The snow did its best to stop the Watkins Invitational, but eight of the 10 teams still managed to reach the school Saturday.
The area had two champions. Watkins’ Andrew Lieb won at 132 pounds, and Licking Valley’s Blake Owens won at 195.
“It was a crazy day with the weather,” Warriors coach Mark Kurth said. “We are glad the teams battled through the morning snow.”
Canal Winchester did not make the trip because of bad road conditions. Steubenville backed out earlier in the week because its varsity lineup has been decimated by injuries and illness. Marysville scored 209 points to take the team title with Dublin Coffman’s 196½ and Watkins’ 174 trailing.
Valley, which sent several wrestlers to the Utica Invitational, finished sixth with 129½ points with a limited roster.
Owens had three pins and a technical fall in finishing 4-0 in a class that was wrestled as a round-robin. Earning runner-up finishes were Jake Martinez (113), Ethan Fout (152) and Drew Carson (182).
“I am kind of disappointed with how we wrestled in the finals minus Blake,” Panther coach Jeremy Tate said.
Jaqui Van Meter (Hwt.) was third and Bo Redman (220) fourth for Valley. The Panthers compete against Granville in the Division II state dual team tournament Wednesday at Amanda-Clearcreek. The Licking County League tournament is ahead next Saturday at Licking Heights.
“We are not ready yet,” said Tate, who was hoping to receive a sneak peek at Steubenville before the district tournament in February
“We are not where we want to be in a couple weeks. I brought them in and said that practice has to change. The intensity has to pick up when we come in Monday, and I will be the guy to do that.”
Lieb was 5-0 with two pins and a technical fall. He beat Dublin Coffman’s Nate Longo 5-1 in the final round of pool wrestling, and he edged Morgan’s Kody Driggs 5-2 in the final.
Adding runner-up finishes for Watkins were Alex Lieb (106), Dean Marek (120) and Adam Tompkins (170). Robert Speaks (152) was third, and Dante Fair (145) and Max Boyd (160) were fourth.
“Our young kids got some good matches, and several placed in the top 4 or 5,” Kurth said.