CANAL WINCHESTER — The Washington Blue Lion wrestling team competed in its last regular season tournament Saturday, Feb. 15 at Canal Winchester High School.
The Blue Lions placed second out of 22 teams.
Branton Dawes went 4-0 on the day, pinning his way through his opponents to win the 120-pound weight class. Dawes now has 43 wins on the season.
Three Blue Lions — Ian Roush (106), Collier Brown (220) and Mason Mustain (285) — placed second.
Roush went 3-1 in the tournament. He leads all Blue Lion freshmen with 24 wins.
Brown went 3-1, picking up two pins, to improve his win total to a career-best 35.
Mustain (3-1 on the day with three pins) lost to a wrestler that was 8th at state in a close match in the finals and has a career best 36 wins.
Bryce Warner (113) went 3-1, placing fifth. Warner now has a career best 21 wins.
Three Blue Lions placed sixth in the tournament.
Freshman Connor Day (152) now has 20 wins.
Senior Chase Sluder (195) is coming on strong, Washington head coach Louis Reid said.
“Chris Nichols, our back-up heavyweight, wrestled really well,” Reid said. “(I’m) proud of his effort.
“This was our last regular season tournament,” Reid said. “It was a good tune-up for our wrestlers. We did not fill four weight classes but were still able to finish second out of 22 teams. Pickerington North edged us out by five points so we were a little upset by the fact we didn’t win the title.
“We had one champion at every tournament and we finished 9-7 in dual meets,” Reid said. “Considering we have a team with only three seniors and all underclassmen — mostly freshman and sophomores and two juniors — we are doing really well.
“We still have some areas to improve on, like our match management if we want to win FAC titles and move forward towards State,” Reid said. “We will work on that this week in practice.”
The Blue Lions will host the Frontier Athletic Conference tournament Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Washington High School will host a Division II Sectional tournament Saturday, Feb. 29 starting at 10 a.m.
Teams taking part in the Sectional will be: Circleville, Fairfield Union, Hillsboro, Logan Elm, McClain, Miami Trace, Unioto, Washington and Waverly.
The top four wrestlers in each weight class advance to the District tournament scheduled for March 6 and 7 at Claymont High School.
Wrestlers who place in the top four at Claymont will qualify to State. The State tournament runs March 13-15 at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.
Record-Herald Sports Editor Chris Hoppes contributed to this report.