Practice partners for the Cary Academy wrestling team, siblings Christian and Julian Sodano also now share another distinction after impressive performances Saturday: state champions.
Christian won his second state title and Julian his first, and Ravenscroft’s Calvin Atkeson also captured his first state title at the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association championships at Cary Academy.
Christian won the 128-pound title with a thrilling 6-5 overtime victory over Cameron Johnson of Westminster Catawba (Rock Hill, S.C.), getting an escape midway through the second 30-second tiebreaker after riding out Johnson over the entire minute of sudden-death overtime as well as the first 30-second tiebreaker to break a 5-all tie.
“When you’re going for that first title, you’re thinking ‘all I want to do is win states,’ ” said Christian, a sophomore who won the 120 crown last year. “The second time around, you’re thinking about the next level, what am I going to do at nationals, things like that.”
He continued: “So you can’t psyche yourself out, you have really have take it one match at a time. My preparation was very good, I didn’t take anyone for granted.”
Julian won the 140 title, pinning Max Spada of Charlotte Country Day School in 48 seconds, and Atkeson won the 287 title with a 3-1 decision over Charlotte Latin’s Harrison Karp.
Garnering runner-up finishes were Ravenscroft’s Ben Schwarz (172) and Emmanuel Baende (222), along with Cary’s Joe McDarris (154).
Charlotte Latin won the team title with 211.5 points, with Ravenscroft third with 189 points out of 18 teams. Cary Academy (117) finished sixth and North Raleigh Christian Academy (57) was 10th.