And then there were four.
After 10 Delaware County wrestlers earned the right to compete in the Ohio High School State Wrestling Tournament, just four authored first-round wins to keep their championship hopes alive.
For Olentangy seniors Trevor Fiorucci (126-pound weight class) and Bryan Young (285), and the Liberty duo of seniors Roy Daniels (160) and Luke Fleming (285) — all four competing at the Division I level — the dream of reaching the top of the podium is still alive.
Fiorucci, who looks to be in good shape to, at the very least, place for the fourth straight year, opened his tournament with a convincing 6-0 win over Mason’s Jorge Gonzalez — the fourth seed from the Fairfield District.
Daniels had to battle a bit more to punch his ticket to the championship quarterfinals, outlasting Massillon Perry’s Josh Arrendale 6-5 in what was a back-and-fourth battle.
Fleming and Young, meanwhile, won their matches in the heavyweight division with relative ease. Fleming pinned Jon Neihaus in 2:27 while Young muscled past Cincinnati Northwest’s Ameer Daniels by an impressive 9-5 margin.
Looking ahead to today’s championship quarters, Fiorucci will take on North Royalton’s Anthony Trunzo, a 9-4 winner of Wadsworth’s Brandon Jones; Daniels will square off against Beavercreek’s Nick Corba, a 1-0 winner over Medina Highland’s Lazar Vilimonovic; Fleming will go up against Wadsworth’s Nick Tavanello, who pinned Twinsburg’s Willie Williams in just 40 seconds in his first-round match; and Young will take on Canton Glen Oak’s Derrick Everett, a 2-1 winner over Brunswick’s Tim Reagen.
Delaware Hayes’ Seth McCurdy (126), Liberty’s Jake Ryan (138) and Olentangy’s Alex Stinemetz kept their hopes of climbing onto the podium alive, each picking up wins in the consolation bracket after opening the tournament with tough losses.
McCurdy lost a first-round thriller, falling 3-2 to Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller’s Tyler Ziegler — the top seed from the Fairfield District. He followed it up with an impressive 10-5 win over North Canton Hoover’s Sam Wakser, though, to keep his senior season alive.
Ryan did the same, falling to Massillon Perry’s Mitch Newhouse via a last-second reversal before outlasting Fairfield’s Adam Sams 2-1 in consolation action.
Stinemetz, meanwhile, lost to Hamilton’s Jake Venable 3-2 before pinning Oregon Clay’s Jarred Gray in just 22 seconds to advance to the consolation quarterfinals.
Olentangy senior Anthony Fosco (145) was also in action, dropping each of his two matches, both competitive battles.
In Division II action, Buckeye Valley sophomore Dashawn Haynes saw a positive start turn into a scary finish to his first experience at the state showcase.
Competing in the 126-pound division, Haynes scored early in his opening-round match, going up 2-0 via a takedown of Circleville’s Tyler Knul. Knul pinned Haynes early in the second period, though, injuring him in the process. Haynes fell to the mat awkwardly, and didn’t get up after the pin was made. Suffering from an apparent neck injury, although able to move his arms and legs, Haynes was stabilized for precautionary reasons, then taken off the mat via a stretcher and later taken to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.
He was unable to compete in his consolation match later in the evening. No other updates were available at press time.