he was fifth at sectional but ended up being able to compete at district when another participant was unable to wrestle.  

He went 1-2 at district to finish 29-14 overall.  

Wagner closed this year's regular season on an 11-match winning streak and is 16-5 overall.  

The top four in each weight at sectional advance to the district tournament March 6 and 7 at Hilliard Darby, with the top four at district moving on to state March 13 and 14 at Darby.  

“Being able to qualify for districts the last two years and not being able to make it to state was kind of frustrating, especially my sophomore year when I wasn’t able to compete at district,” Wagner said. “Last year I ended up having a bad match to end my season, so this year I’m definitely trying to go to state.  

Juniors Luke Milanovich (145, 15-4), Othman Taha (160, 15-9), Brady White (182, 11-6) and Coleton Fleury (195, 17-7) also are among the wrestlers coach Matt White is optimistic about heading into the postseason.  

Last season, Taha was a district qualifier for the Celtics and White was a district qualifier for Watterson.  

The Celtics lost 39-22 to Hilliard Darby on Feb. 11 to finish 2-3 in the OCC-Cardinal Division.  

“Out of the 12 kids we do have, we have a lot of talented wrestlers and they’ve really stepped up here as of late,” White said. “They’re really hitting their stride as we come up to the sectional tournament. Austin at one point was (5-5) and he’s rattled off quite a few wins in a row. I’ve probably got five or six guys (that could qualify for district).”  

Scioto wrestling coach Adam Huddle loves this stage of the season.  

With the regular season complete, Huddle is hoping the Irish have a strong postseason despite its limited roster.  

Scioto began the season with more than 30 wrestlers but will have just eight for the 11-team Division I sectional Feb. 27 at Newark.  

“This is what we practice for all year,” Huddle said. “We make no bones about it. It’s all practice until the postseason. We’ve always said that here, and we believe in that.”  

The top four finishers in each weight class advance to district March 6 and 7, and the top four finishers at district advance to state March 13 and 14.  

Among the Celtics' top performers are senior Dylan Le (120) and freshman Ty Wilson (113). Wilson is 27-0, and Le, a two-time state qualifier, is 24-2.

Sophomore Johnathen Segura (138) has missed time with an ankle injury but has returned for the postseason, and junior Colin Sink (170) should be another district contender.  

Junior Matthew Howard (170), another district hopeful, will miss the postseason with a shoulder injury.  

“We have the toughest sectional by far,” Huddle said. “We have Teays Valley and Coffman and a lot of really good schools. It’s good. You go in, and you wrestle who’s in front of you. We have to figure it out.”  

–Frank DiRenna  

•The Coffman wrestling team also is competing in the Newark sectional.   

On Feb. 11, the Shamrocks defeated Hilliard Bradley 75-0 to finish 5-0 in the OCC-Central and capture their fifth consecutive league championship.  

Of the 13 wrestlers who qualified for Coffman to last year’s district tournament, senior Jimmy Baumann (138), juniors Ismael Ayoub (126), Mitchell Broskie (182), Rupert Moore (152), Seth Shumate (195) and Riley Ucker (heavyweight) and sophomore Rahul Raghuram (120) likely will be in the postseason lineup. Junior Dez Gartrell (160) was a state qualifier last season for Hilliard Davidson.  

Seniors Michael Blocher (220) and Casey Magyar (170) and freshmen Omar Ayoub (113), Joseph Baumann (106) and Ethan Birden (132) are other strong candidates to qualify for district.  

Coffman had seven state qualifiers last season, when the state tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

–Jarrod Ulrey  

•After competing in a sectional Feb. 12 at the Dublin Recreation Center, Jerome continued its swimming postseason Feb. 21 with Division I district competition at Bowling Green.

The top two finishers in each event automatically advanced to the state meet Feb. 26 for girls and Feb. 27, with the remaining state qualifiers being determined based on times from all district meets statewide.  

Entering the district meet as No. 1 seeds for the boys were Dean Sherrer in the 200-yard freestyle, the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay, while Sherrer was seeded second in the 500 free, Alex Davis was seeded second in the 200 individual medley and third in the 100 backstroke, Kai Van Bourgondien was seeded second in the 100 butterfly and Carson Smith was seeded third in the 100 free.  

For the girls team at district, Kelsey Cooper was seeded fourth in the 100 back and Libby Grether was seeded fifth in the 100 back.  

On Feb. 15 in the district diving meet at Jefferson Country Club, Ava Keener finished 14th (317.75) in the girls meet as the top five advanced to state. On the boys side, Jackson Byrne was 12th (340.25) and Eddie Kelly also competed as the top seven moved on to state.  

–Jarrod Ulrey  

•The defending Division I state champion Coffman girls swimming and diving team had at least one representative in all but one event at the district meet.  

Seeded first for district were Ellie Andrews in the 100 breast, Gretchen Schneider in the 500 free and the 200 medley relay, with Schneider seeded third in the 200 free, Emily Brown seeded third in the 500 free, the 200 free relay and 400 free relay both seeded third and Andrews seeded fourth in the 200 IM.  

For the boys team at district, Zac Stump was seeded first in the 500 free and 100 back, Ben Nadur was seeded third in the 100 back, the 200 medley relay was seeded fourth and Joseph Nadur was seeded fifth in the 200 IM.  

In the girls district diving meet Feb. 15 at Jefferson Country Club, Alanna Howe placed 16th (304.65) as the top five advanced to state.  

–Jarrod Ulrey  

Scioto's Colson Wenzel was seeded second in the 100 freestyle and third in the 50 free for the Division I district meet Feb. 21 at Bowling Green.

•The Scioto swimming and diving program continued its season at the district meet.  

For the boys, Colson Wenzel was seeded second in the 100 free (46.73 seconds) and third in the 50 free (21.34), Marko Gjurevski was 16th in the 500 free (5:03.31) and 24th in the 100 fly (55.78) and David Perry was 19th in the 200 individual medley (2:06.27) and 23rd in the 100 free (50.02).  

The Irish were seeded seventh in the 200 free relay (1:30.35) and ninth in the 400 free relay (3:24.43).  

For the girls, Diana Dyussemaliyeva was seeded 22nd in the 100 free (55.61).  

–Frank DiRenna 

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