Saturday, March 9, five local wrestlers competed in the National United Wrestling Association for Youth (NUWAY) National Tournament. All 5 earned their way into the tournament by placing in the top 8 in the Ohio Wrestling Association for Youth (OHWAY) State Tournament.
Joshua Cunningham, of Hillsboro, earned his way into the NUWAY National Tournament by finishing 8th in the OHWAY State Tournament. Joshua earned a hard fought victory in the opening round of the NUWAY National Tournament before dropping his next two and being eliminated from the tournament. Joshua fought hard and came up short in his placement match. Down 7-0 early in the first period, he battled back and put his opponent on his back late in the first period. He nearly earned the fall, but ran out of time. He made another push late in the third period, again turning his opponent to his back, but fell short, losing a close decision.
Wilmington’s Aubrey Pogue finished 8th in the Middle School Girls Division at the OHWAY State Tournament that took place on March 13th in Marion Ohio. Aubrey showed great resilience by competing in the State and National tournaments despite being sidelined the entire year by health issues. She battled through her first two matches of the NUWAY National tournament before trainers pulled her from the tournament due to a shoulder injury and mild concussion. Aubrey ended up finishing 6th in the MS Girls Division and earning All American Status.
Wilmington’s JoJo Puller finished 1st in the OHWAY state tournament, earning his spot in the NUWAY National tournament where he defeated 3 competitors on his way to the championship match. JoJo fell short in his bid for the national title, dropping his finals match by decision finishing 2nd place and earning All American status.
Wilmington’s Alex Smith earned his way into the NUWAY National Tournament by finishing 2nd at the OHWAY State Tournament on March 13th. Alex competes in Division 3. He wrestled well all day and finished in 4th place at the NUWAY National Tournament, also earning All American Status.
Also from Wilmington, Mia Skinner wrestled her way to a 5th place finish at the NUWAY national tournament in the 9U Girls Division. She finished 2nd at the OHWAY Girls State Tournament on March 13th. Her 5th place finish earned her All American status as well.
All five competitors represented area wrestling well, showing great sportsmanship and resilience throughout both tournaments. 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.