Wilmington’s Josiah Puller led the local contingent at the National United Wrestling Association for Youth (NUWAY) National Tournament at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Mich.
All five earned their way into the tournament by placing in the top eight in the Ohio Wrestling Association for Youth (OHWAY) State Tournament.
Puller, who won the OH-WAY state championship last month, defeated three competitors en route to the title match, where he finished as runnerup. He earned All-America status by finishing second, Eastes said.
Also competing in the national tournament were Aubrey Pogue of Wilmington, Alex Smith of Wilmington, Mia Skinner of Wilmington and Joshua Cunningham of Hillsboro.
“All five competitors represented area wrestling well, showing great sportsmanship and resilience throughout both tournaments,” coach Scott Eastes said. “NUWAY nationals allowed them to get exposure to some of the best youth wrestlers the United States has to offer. They certainly proved that they deserved to be mentioned among them.”
Pogue was eighth in the middle school girls division at the OH-WAY state tournament in Marion. Pogue, who had battled injuries the entire season, Eastes said, was pulled from the national event by trainers because of injuries and ended up sixth overall. She earned All-America status in the middle school girls division, Eastes said.
Alex Smith, who was second in the state tournament, finished fourth overall in Div. 3, earning All-America honors.
Skinner was fifth overall in the national tournament’s 9-under girls division. She was second in the state tournament. Skinner earned All-America honors, Eastes added.
Cunningham, who was eighth in the state tournament, won his first match at the national event but did not place. Eastes said Cunningham rallied from a 7-0 deficit in his placement match. Despite nearly recording the fall, Cunningham was edged out in a close decision.