Luke Goeschl understands the pressure involved with last-chance opportunities.

During his freshman season with the Reynoldsburg wrestling team, Goeschl fell just short of reaching the Division I district tournament when he lost 7-5 to Teays Valley’s Cameron Schultz in his qualifying match to finish fifth at 113 pounds in sectional competition at Upper Arlington.

Goeschl found himself in the same position in the 2018 sectional at UA, needing a win over Chillicothe’s Caleb Lake to qualify for district, but ended up losing 5-4 and settled for sixth at 120.

Based on what happened a little more than a year ago, it wasn’t a sure thing that he’d have another chance at advancing to district for the first time.

Goeschl was off to a great start last winter, placing third in the Lee Spitzer Golden Bear Invitational at UA and then going 4-1 for a runner-up finish at 126 on Dec. 15, 2018, in the Xenia Invitational, but his season ended a few days later.

During a routine checkup that took place because he already had a known heart murmur, it was discovered that Goeschl had cardiomyopathy, which is a “disease of the heart muscle that makes it harder for your heart to pump blood to the rest of your body,” according to mayoclinic.org.

It also can lead to heart failure.

“I had to go through a procedure of remodeling my heart,” Goeschl said. “I had to take nine months off with no working out, no jogging. I got cleared in September after about 50 tests on my heart to see if it would get cleared. I had to get MRIs and I’m on four different types of medicine every day. It’s tough. I was doing well last season, too, so that was a big kick to my butt, but it gave me a lot of motivation to come in and work harder this year.”

Now a senior, Goeschl is expected to compete at 126 in a sectional Saturday, Feb. 29, at UA. The top four finishers in each weight class advance to the district tournament March 6 and 7 at Hilliard Darby.

Goeschl, who went 18-17 as a freshman and 26-17 as a sophomore, is 33-9 this winter.

“His freshman year he was about four seconds away from going to district, being up by one point with 3 seconds left and lost,” coach Jon Forgy said. “His sophomore year, he was up by one or two points and then ended up losing his match with 5 seconds left. If he would have been able to finish the year last year, who knows what would have happened, but he probably could have been a district qualifier. He’s right there with some of the best in the district.

“It has been a pleasure and a blessing (to watch him this season). I feel a big part of our team and leadership was missing (last season) and I know it has been a great thing for him, the coaches and wrestlers to have him back and be successful.”

Goeschl missed time in January with an illness but otherwise has been on the mat all season despite his heart issue.

“It was a little bit harder (to come back this season) because I had to get back in shape,” he said. “I gained about 20 pounds, so coming into the season I was at about 140 or 145 and had to cut down a little bit, but after that I started getting in the groove.”

Gaver reaches podium at state

Junior Nate Gaver reached the awards podium in two events at the Division I state swimming and diving meet at Branin Natatorium in Canton.

After earning the sixth seed in the 50-yard freestyle and the seventh seed in the 100 free during preliminaries Feb. 21, he finished seventh in the 50 free (20.91 seconds) and seventh in the 100 free (46.11) on Feb. 22.

The Raiders tied for 24th (24) behind champion Cincinnati St. Xavier (310) as 53 teams scored.

“The times weren’t what I was hoping for, but I came out and raced pretty hard,” Gaver said. “I’m all right with it. I’ll just come back next year and hopefully drop some time in (the) finals. I went a new best time in the 100 free (during the preliminary) and that felt really good, and the 50 free was less than a tenth off my best time ever so I was also really happy with that. Overall (the preliminary races were) pretty good. (In the finals) I was hoping for more and didn’t quite get to it, (but) I’ll get it next year.”

Gaver was the only state qualifier for the boys team, which also is eligible to return six other district competitors in junior swimmers Jonathan Begeny, Austin Harter, Dhishan Kashyap and Malachi Nichols, sophomore swimmer Max Hutson-Comeaux and freshman diver Freddie Culbert.

Junior Kasey Lichtner should be the top returning girl after competing at district in the 50 free and 100 butterfly. Sophomores Olivia Dulay and Anna Haines and freshman Sarah LeMay also swam at district.

Girls basketball team makes district semi

With a 62-40 victory over 43rd-seeded Olentangy Orange on Feb. 21 in the second round of the Division I district tournament, the ninth-seeded girls basketball team advanced to a district semifinal Feb. 26 at sixth-seeded Westerville North.

If Reynoldsburg won that game, it will play third-seeded Westerville South or 15th-seeded Hartley in a district final at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

The district champion will play Watterson, Worthington Kilbourne, Dublin Scioto or Pickerington Central in a regional semifinal at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, at Otterbein.

The Raiders were 17-7 before playing North, including opening the postseason with an 84-32 victory over 39th-seeded Mifflin on Feb. 15.

Boys bowlers advance to district

The boys bowling team opened the Division I postseason by winning the 47-team sectional Feb. 21 at HP Lanes with a score of 3,991.

That performance advanced the Raiders to the district tournament Saturday, Feb. 29, at HP Lanes, where the top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to state March 6 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.

Owen Chisley led the boys at sectional by placing 14th (600), followed by Logan Jeffers (17th, 588), Cameron Brosiuos (19th, 577), David Robinson (59th, 525) and Logan Gapen (tied for 90th, 486).

The girls finished 23rd (2,649) behind champion Westerville Central (3,653) at sectional Feb. 22 at HP Lanes, as the top 16 teams and top 16 individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district.

Kay Hetterscheidt led with a 68th-place finish (421) but missed advancing by 24 pins.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

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