WRESTLING: Martin advances to state meet

MARION — Wapakoneta Redskins junior J.T. Martin took another step forward in his quest for a state wrestling championship.

Martin qualified for the state meet thanks to his third-place finish at the district meet Saturday in Marion.

The top four finishers in each district advanced to the state tournament, which starts Thursday at Value City Arena on the campus of the Ohio State University in Columbus.

Martin won his first two matches in the 106-pound weight class by pin and a technical fall, respectively, before falling in the semifinals to eventual second-place finisher Jude Michel, of Edison.

Martin bounced back to post a 1-0 decision over Toledo Central Catholic’s Matt Pool — who he beat 3-2 in the sectional final last week — in the third-place bout.

Eli Stickley, from perennial wrestling power Graham, won the 106 district title.

Redskins 138-pounder Nate Valentine was the only other Wapak wrestler to place.  He narrowly missed a state bid at fifth.

Valentine posted a pair of decisions before eventual runner-up Cameron Campbell, of Perkins, knocked him off with a 9-2 decision in the semifinal.

Then, in the consolation semis, Oak Harbor’s Luke Cramer topped Valentine with a 5-1 decision.  Valentine then bested Edison’s Tyler Majoy with a 5-3 decision in the fifth-place bout.

Holden Hengstler (170 pounds) won his first bout, pinning Norwalk’s Ahmad Silmi in 1:00.  But he lost his next two by pin and a decision.

Nick Warner (285 pounds) opened with a loss and bounced back with a win in his first consolation match before falling to Perkins’ Jervaughn Eppse in a 3-2 decision.

Colton Brown (195 pounds) and Dallas Ambos (126) both lost in two matches.