NORWALK – Nine Wauseon wrestlers advanced to the state tournament as the Indians ran away with the Division II district championship at Norwalk Saturday.
“Taking 9 guys is awesome from our program,” said Wauseon coach Mike Ritter. “Our previous high for state qualifiers was 7, which we accomplished last year and in 1996. Now, those 9 guys will have a chance to help us take home a team trophy in addition to some individual hardware this weekend.”
Six Wauseon wrestlers won district titles on Saturday.
Gavin Ritter started things off for the Indians at 113 pounds by topping Jimmy Balazy of Padua Franciscan 7-3 in the final. Alex Slattman followed that with a pin of Jimmy Pelland of Napoleon in just 49 seconds to claim the 120 pound title. Nolan Ray completed a run of three straight Wauseon titles with a 14-6 major decision over Jake Bartinelli of Medina Buckeye at 126 pounds.
The other three Wauseon individual champions also came in a run of three. Gage Grunden topped Collin Mell of Lima Bath by an 11-2 major decision at 145 pounds.
Sandro Ramirez defeated Zach Altman of Napoleon 16-10 at 152 pounds. At 160 pounds, Xavier Torres beat Ethan Hernandez of Norwalk 4-1 to claim the title.
Hunter Yackee placed second, falling to Caden Blust of Tiffin Columbian 3-2 in the 132 pound final.
“It was great to have 7 guys in the district finals and end up with 6 champs,” said Coach Ritter. “It was difficult to watch Hunter Yackee give up a last second reversal to lose his finals match, but he’ll still move on and be able to compete at his fourth state tournament.”
Two Indians placed third and will also advance to state – Mauricio Barajas at 138 pounds and Trent Davis at 170 pounds.
Also, Aaron Harris placed sixth at 195 pounds for Wauseon.
“I was very pleased with our team’s performance at the district tournament this weekend,” the coach said. “Our goal was to get all 13 to the state tournament, but we knew that would be a tough challenge. Regardless, even the kids who did not qualify, battled hard, won matches and were contributors to a team district title.”
The 81st Ohio state tournament runs Thursday through Saturday at the Schottenstein Center at Ohio State University. Division II wrestling begins at 4:10 p.m. on Thursday.
Team Scores (top 10)
1. Wauseon 242.5; 2. Buckeye 104.0; 3. Padua Franciscan 90.0; 4. Napoleon 76.5; 5. Perkins 74.5; 6. Wapakoneta 74.0; 7. Sandusky 66.0; 8. Norwalk 64.0; 9. Upper Sandusky 58.5; 10. Bay 56.0.
First Place Matches
106: Payton Burgdorf (Firelands) maj. dec. Jake Manley (Otsego) 13-2. 113: Gavin Ritter (Wauseon) dec. Jimmy Balazy (Padua Franciscan), 7-3. 120: Alex Slattman (Wauseon) p. Jimmy Pelland (Napoleon), 0:49. 126: Nolan Ray (Wauseon) maj. dec. Jake Bartinelli (Buckeye), 14-6. 132: Caden Blust (Columbian) dec. Hunter Yackee (Wauseon), 3-2. 138: Mike Clark (Buckeye) p. Isaiah Bretz (Van Wert), 2:40. 145: Gage Grunden (Wauseon) maj. dec. Collin Mell (Bath), 11-2. 152: Sandro Ramirez (Wauseon) dec. Zach Altman (Napoleon), 16-10. 160: Xavier Torres (Wauseon) dec. Ethan Hernandez (Norwalk), 4-1. 170: Lucas Salmon (Perkins) dec. Brahm Ginter (Shelby), 4-2. 182: Noah Clary (Upper Sandusky) maj. dec. Ryan Haas (Maumee), 13-3. 195: Matthew Cover (Bay) maj. dec. Justin Ocheltree (Keystone), 11-0. 220: Evan Kaeck (Wapakoneta) p. Brandon Phillips (Maumee), 5:28. 285: Brenan Knueve (Wapakoneta) dec. A.J. Adams (Lexington), 6-3.
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