Hunter Queen of Northwood was within a whisker of being disqualified from his championship medal in Saturday’s N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A wrestling championships.
Queen, a runner-up last year who now has 199 career victories to break his brother Michael’s school win record, hit a single leg lift against Tyrie Houghton of Weddington and immediately hit a half nelson for three back points and a 5-0 first period lead in the 3A 182-pound finals. Houghton escaped to make it 5-1.
Starting neutral in the second period, Queen then gave up the first in a series of penalty calls.
“I definitely think that I kind of stopped wrestling,” Queen said. “I shouldn’t have let up. … I could see my state title and let up.”
He was hit for a point for fleeing the mat to make it 5-2, but he stuffed a double overhook throw attempt by Houghton to go up 7-2. Queen was on bottom in the third period, and was hit for stalling three times – the final one as the final second ticked off the clock – which the referee ruled was a disqualification for exceeding the allowable number of penalties.
But as they referees checked the books to make sure the number of penalties was correct, they noticed they had not stopped the action after the third penalty as is required. Houghton was supposed to have gotten to choose what mat position to continue after the stalling call with 53 seconds left.
So the clock was reset from zero seconds to 53 with Queen leading 7-5. Houghton escaped but couldn’t get the takedown to end the scoring 7-6.
Queen, who was runner-up last year after watching Michael win his, had a championship of his own.