COLUMBUS – Piqua’s Averi Wiley (100) and Miami East’s Kira Cole (115) will wrestle for state titles Sunday at the first OHSAA girls state wrestling tournament, while Tippecanoe’s Emma Hanrahan (130) will finish on the podium.
The Piqua junior is on rampage at the state wrestling tournament as she advance to the finals with three dominant wins against some of the top level talent in the state.
Wiley opened with a 2:30 pin of Lorelai Megery of Mentor on Friday and then defeated Leah Willen (39-7) of Harrison in the quarterfinal on Saturday morning. Willen is still in contention for third place as she won two straight consolation matches to advance to the consolation semifinal.
In the championship semifinal match with a spot in the state finals on the line, Wiley faced Riley Banyas of Elyria, who entered the tournament with a 33-1 record. Banyas was also a three-time state placer, finishing runner-up in 2020 and 2021 and 2022.
Banyas recorded two straight pins prior to facing Wiley, but Wiley didn’t bat an eye when stepping onto the mat with so much at stake.
Wiley took the match to Banyas and eventually pinned her highly ranked opponent in 4:42 in what was a thrilling finish that brought her coaches to their feet in celebration.
The state finals begin Sunday evening at 5:15 and Wiley will face the defending state champion, Makennah Craft (32-0) of Jackson.
The Miami East sophomore is carrying on a legacy left behind by many former Lady Viking wrestlers who were trailblazers in girls wrestling. The program, which won the state team championship in 2020 – prior to being recognized as a sport by the OHSAA – has helped lead the profession of girls wrestling into what it is toady and into the future.
Cole, unbeaten at 38-0 is adding to the tradition f the program as she advanced her way into the state finals with three impressive wins at 115 pounds.
Cole won her first match on Friday via 2:28 pin of Sarah Sphon (26-19) of Minerva and followed with a 1:45 pin of Mia Hotchkiss (14-7) of Harrison in the quarterfinal Saturday morning. She then followed that up with another dominating performance with a 3:56 pin of Addison Rudolph (32-8) of Central Crossing in the seminal.
Up next with a state championship on the line for Cole is Molly Wells (31-10) of Deleware Hayes.
The Tippecanoe junior is having an unbelievable state tournament experience as she has already secured her second state medal with one more day to go.
Hanrahan opened the tournament on Friday with a 2:20 pin of Marie Nina Kim (10-7) of Columbus Academy and then faced two-time defending state champion Cassia Zammitt (15-0) of Miamisburg in the quarterfinal at 130 pounds.
Hanrahan wrestled a great match and gave Zammitt all she could handle and then some, but unfortunately she came up just short in a very close 5-3 decision.
Undeterred, Hanrahan responded with back-to-back wins in the consolation rounds – first with a 1-0 victory over Katie Palmer (24-12) of Marysville and then a 4-3 victory over Abigail Mozden (38-9) of Alliance.
Hanrahan, who improves her record to 30-9, looks to keep climbing her way up the podium on Sunday as she faces Melannia Szawranskyj (31-3) of Westerville North in the consolation semifinal.