Eight Panthers, seven Jaguars, three Chargers and two Tigers will head to Greensboro this week for the N.C. High School Athletics Association’s 2014 wresting championships.
All were among the local high school wrestlers who qualified at rare, one-day regionals held Sunday – the 3A at the home gym of state dual-team champion Eden Morehead, the 2A at Trinity Wheatmore.
Led by top-seeded Stephen Dreher, who won the Mideast regional championship at 126 pounds, Carrboro finished second in the team standings of Sunday’s 2A Mideast regional. Regional host Trinity Wheatmore won the 20-team 2A event with 142.5 points to Carrboro’s 129.
Dreher won his regional title with three falls in four matches, including a pin of second-seeeded Damonte Blash of Southern Vance at 2:48 in the 126-pound final.
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He will carry an individual record of 46-5 into the state championships at the Greensboro Coliseum. The event starts Thursday evening and runs through Saturday.
Carrboro also will send regional runners-up Hserti Ya (30-17) at 113 pounds, George Carpenter (50-3) at 120 and Keegan Cordell (34-17) at 138. Carson McKay (44-11) lost a one-point decision in Sunday’s 182 semifinals but then wrestled his way back in consolations to finish third and qualified for a trip to Greensboro. Jaguars Otto Wolin and Magnus Herweyer finished fourth in the regional to qualify at 106 and 285 pounds, respectively.
Orange, the 2013 state champion, qualified eight of its wrestlers for this year’s 3A individual championships.
After the match points were totaled Sunday evening at the 3A Mideast Regional in Eden, Orange came out second in the team standings behind Morehead.
Three Panthers won their regional brackets by going 5-0: Jared Flynn (with a 31-8 overall record) at 132 pounds, undefeated David Peters Logue (34-0) at 170 and Byron Stephenson (29-7) at 285.
Collin Smith finished second at 138 pounds. Joe Scott (120 pounds), Gonzo Gracia Contoral (126) and Melek Jimenez (152) earned third places and Trent Tanner finished fourth at 145 pounds.
Northwood qualified three wrestlers for states – Hunter and Michael Queen, plus John Dunning.
Michael Queen won the 160-pound Mideast championship with four straight pins in the regional. His only match that went past the first period was his pin of Eastern Alamance’s Lucas Scarlett at 2:40 into the 160 championship final. Queen will head to Greensboro with a record of 50-8.
Hunter Queen lost in the semifinals of the Mideast’s 132-pound class but fought his way back to win the consolation bracket and third place. Dunning dropped a second-round decision and had to wrestle back to the consolation finals of the 182 bracket to qualify for the state championships.
For Chapel Hill in the Mideast Regional, sophomore Zach Allen finished third at 106 pounds, and sophomore George McBurney earned fourth place at 220.
“Zach wrestled the best he has all season, and George is finally getting back in shape after his injury,” Chapel Hill coach Tripp Price said.
Three Tigers with 30-plus wins this season barely missed qualifying — Tommy Morrison (33-10) at 138 pounds, Roberto Sibrian (34-17) at 195 and Hudson Price (35-7) at 285.
Camden Bergey at 152 pounds, Sibrian and Price all fought their way into a qualifying match before losing in the last round at the regional.
“We were really proud of how the kids competed with all the weather stuff going on,” Price said. “We were never sure when the tournament would take place. They did a great job of being prepared.”
All the wrestlers heading to Greensboro will be working off a short week after participating in Sunday’s regionals.
The NCHSAA traditionally asks all schools to avoid scheduling any sporting events on Sundays, but last week’s winter storm wreaked havoc on most plans for central and eastern North Carolina schools. State officials conceded that regionals could be held Sunday “as a last resort,” the NCHSAA said.