The London High School wrestling team put together a strong showing by finishing second at the Licking Heights Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 11.
The Red Raiders had two wrestlers earn championships and another six place in their respective weight classes as the team placed second out of the 16 squads competing, including three teams that will compete in the fast-approaching Mid-State League Ohio Division championship meet.
London’s 162 points were second to champion Westerville North (304.5). The Raiders did manage to stay ahead of Liberty Union (119), Whitehall (118.5), Licking Heights (111), Hamilton Township (98), Groveport (96), Brookhaven (84.5), Grandview (76), Zanesville (73), Marion Franklin (69.5), Bishop Watterson (69.5), Bexley (45.5), Independence (25), Heath (18) and Briggs (nine).
Garrett Blackburn rolled through his 132-pound weight class to earn the championship. He went 5-0 in the two-day event which included a 14-6 victory, a pair of pins, a 10-2 major decision over a wrestler from Liberty Union in the semifinal and a 3-0 decision over Don Didion of Westerville North in the final.
Owen Shoemaker also earned topped honors in his weight class (170). His first three matches were all first-round pins, but he was forced to work in the final against Jake Hinz of Westerville North, ultimately grinding out a 10-8 win.
Harley Threlkeld (195) and Roger Pack (220) both reached championship matches in their respective weight classes but were forced to settle for second-place finishes. Pack was stopped 6-3 by Andy Struttman of Westerville North and Threlkeld was pinned by North’s Nick Kramer in 3:17.
Jose Velasco was third at 113 with a 6-3 win over Branham Kipruto of Whitehall in the third-place match. Colten Winters placed third at 160 pounds with a 5-3 decision over Justin Barber of Liberty Union in the third-place match.
Alex Dorsey placed at fifth at 126 and Henrii Velasco was sixth at 113.