DURHAM—Immediately after he secured his second individual championship of the season, Kaden Tatro ran out of the gymnasium.

As several of his teammates followed him to the exit doors of Margratha Chambers Gymnasium, they found he didn’t sprint away out of jubilation. Or that he was having an emergency of some sort. He just needed to keep his cardio up.

“I don’t have much of a gas tank,” Tatro said.

Tatro was one of three individual champions for Cedar Ridge on Saturday at the Silver Fox Invitational at Riverside High School. Cedar Ridge won the team championship in a 12-team field that included Riverside, a five-time 4A state champion. The Red Wolves finished with 163 points. Riverside came in second with 123 points. Apex had 115.5 points.

Red Wolf senior Fernando Martinez was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. In his final regular season individual tournament, Martinez won the 113-pound championship after beating Daniel Dickerson of Riverside 9-3. In the semifinals, Martinez pinned Brandon Mann of South Granville in 1:39.

The championship match was Martinez’s 135th career victory, placing him third all-time in school history. Last week, he surpassed Randy Greenough for third-place during the Pin Down Autism Super Duals at Uwharrie Charter Academy in Asheboro.

At 120 pounds, sophomore Pierce Prescod continued a strong season with a victory in the championship after top-seeded Thomas Crowley of Riverside. Prescod, who pinned Crowley, is 38-9 with 29 pins this season. It was the first tournament win of his varsity career.

The victory on Saturday provided Cedar Ridge with triumph after competing in some of the biggest tournaments in the state. Two weeks ago, they joined 114 other teams in the Holy Angels Invitational at the Greensboro Coliseum. In December, the Red Wolves finished 17th among 53 teams at the WRAL Invitational in Knightdale.

“Those tournaments helped us today,” said Cedar Ridge wrestling coach Scott Metcalf. “We had ten dual matches last week in Asheboro. That was a long day, but it helped us today.”

Tatro, a junior, had even more reason to celebrate. In the semifinals of the 182-pound tournament, he pinned Rocco Paolillo of Apex in 20 seconds for his 100th career win. He became the sixth Cedar Ridge wrestler to reach 100 wins. Tatro, who is 45-4 this season with 34 pins, is just seven wins shy of surpassing Ethan Knapp for fifth-place all-time in school history.

Facing Hillside’s Kellyn Stallings in the championship match, Tatro scored takedowns in the opening ten seconds in each of the first and second periods. Tatro contained Stallings face-down for most of the match. He scored an immediate escape in the third period and scored a major decision after Stallings was penalized a point for stalling in the final 30 seconds.

Prescod needed only 19 seconds to takedown Crowley. After Crowley escaped and notched a go-behind to take a 3-2 lead, Prescod notched a late reversal to take a 4-3 lead to finish the opening period. Prescod, starting on top in the second frame, got a cradle and notched the pin for the championship.

Martinez nearly scored a pin in the opening minute of his championship match against Dickerson. He led 5-0 after a takedown just 12 seconds into the first period and got three points for a near fall.

“I’m proud of Fernando,” Metcalf said. “Ive enjoyed working with him and I’m going to miss him after this year. He’s a good kid.”

In addition to the three champions, the Red Wolves had several runner-up finishes. Ryan Rakouskas came in second at 145-pounds. Rakouskas defeated Aaron Douglas of Hillside in the semifinals 12-8. Riverside’s Valerio Luftig captured the 145-pound title. Rakouskas is 28-16 with 21 pins this season.

At 160-pounds, Edwin Huerta of Cedar Ridge also finished second. Huerta defeated Gavin Pinfield of Apex via pinfall at 2:18 in the semifinals. In the championship match against Joshua McDonald of Leesville Road, Huerta gave up a late takedown. He tried to flip over and nearly scored a reversal in the waning seconds, but McDonald held on to preserve a 6-4 victory.

At 220 pounds, Cedar Ridge’s Louis Tedder finished third after he defeated Garner’s Ryan Baker in the consolation final 8-6. The match went to sudden victory, where Tedder scored the final takedown in the first overtime.

Favio Jaramillo Espar earned a third-place finish at 106 pounds. Espar defeated Connor Horton of South Granville 11-3 in the third place match.

At 132 pounds, Mikey O’Melia captured third place. O’Melia defeated Riverside’s Chris Rowell 7-1. It is O’Melia’s best-ever finish in a tournament.

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