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Garfield two-time state champion Keegan Sell reflects on thrilling title

Garfield two-time state champion Keegan Sell reflects on thrilling title


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


Keegan Sell would not have wanted it any other way.

Tie score.

Eleven seconds remaining.

State championship on the line.

If you wanted to dream up a dramatic scenario, the Garfield senior standout’s 190-pound state-championship battle with Liberty Center’s Xander Myers had it all.

Even late-match heroics.

And those were delivered by Sell.

With the score tied 6-6, following a takedown by Myers, Sell was in the down position when his instinctual ability kicked in.

“With that little bit of time left, you really don’t have time to set up a move,” Sell said. “You just have to go and that is what I was thinking.”

While waiting for the restart, Sell said he planned to attempt a granby roll, but that idea quickly switched as Myers took hold of Sell’s ankle.

In a split-second decision, and feeling Myers’ weight shift, Sell executed a sit-out switch to earn the escape point.

“Once I got out, I think there were about 5 seconds left and all I could think about was that there just was no way I was gong to let him take me down,” Sell said.

Sell lived up to that vow.

As Myers closed in, Sell scored a takedown and near fall to close out a chaotic and thrilling end to the match, allowing Sell to win his final high school wrestling match in an 11-6 decision and the Division III state title.

It was Sell’s second straight state championship, winning at 190 pounds in 2023 with a 6-4 decision over Archbold’s Wyat Ripke.

Sell finished his career with more than 150 wins and a 54-1 record this season.

“This win is something that means so much to me, but maybe not for the reasons why people would think,” Sell said. “The amount of support that we get from the entire community, for all of the sports at Garfield, is something unlike anywhere else. That is what means so much to me. People who don’t even care about wrestling came to Columbus to watch in person, they were live streaming in their garages. I am so proud and happy to represent them.”

Sell classified his state-final victory as one of his second-toughest match of the season, with only his loss to Buckeye’s Eddie Neitenbach, who won the Division II state title at 190 pounds, being tougher.

“Not many of my matches come down to the last seconds,” Sell said. “This might be the best match of my life, and I know I will remember it for the rest of my life.”

But even a champion can have doubt.

At the end of the second period, Myers lunged in on Sell and locked in tight on a front headlock that hurt Sell.

“I will be completely honest, I couldn’t breath at all,” said Sell, who was able to survive the hold and move into the third period.

And he handled things from there.

On the podium, it was Sell’s father, Kenneth Sell, who placed the winning medal around his son’s neck.

“That is special. An amazing moment for me and for him,” Keegan Sell said. “Him and I will remember that forever, I think.”

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