(Posted March 15, 2023)
By Pat Donahue, Staff Photographer/Writer
Seven wrestlers from Madison County competed at the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s (OHSAA) boys’ and girls’ state wrestling tournament held March 10-12 at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus. All seven hail from Jonathan Alder. Four made the podium.
This year’s tourney marked a return trip to state for senior Oliver Byerly. Last year, Byerly placed third in the Div. II 150-pound class. This year, he moved up two weight classes to 165 pounds, where he took three wins on his way to the finals where he faced Graham Local junior Gunner Cramblett. The match went the distance, with Cramblett taking the 5-4 victory and the championship title. Byerly placed second.
In his first trip to the big show, senior Xavier Pierce won four of his six matches to place fifth overall in the Div. II 126-pound class. He qualified for state with a runner-up finish in the district tournament a week earlier.
Junior Dom Kroninger won three of his six matches at state to place sixth overall in the Div. II 285-pound class.
Also making the podium for Jonathan Alder was junior Ava Ater, who won four of her six matches to place fifth overall in the 120-pound class of the girls’ tournament.
This year is the first time OHSAA has held a girls’ state wrestling tournament. The Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association hosted girls’ state tournaments for three years prior to this year. Last year, Ater placed fifth in the coaches’ association state tourney.
Other Jonathan Alder wrestlers who competed at state this year but did not place include sophomore Anthony Kroninger. Anthony won one match in the Div. II 175-pound class, finishing his season with a 41-11 record.
Senior Damon Hay qualified for state in the 215-pound class with a runner-up finish in the district tournament. He had one win at state and finished the season with a 28-12 record.
Senior Alahna Levasseur was a state placer in last year’s coaches’ association girls’ state tourney. At this year’s OHSAA tourney, she won one match in the 140-pound class. The highlight of her tourney was a 53-second pin over Callie Farmer of Latham Western. Levasseur finished the season with a 27-7 record.