The Vienna-area was well represented at last weekend’s Northern Region wrestling championships as athletes from Madison, Oakton and Marshall High Schools all had fine showings at the annual postseason event. The 30-team regional meet took place Friday and Saturday (Feb. 11-12) at Fairfax High School.
Oakton (54 points) and Madison (51.50) finished 11th and 12th place, respectively, at regionals, while Marshall (26 points) placed 20th overall. The team champion was Robinson, which captured its first region crown since 1991. The Rams finished with 260.50 points, finishing ahead of second place and defending region champion Westfield (208). South County (118) finished third place, while Annandale (92) and Hayfield (78) finished fourth and fifth places, respectively.
Finishing sixth through 10th place were Lee High (69), Mount Vernon (65), Edison (62), Langley (58) and Lake Braddock (54.50).
Robinson Secondary’s Jack Bass, the 125-weight class champion, was named the region tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. Centreville High, which finished 18th place in the team standings, accepted the Sportsmanship Award trophy during brief post meet ceremonies on Saturday night.
For Madison, Albert Schultz earned a second place finish in the 140-weight class division. The Warhawks also received a third place finish from Robert Dooley at 119.
Oakton, meanwhile, saw Austin Murga earn a third place finish at 189-division, while Cougars’ wrestlers Eddie Gerow (112) and Matt Norterangelo (152) finished fourth and fifth place, respectively. From Marshall High, Zack Brooks (215 weight class) and James Cusack (112) both earned fifth place finishes.
The top four wrestlers in each weight class automatically advanced to this weekend’s Virginia State AAA championships. The top six finishers earned medals.
<b>MADISON’S SCHULTZ</b> (40-7), this year’s Liberty District champion, had an outstanding region tournament at 140 division. He won his first two matches by pin – victories over Wakefield’s Luis Masariegos (first period pin) and Robinson’s Shon Topper (second period pin). That put him into the semifinals where he won a hard-earned 3-0 decision over Lake Braddock’s Jake Sage. Schultz, in the finals, then fell to Westfield’s Beau Donahue, 7-2. Donahue (56-3) is a two-time Concorde District champion who was a region runner-up last year.
Schultz, who will be attending the U.S. Naval Academy next school year, trailed the championship match 4-1 after one period. He was behind 5-1 late in the second period before earning what appeared to be a two-point takedown in the closing seconds. But following a brief officials’ conference, the points were taken away from Schultz and he still was down 5-1. He closed within 5-2 with an escape point with 20 seconds remaining in the third and final period before Donahue scored in the final seconds to secure the win. For Donahue, the finals victory win was his 100th career high school varsity win.
At 119 weight class, Madison’s Dooley opened his region tournament with a 21-4 technical fall win over Chantilly’s Kyle Smith. He then, in his next match, earned a first period pin win over South County’s Bilal Ali to earn a place in the semifinals. There, Dooley lost a tough 3-1 decision to Robinson’s Jake Smith, the eventual champion.
Dooley, following the setback to Smith, won two loser’s bracket matches – 2-1 over Westfield’s Dennon Carranza-Kee and 4-2 over Lee’s Alex Moore in the consolation finals (third place) match.
<b>OAKTON’S MURGA</b> earned a third place finish at 189. He defeated Stuart’s Melvin Mazariegos with a second period pin, then lost an 8-6 decision to Annandale’s John McCollom. But Murga then went on a tear, winning four straight matches in the loser’s bracket to earn third place. The wins came over Yorktown’s Hakeem Sansui, 8-3; Langley’s Elie Kawmy (11-3 major decision); Centreville’s David Chenevey, 9-8; and, in the consolation finals, a default win over Jefferson’s Patrick O’Connor.
Oakton’s Gerow, at 112 weight class, earned fourth place. He started out with a third period pin win over Jefferson’s Jeremy Weller, then defeated Washington-Lee’s Miga Khaadan, 14-2. Gerow then lost his semifinals match by pin to Robinson’s Dallas Smith, the eventual champion. But Gerow, in the loser’s bracket, defeated Marshall’s James Cusack, 6-3. That put him into the consolation finals where Gerow lost to Jon Lee of Annandale, 9-3.
Norterangelo, Oakton’s 152-division wrestler, was a first round default winner over Woodson’s Randall Mailand before falling to Langley’s Matt Wilson on a late first round pin. But Norterangelo came back to win consecutive loser’s bracket matches over Robinson’s Daniel Mika, 2-1, and Annandale’s Allan Cabrera, 8-4. A major decision 13-5 loss to Westfield’s Harry Van Trees put Norterangelo in the match for fifth place where he was a default winner over Stone Bridge’s Jonathan Faul.
<b>FOR MARSHALL HIGH</b>, both Brooks (215) and Cusack (112) earned fifth place finishes. Brooks lost his opener to Annandale’s Ali Alimusa on a first period pin, before winning three straight loser’s bracket matches - over Washington-Lee’s Alex Panagiotopoulos (first period pin); Langley’s Tate Dulany (second period pin); and Jefferson’s Peter Reischer, 4-0. Brooks then faced Annandale’s Alimusa again, losing in the final seconds by pin. But he came back to win his fifth place match over Lee’s Eric Polio, 7-3.
Cusack (112) also started out his bracket with a loss, falling to Robinson’s Dallas Smith by a first round pin. But he got hot in the loser’s bracket with three straight wins over Wakefield’s Dawite Ewnetu (second period pin); Woodson’s Mitchell Kohlhaas, 6-1; and T.C. Williams’ Ibrahim Banduka (14-2 major decision). Cusack then fell to Oakton’s Gerow, 6-3, but won his match for fifth place over Stone Bridge’s Garrett Maged by major decision, 12-0.
The Virginia State AAA championships will take place this Friday and Saturday (Feb. 18-19) at Robinson Secondary.