The Miami Trace Panthers wrestling team has done it again.
The Panthers won their third consecutive Sectional championship Saturday in a long, all-day, two-session meet held at Washington High School.
The Panthers rolled up 276 team points for the first-place finish.
Miami Trace had eight Sectional champions out of 13 competitors.
The Panthers have a total of 12 District qualifiers.
The Washington Blue Lions had one Sectional champion and have a total of nine District qualifiers.
For the Panthers, Corbin Melvin (106), Weston Melvin (126), Riston LeBeau (132), Asher LeBeau (145), Mcale Callahan (152), Graham Carson (170), Jayden LeBeau (182) and Bryce Bennett (195) are Sectional champions.
Vincent Munro placed second at 160 pounds and Luke Anders was second at 220 pounds.
Aiden Johnson placed third for the Panthers at 138 pounds.
For the Blue Lions, junior Branton Dawes became just the second wrestler from Washington High School to be a three-time Sectional champion, taking the title at 120 pounds.
The other three-time Sectional champion for Washington was Paul Gryniuk.
Austin Cottrell was second at 126 pounds, Ian Roush placed second at 132 pounds, Brayden Kettles took second at 182 pounds, Zaigne Fettig was third at 145, Connor Day was third at 152, Jarad Kuhn was third at 170, Mason Mustain was third at 285 and Brady Rohrer was fourth at 220 pounds.
Wrestlers who place first through fourth at the Sectional qualify to the District tournament, which will be held this year at Gallia Academy High School Friday and Saturday.
To qualify to the State tournament, a wrestler must place in the top four at the District meet.
Washington has three District alternates (fifth-place finishers); Jenna Kuhn at 113, Coty Brown at 138, Zyon Wilson at 160 and Charles Souther at 195 pounds.
“This is the moment of the season when we try to really wrestle at our highest level,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Fondale said. “I would say this is the best we’ve wrestled all year, which is the plan, to wrestle the best at the end of the year when it really starts to matter at an individual level.
“We saw a lot of seniors step up at the Sectional,” Fondale said. “We had Mcale Callahan, champion; Graham Carson, champion; Titus Lehr, runner-up. Titus had a really good tournament; he ended up beating a kid in the semifinals that had beaten him previously. Luke Anders, another senior, was a runner-up.
“It was a real good effort from our upperclassmen, from our senior leaders,” Fondale said. “We also had some underclassmen step up. They were supporting each other throughout the tournament. We had a really good week of practice leading up to the Sectional; the guys were really getting after it at practice.”
In the morning session, which carried over into the afternoon, the Panthers had four champions: Corbin Melvin, 106; Weston Melvin, 126; Riston LeBeau, 132 and Asher LeBeau, 145. The Panthers did not have a wrestler at 120 pounds.
Aiden Johnson placed third at 138 pounds.
“Riston LeBeau probably wrestled the best he’s wrestled all year,” Fondale said. “This is his first Sectional title.
“Aiden was dealing with an injury a couple of weeks back, but he was able to recover and have a good week of practice and become a District qualifier,” Fondale said. “Freshman Asher LeBeau was a champion at 145; he had a good tournament.”
The Blue Lions had one Sectional champion, junior Branton Dawes in the morning session at 120 pounds. In the championship match, Dawes pinned a former State-qualifier from Logan Elm High School.
Washington had two second place finishers in the morning session: Austin Cottrell, 126 and Ian Roush, 132.
In the afternoon session, Washington had one second place result: Bryden Kettles at 182.
Washington had four team members place third in Zaigne Fettig, 145; Connor Day, 152; Jarad Kuhn, 170 and Mason Mustain, 285.
Brady Rohrer was fourth at 220 and Jenna Kuhn, 113; Coty Brown, 138; Zyon Wilson, 160 and Charles South, 195 placed fifth, becoming District alternates.
“For Connor Day, a sophomore, he is now a two-time District qualifier,” Washington head coach Louis Reid said. “Jarad Kuhn is now a two-time District qualifier. This is the first District qualification for Brayden Kettles.
“Brady Rohrer, a freshman, is a District qualifier,” Reid said. “Mason Mustain is now a three-time District qualifier.
“Zyon Wilson, a senior, was fifth at 160,” Reid said. “Freshman Charles Souther at 195 placed fifth.
“Austin Cottrell, placed second,” Reid said. “Sophomore Ian Roush became a two-time District qualifier. Zaigne Fettig, a sophomore, became a District qualifier. He’s probably had our biggest improvement of the year. He didn’t win any matches last year and this year, he’s a District qualifier.
“Junior Jenna Kuhn is a District alternate and Coty Brown is a District alternate at 138,” Reid said.
“Mason Mustain got his 100th career win today,” Reid said. “He joined Dawes as the two active members of the Blue Lion team with 100 or more career wins.
“We wanted to qualify everybody,” Reid said. “Last year, we had 12 District qualifiers, this year we have nine. Plus, we have four alternates. I’m a little disappointed we finished third. Our goal was to be in the top two. In the very last match, Fairfield Union broke the tie with us to finish second.
“Still, overall, we’re a young team,” Reid said. “Zyon Wilson and Jarad Kuhn are the only seniors in our line-up.”