Howland’s upperweight duo of Brandon Matlock and Chris Julian set a goal last year while sitting inside the Schottenstein Center.
It was to have both of them competing in the state tournament as seniors. They reached that goal Saturday at the district tournament.
Matlock, who placed fourth at the state tournament last year, took second at 220 pounds, and Julian qualified for state for the first time, taking fourth at 285.
Advancing didn’t come easy.
Julian lost his semifinal match in overtime, which would have earned him an automatic bid to state. The loss meant he had to win his next bout to advance. He said it was difficult to move on after such a tough loss, but he regrouped and pinned Riley Brendle of Louisville.
Matlock won his first three matches, but each one was close. He won, 1-0, 3-0 and 4-3 in the semifinal to set up another matchup with Stein. It was the fourth time they’ve met this season, with Stein winning each one, but this was the closest. Stein won, 3-1, in overtime.