Oakton's Luis Coronel finished fourth overall in the Virginia AAA state wrestling tournament's 14-pound division, held at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake last Saturday.
Coronel, who was second in the Northern Region at 140, lost to Phillip Ramirez of Kempsville, 4-2, in the consolation final. Coronel fell to the lower half of the bracket after a close 3-1 defeat to eventual 140-pound champion Junior Pearman of Great Bridge.
Coronel began the tournament with a pinfall victory over Seth Bailey of Hermitage in 3 minutes, 3 seconds, and a 6-3 win over Josh Mason of Franklin County.
Madison's Eric Monday also placed fourth in the state, at 171 pounds. He fell to Bryan Lenhardt of Great Bridge, 8-6, in the consolation finals.
T.C. Williams star Sam O'Hair won the 171 title in a 4-2 victory over regional rival Jeremy Bussard of McLean.
AFTER HIS SEMIFINAL victory over Eastern Region champion Danta Moore of Booker T. Washington, Robinson's Brent Jones ran past Great Bridge's 189-pound star Patrick Bond. Bryan Hazard, Jones's coach, heard Bond call out, "You know Brent, it's about time."
Jones was the heavy favorite to win the 215-pound Virginia AAA state championship, but at the same time was also the sentimental favorite. He was stunned by L.J. Carter of Mills Godwin in last year's state tournament, thwarting his title hopes in the quarterfinals. That upset defeat fueled Jones's mission to get back to states this season, and created a rallying point for those rooting him on.
"People wanted Brent to win [at states]," said Hazard. "He's paid his dues, he's been deserving of it. He definitely got big cheers from everybody."
Jones completed his dominating season with a pinfall victory over Matt Pellar of Colonial Forge for the 215-pound state championship. Jones caught Pellar in a headlock early, and pinned the Northwest Region champion in 1 minute, 3 seconds. Jones had already beaten Pellar this season by four points.
Before states, Jones referred to himself as a "caged animal" ready to be unleashed. He certainly wrestled that way in the AAA tournament. Jones pinned Trey Rogers of Great Bridge in 46 seconds, and then took a 20-6 major decision from T.J. Jackson of Hylton in the second round. He pinned Moore in 31 seconds to advance to the finals, where he made short work of Pellar.
Since the Patriot District tournament, Jones only had one match go beyond the first round.
"In the last four weeks, he's been pretty focused. I don't want to say unbeatable, but he's had the right frame of mind," said Hazard.
Jones ends his career at Robinson with 179 wins and 120 pins.
The Rams finished tied with Kellam for fourth as a team with 63 points. Robinson's Ryan Mikula was fifth in the state at 112, defeating Hayfield's Chris Hummer by a score of 2-1.
At 119, West Springfield's Mostafa Ibrahim wrestled to fifth place. Lee's Michael Rushin was fourth in the state at 135. Robinson's Lee Carsten took sixth at 140, while the Rams' Matt Jones was fourth overall at 160.
W.T. Woodson wrestler Mike Tunick was fifth in the state in the heavyweight division.
IN THE 145-pound championship, Great Bridge’s Derek Gallagher scored a late takedown in his match against Westfield’s Ryan Schalk, eventually claiming a 7-2 victory.
“It was tied with a minute left,” said Westfield wrestling coach Chuck Hoskins. “Ryan was about to shoot when the other kid shot first. He was disappointed. He would have liked to have gotten that last shot off.”
Still, Hoskins was impressed with Schalk’s runner-up finish, especially considering his wrestler only took up the sport in 2001.
“He only began wrestling his freshman year,” said Hoskins, whose team placed 22nd with 22 points. “To actually contend for a title, he’s accomplished a great deal.”
One of Hoskins’ four seniors, Schalk helped the Bulldogs win their second Concorde District title last month and also won a Northern Region title at 145.
In a rematch of the Northern Region finals at 189 pounds, Centreville’s Mike Waters beat Hayfield’s Calvin Cardillo, 6-2, to earn fifth place. At the region meet, Cardillo beat Waters, 5-1.