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by Michael Leonard
Akron -- Heading into the Division II sectional tournament at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, Streetsboro wrestling coach Rick Charlton was dealing with something new.
For the first time all season, the Rockets had their top lineup intact.
"We have been battling some injuries and skin issues," he said. "It's good to have everybody here."
Finally playing with a full deck, Streetsboro did some good work at the sectional meet, which concluded Feb. 15.
The Rockets finished fifth out of 12 teams with 133 points. St. Vincent-St. Mary won its home sectional with 209.5 points. Rounding out the top four were Parma Padua Franciscan (159), Woodridge (145.5) and Ravenna (137.5).
More importantly, seven wrestlers advanced to this week's Division II district meet in Alliance. The top four placers in each weight class moved on to districts.
"I thought we wrestled very well," Charlton said. "We've got to start aggressive on our feet. We wrestled pretty well [Feb. 14], but you've got to win matches [Feb. 15]."
Streetsboro was able to do that for the most part.
The Rockets had four wrestlers reach the finals at St. Vincent-St. Mary, led by returning junior Tyler Rowland, who was back in the lineup at 195 pounds after missing the last few weeks with illness and skin issues.
Rowland cruised to the semifinals, defeating Ravenna's Nathan Pritchett 8-1 and Woodridge's Cody Jenkins 9-1. Streetsboro chose to forfeit the final against Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy's Tyler Maclellan.
Senior Sean Kuklisin returns to districts after he also finished second at 106 pounds.
Kuklisin defeated Ravenna's Caleb Smith 7-3 and Brooklyn's Yasser Hamdan 7-2 before losing a 16-1 technical fall to Padua's Tony DeCesare in the final.
Junior Aaron Dantimo also took second place at 132.
Dantimo opened with technical falls over Richfield Revere's Timmy Vlasek (16-1) and Cleveland Benedictine's Jaezin Tytko (18-1), before beating Parma Heights Holy Name's Nick Foster 7-2 to reach the final.
In the final, however, Dantimo lost a 5-1 decision to St. Vincent-St. Mary's Garrett Carter.
Streetsboro's final runner-up was Kyle Woods at 160. Woods opened with pins over Pepper Pike Orange's Robert Powers and CVCA's Ryan Baxter before squeezing out at 5-3 win over Ravenna's Anthony Mazzola.
In the final, Woods pressed Padua's Ryan McCullough to the end, but lost 4-3.
Also advancing to districts were Chris Dynowski (138), who finished third, and Cale Simpkins (120) and Pat Adkins (182), each of whom finished fourth.
Junior Joe Teibel (113) and sophomore Lucas Austin (126) each placed sixth at sectionals.
The Division II district tournament at Alliance is scheduled to take place Feb. 21 (3 p.m.) and 22 (10 a.m.). The top four finishers in each weight class will advance to the Division II state meet.