Battlefield, Robin­son ex­cel but can’t reach the top in 6A

Bob­cats, Rams cap­ture five in­di­vid­ual crowns; Colo­nial Forge takes ti­tle

The Washington Post Sunday - - ALLMETSPORTS.COM - BY BRYAN BLACK hss@wash­post.com

ch­e­sa­peake, va. — Battlefield pro­duced three in­di­vid­ual cham­pi­ons and two Robin­son wrestlers won ti­tles, but both top-shelf North­ern Vir­ginia pro­grams were left look­ing up at an­other fa­mil­iar pow­er­house in Satur­day’s 6A state tour­na­ment at Os­car Smith.

Colo­nial Forge used its depth to run away with the team ti­tle, fin­ish­ing with 159.5 points, fol­lowed by Robin­son with 112 and Battlefield with 107.5. Wood­bridge was fifth with 86.5.

Colo­nial Forge had just one in­di­vid­ual cham­pion but also had one run­ner-up, four third-place medal­ists, one fourth and two fifths. The Ea­gles went into Satur­day with a 13.5-point lead over Robin­son, stretched it to 37.5 in the con­so­la­tion semi­fi­nals and led by 53.5 go­ing into the fi­nals.

Robin­son went 2-2 in the fi­nals, get­ting a ti­tle right away at 106 pounds from ju­nior Aaron How­ell, who de­feated Land­stown’s Bryce San­der­lin, 7-1.

How­ell em­pha­sized that he and his team­mates were not go­ing to let the team ti­tle pur­suit be dis­rup­tive.

“We just fo­cus on our in­di­vid­ual matches and do­ing our best,” How­ell said. “We wres­tle our style and do what we have to do.”

The Rams’ other ti­tle came in dra­matic fash­ion near the end of the meet. In the 220 fi­nal, sopho­more Thomas Mukai pinned South County’s James Momon 23 sec­onds into the sec­ond pe­riod.

“He was a lit­tle high, and I was able to swim past his head and get him on his back,” said a ju­bi­lant Mukai, who gave his fa­ther credit for his state ti­tle.

“I have to thank my dad for start­ing me in wrestling,” Mukai said. “He was my first train­ing part­ner.”

Robin­son, fresh off win­ning the 6A North re­gion ti­tle, got run­nerup fin­ishes from Nik Ger­ard at 120 and Tyler Haz­ard at 145. Haz­ard fell to one of Battlefield’s three win­ners — Zac Feight, who pinned Haz­ard 28 sec­onds into over­time.

“The whole match I was just think­ing that I want it more,” said Feight, a ju­nior who bat­tled from be­hind in the third pe­riod to take the bout into over­time.

Feight and his fel­low Battlefield cham­pi­ons all pointed to next year af­ter their vic­to­ries.

“Our goal is to be the dom­i­nant team like Colo­nial Forge was this year,” Feight said.

Sopho­more Bran­don Wit­ten­berg got the Bob­cats their first ti­tle with a 4-1 vic­tory over Tall­wood’s Thomas Is­land in the 113 fi­nal.

“I came out strong and kept the pres­sure on him,” Wit­ten­berg said. “All the con­di­tion­ing that we do gets the job done. The coaches push us to our lim­its.

“We’re a young team. We work harder than any other team in the state. I know for a fact that next year is go­ing to be our year.”

Battlefield ju­nior River Cur­tis used a late flurry to edge Colo­nial Forge’s Marc Garafalo, 4-2, in the 132 fi­nal. The match was tied 1-1 well into the third pe­riod.

“He knew what I wanted to do, and I knew what he wanted to do,” Cur­tis said. “In the end, I think I just pushed the pace a lit­tle more than he did.”

McLean’s Bren­dan Grammes won the 152-pound ti­tle, hold­ing off Battlefield’s Ron­ald Miller, 2-0.

Lake Brad­dock’s Tyler Ma­theny de­feated Wood­bridge’s Zyon Betts, 4-0, in the 182 fi­nal.

Spar­tans claim two 5A ti­tles

Broad Run’s Michael Bat­tista (170) and John Birch­meier (220) won in­di­vid­ual ti­tles in the 5A championship to power the Spar­tans to a fifth-place fin­ish.

Brooks Pointe won the team ti­tle with 143 points and was fol­lowed by Moun­tain View (134) and Po­tomac (115). Po­tomac’s Devin Sweeney won at 106, Edi­son’s Robert Gar­nett took the 138pound ti­tle and Stone Bridge’s Ar­sam Ja­faryzad won at 152.

JA­SON HIRSCHFELD FOR THE VIR­GINIAN-PI­LOT

Battlefield’s Zac Feight pins Robin­son’s Tyler Haz­ard in over­time to claim the 145-pound in­di­vid­ual championship at Os­car Smith.

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