HEATH, Oh. - Eleven Ohio Valley Athletic Conference wrestlers have punched their tickets to this week's Ohio Division III state wrestling meet in Columbus.
Caldwell, Harrison Central, Monroe Central and Shadyside each have two qualifers, while Martins Ferry, Steubenville Catholic and Union Local all have one representative.
The state meet begins Thursday and runs through Saturday night's championship finals. It will be held on the campus of The Ohio State University inside the Jerome Schottenstein Center.
Although there were no district champions at the Heath High School Activities Center, the Ohio Valley will be well represented at the state meet.
Harrison Central's Hunter Pizzino (132) and Martins Ferry's Jon Bodkin (285), both juniors, were district runnersup.
Pizzino dropped a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime decision to Garaway senior Jesse Blake. Each wrestler scored on an escape to force overtime at 1-1. Blake, who lost to Pizzino is overtime in the Sandy Valley sectional finals, won in the third OT on an escape.
The Huskies' junior is now 32-5.
Bodkin, meanwhile, was pinned in 1:16 by defending state champion Patrik Garren, of Columbus Bishop Ready. The Purple Riders' junior is now 40-2.
Garren improved to a very impressive 43-1, with his lone loss to defending Division II state titlist Billy Miller of Massillon Perry.
The Tigers had a pair of third-place finishers in Greg Quinn (106) and Brett Kahl (138), while the Seminoles' Tanner Potts (220) finished third and Rodney Richter (120) was fourth.
Harrison Central's Brandon White (113) and Steubenville Catholic's Leo Hermann (170) were both third, while Union Local's Matt McFarland (170) was fourth.
Caldwell's Rayner brothers - Kolby (126) and Kameron (132) - also placed fourth and third, respectively.