Girls Wrestling: Olentangy Orange Pioneers cruise to district championship

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Orange's Talia Mitchell won a district title at 189 pounds Feb. 14, helping the Pioneers capture the team championship.

The Olentangy Orange girls wrestling team had four individual champions and captured the team championship Feb. 14 in the Central/Southeast district tournament.

The host Pioneers scored 258.5 points to finish well ahead of runner-up Delaware (156) and third-place Watterson (59) as 27 teams scored.

The top four finishers in each weight class advanced to the state tournament Feb. 20 and 21 at Hilliard Davidson.

“The goal was to get as many girls through as possible,” Orange coach Brian Nicola said. “We knew if we went out and everyone did their jobs, we would be district champions. We wrestled really well with eight finalists and four champs.”

Macy Carroll (131 pounds), Ayla Castin (121), Taryn Martin (170) and Talia Mitchell (189) won titles for the Pioneers. Alicia Coleman (137), Noel Frye (150), Lucy Scheibeck (106) and Lexi Simmons (116) were runners-up.

Sara Borton (111, third), Casey Homorody (160, third) and Josephine Nickoloff (126, fourth) also qualified for state.

“We knew with the qualifier system this year that qualifying for the state tournament adds to the process,” Nicola said. “The girls can now say, ‘I’m a state qualifier now.’ ”

Also winning district championships were Watterson’s Lily Grayem (143) and Mercedes Motton (160), Upper Arlington’s Isabella DiBenedetto (116), DeSales’ Rebekah Oladukin (137) and Delaware’s Kasey Wells (106).

Also advancing to state from Delaware were Caiya Combs (121, fourth), Kelcey Dew (126, third), Aubrey Griner (131, third), Hailey Hatfield (116, fourth), Jackie Hernandez (235, third), Megan Keller (150, third), Meredith Milligan (121, second), Carman Pape (170, second), Serenity Perez (116, third), Ella Ries (189, third) and Molly Wells (111, fourth).

Olentangy Berlin’s Mia Crumb (160, second) and Aubrey Noeth (170, third) qualified for state, as did Reynoldsburg’s Gracie Straughter (111, second) and Christy Thelusma (143, fourth).

Other state qualifiers from the ThisWeek coverage area were Big Walnut’s Cali Lang (101, second), Briggs’ Melissa Foster (189, second), Central Crossing’s Addison Rudolph (101, third), Columbus East’s Ashley Santana-Sanchez (235, fourth), Gahanna’s Emily Leeseburg (101, fourth), Hilliard Bradley’s Hailey Amador (131, second), Northland’s Nahjae Alcorn (121, third) and Westerville North’s Melania Szawranskyj (126, second).

Placing fifth to become state alternates were Orange’s Emily Duval (101) and Aida Walters (143), Delaware’s Maddie Richardson (150) and Reynoldsburg’s Cassidy Gall (131).

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen