The Northern Virginia Wresting Classic, the local high school early season showcase event, was held this past Friday and Saturday at Fairfax High School.
Thirty-one teams, most from within the Northern Virginia area, participated in the early season tournament. The team champion, for the second straight year, was Westfield High School, which accumulated 271.50 points and had 12 individual place finishers (top eight). Fauquier (Warrenton) and South County Secondary finished second and third, respectively, with 253 and 168. North Stafford (139.50) finished fourth, Annandale (117) was fifth and Chantilly (115.50) garnered sixth place. Rounding out the top 10 teams were seventh place Lake Braddock (112), eighth place Edison (105), ninth place Bishop Ireton of Alexandria (100) and 10th place South Lakes (95).
Other local team finishes included 11th place Fairfax (90), and 13th place Marshall (84). W.T. Woodson (73) finished 15th, while Centreville High, Madison and Bishop O’Connell (Arlington) finished in a three-way tie for 17th place with 70 points each.
South Lakes, one of the most improved teams in the Northern Region over the past couple of seasons under head coach Bruce Hall, had an individual champion in Ryan Forrest at 145 weight class. Forrest went a perfect 5-0 to gain the title, defeating Batchka Zulkhuu of Potomac Falls in the finals, 10-2 (major decision).
Meanwhile, the Seahawks also got a second place finish – that coming from Jake Slover at 171 division. Slover, who was 4-1, lost his finals match to Jake Fahlfeder of Fauquier, 11-3 (major decision).
South Lakes’ third and final top eight place finisher was Mike Shoebottom, who finished seventh place at 160.
Oakton High, 22nd place in the team standings, had several strong showings. The Cougars’ top place finisher was Austin Murga, who finished second overall at 189 weight class. Murga, who went 4-1 overall, lost his finals match to South County’s Scott Blackstone, 4-2 in overtime.
Other top eight place finishes for the Cougars came from Eddie Gerow (4th place at 112) and Geoff McLaughlin (5th at 189).
Herndon High’s Carlos Esquivel finished eighth place at 145 weight class.
Westfield, the team champion, had two individual champions – Beau Donahue, who went a perfect 5-0 to capture the 140-division weight class, and Brett Campbell, who went 4-0 to win the 112 class. Donahue defeated North Stafford’s Stephen Gwaltney by major decision (15-3) in the 140 finals. Campbell, meanwhile, won his 112 finals match over Fauquier’s Bennett Payne, 4-2.
The Bulldogs also had four wrestlers who earned second place finishes in Tyler DeLeon (4-1 at heavyweight); Stephen Aiello (4-1 at 130); Derek Arnold (4-1 at 125); and Dennon Caranza-Kee (4-1 at 119). Also for Westfield, Harry Van Trees finished third place (5-1 at 152); Frank Aiello (135 division) and David Aiello (103) both took fourth place finishes; Jacob DeLeon (215) and Nick Lehman (145) both finished fifth; and Gabe Ryan (103) was seventh.
Marshall High, 13th place overall in the team standings, received an individual titlist in heavyweight wrestler Matt Crawford, who went a perfect 5-0 over the two day tournament. Crawford defeated Westfield’s Tyler DeLeon in the heavyweight finals, 5-2.