For the second time in three weeks, Orange wrestling captured a team championship at a multi squad tournament.
After winning the Jim King/Orange Invitational two weeks ago, the Panthers finished first in the Eastern Alamance Eagle Classic on Saturday. Behind 1st place finishes from Gavin Wiggins (120), Charlie Fitzpatrick (152) and Payton Wilson (220), the Panthers finished with 286 points, outdistancing Southeast Guilford’s 259. Cedar Ridge finished with 65.
After coming in as the runner-up at the JKO, Wiggins won the 120 pound championship with two major decisions and a pin. He defeated Graham’s Isiah Smith 11-1 on Friday to advance to the semifinals. On Saturday, he easily put away Bishop McGuiness’ Jared Russell 15-1 before pinning Southeast Guilford’s Turner Garrison in 2:32. Wiggins is now 17-3.
Fitzpatrick’s path to the championship was so dominant, he was only extended into the 2nd period once in four matches. He pinned Raleigh Sanderson’s Arsalan Momand in :17, followed by a 1:04 pin of Bartlett Yancey’s Tristan Winn. In the semifinals, he pinned Eastern Alamance’s Jordan Carr-Daye in 1:12. Fitzpatrick earned the championship by pinning Cole Wellington of Dan River (out of Danville, VA) in 2:55. Fitzpatrick is 19-1 with 16 pins.
Wilson’s three matches might as well have been timed with a stopwatch. He pinned Southeast Guilford’s Levi West in :56 for the 220 championship—his longest match of the weekend. He finished off Cedar Ridge’s Izaac Rivera in :51 on Friday, then defeated Bishop McGuiness’ Nick Ackerman in :16, the second-fastest pin of the weekend (East Chapel Hill’s Micah Baker pulled off a :15 pin in the 285 consolation round).
After missing the final two dual matches in last weekend’s Jim Coggins Classic at Southwest Guilford and Wednesday’s dual match against Northwood because of an ingrown hair on his right leg, Bailey Hawkins returned to action for a runner-up finish at 132 pounds. Hawking scored two pins (over Bartlett Yancey’s Talyn Graes in 1:24 and Northwest Guilford’s Finn Queen in 1:14), then claimed a major decision over Jose Chahulz of Burlington Williams 16-0. Southeast Guilford’s Austin Robinson captured the championship by beating Hawkins 15-6.
Also finishing second was Mitchel Askew at 106 and Daylan Alston at heavyweight. Askew rolled into the finals after a 9-4 victory over Bartlett Yancey’s Jacob Wright in the semfinals. He fell to Northern Guilford’s Heath Ginger 11-3. Askew scored two pins on Thursday over Dan River’s Jalon Scales (1:30) and Northwest Guilford’s Duncan McGuire (:56). Askew, who had a ten-match winning streak going into the Ginger bout, is now 18-2.
Alston pinned Northern Guilford’s Paul Klutz in 1:22 to make the semifinals. On Saturday, he pinned Dakota McLendon of Eastern Alamance in :46 before falling to Southeast Guilford’s Evan Surgeon 11-3.
At 170, Josiah Ramirez suffered his first loss of the season after opening the campaign with 19 straight win. He fell in the semfinals to Northwest Guilford’s Chris Garrison 3-2. Ramirez rebounded to earn third place by pinning Cedar Ridge’s Seth McKee in 2:20, followed by another pin of Western Alamance’s Devin Daniels in 3:49.
Also earning third place was Levi Anderson (138); Avery Jenkins (145); Caleb Brimmer (160); and Braden Homsey (182).
Jamar Davis finished fourth at 195. Mitchell Lopeman came in 5th at 126.
Among Cedar Ridge grapplers, Seth McKee finishing 5th at 170 pounds. He pinned Walker Stewart of Williams in :18 before falling to Southeast Guilford’s Ben Bolcavage in :30. In the consolation rounds, McKee pinned Alex Credle of Northern Guilford in :50 and Bartlett Yancey’s Zack Riccihini in 1:49.
The Red Wolves’ DeMarcus Smith finished 5th at 170. He pinned Cummings’ Jacob Boggs in 2:13 to place in the tournament. Smith earned wins over Williams’ Charlie Sartin, Sanderson’s Kim Blythe and Bishop McGuinness’ Garrett Hope.
Orange and Cedar Ridge will partcipate in the Tiger Holiday Wrestling Classic, a two-day tournament that begins Thursday at Chapel Hill High School. The finals will be Friday.