HEATH — If anyone from Danville or Fredericktown was going to qualify for state, they were going to have to run the gauntlet on Saturday.
Danville’s Cade Mickley and Fredericktown’s Cody McGuire were up for the challenge.
The two wrestlers won three consolation matches apiece in Saturday’s Division III district meet in Heath, giving them top-4 finishes and punching their tickets to Columbus.
Mickley (132 pounds) actually won four matches on Saturday, placing him third. Mickley was in full control over West Jefferson’s Hayden Fulton throughout their third-place match as he earned an 11-3 major decision.
The match before that, a 10-5 decision over Sandy Valley’s Andrew Lidderdale in the consolation semis, was the one that gave Mickley his berth in Thursday’s state meet at the Jerome Schottenstein Center. The top four in each weight class advance.
After that match, Mickley couldn’t contain his excitement.
“He jumped up and ended up on my chest,” said Danville head wrestling coach Keith Kauffman. “He’s been there twice before, but this is the first time he made it past.”
Mickley is the lone wrestler from Danville’s inaugural season to advance to state. Andy Hammons (106) and Jamarcus Hershberger (285) both lost their first consolation matches.
Like Mickley, Fredericktown’s Cody McGuire (170) lost his final match Friday, and had to work through the consolation rounds to qualify. After winning his first two matches, McGuire took full control over Amanda-Clearcreek’s J.J. Tipton to win, 11-7, and guarantee a top-4 finish. Tipton had just lost his championship semifinal match, while McGuire was coming off a narrow 4-3 victory.