La Salle wrestlers dominate Division I district wrestling tournament

Mark D. Motz

Roll out the red carpet. Or the red wrestling mat. Several area grapplers earned a spot in the state meet after district competition this weekend.

The top four placers in each weight class compete next week for a chance at an Ohio title.

Division I (at Kettering Fairmont)

Districts proved a red-letter day for La Salle High School as the Lancers won five individual titles: freshman Tanner Spaulding (106) beat Jayden Cochran of Miamisburg, 4-3; senior Dustin Norris (126) shut out Dominic DiTullio of Mason, 5-0; senior Casey Wiles (132) defeated Conner Kleinberg of Springboro, 6-2; junior Jake Niffenegger (138) needed overtime to take out Eugene Harney of Sycamore, 4-2; Darnai Heard earned a major decision over Tim Smith of Colerain, 14-4.

Darnai Heard of La Salle takes down Colerain's Tim Smith to capture first place at 145 pounds at the OHSAA Division I District Wrestling Championships, March 6, 2021.

“La Salle was great; they really put it together,” said Mason head coach Nicholas Maffey. “They’ve got some studs and they did a great job.”

Dillon Walker (170, third) and Chase Stein (182, fourth) gave the Lancers a total of seven state qualifiers.

Maffey, meanwhile, knows about stud athletes. His senior, Owen Amburgy (182) earned his 150th career victory and 105th career pin in 1:22 against Parker Smith of Springboro.

“He’s a freak athlete,” Maffey said. “The fact that we have Owen Amburgy and Dominic DiTullio going to state is awesome. They were both ranked second in the state last year and never had the chance to compete because of COVID. This is a great opportunity for those two, especially.”

Mason's Owen Amburgy collects his first-place medal after winning the 182 pounds class title at the OHSAA Division I District Wrestling Championships, March 6, 2021

Other area district champs included Brandon Mitchell (113) of Oak Hills, who beat Hayden Hollis of Springboro, 13-6. Alex Hobbs, a senior from Little Miami, won the 160-pound class by a 13-6 decision over Braxton Lawson of Wayne. Kurt Thompson (170) of Moeller won by default against Tyler Hicks of Beavercreek.

District runners-up included Jack McCall (120) of Lebanon, DiTullio, Harney, Smith, Luke Marsh (160) of Lebanon and Aneesh Vyas (285) of Lakota West.

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