Four Alder wrestlers make podium at state tourney

Jonathan Alder senior Oliver Byerly (right) takes on Graham Local junior Gunner Cramblett in the finals in the Div. II 165-pound weight class at the state wrestling tournament. Cramblett took the victory and the state title. Byerly was runner-up.

(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.

Jonathan Alder senior Xavier Pierce (left) wrestles his way to a 7-2 win over Tecumseh junior Cade O’Banion at the state wrestling tournament. Pierce ended up placing fifth overall in the Div. II 126-pound weight class.

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.

Jonathan Alder junior Dom Kroninger (top) takes a pin over New Richmond senior Billy Foster at the state wrestling tournament. Dom placed 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.

Jonathan Alder junior Ava Ater (top) wrestles her way to a 13-4 major decision over Licking Valley freshman Adison Justice at the state tournament. Ater ended up placing fifth overall in the 120-pound class of OHSAA’s inaugural girls’ 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.

Jonathan Alder sophomore Anthony Kroninger (top) starts off his first state tournament with a 12-2 victory over Alliance Marlington junior Quinton Hancox. The two faced off in the Div. II 175-pound class. It would be Anthony’s only win of the tourney.
Jonathan Alder senior Damon Hay (left) takes on senior Terrance Davis of Pepper Pike Orange in the Div. II 215-pound class at the state wrestling tournament. Hay won the matchup, 3-1.
Jonathan Alder senior Alahna Levasseur (top) competes against senior Madeline Meyers of Toledo Start in the third round of competition at the state wrestling tournament in the 140-pound class. Meyers took the victory 5-0.
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