A total of thirty-one wrestlers were able to weather the storm at the 2016 Virginia Wrestling Association (VAWA) Freestyle and Greco Roman State Tournament and bring home the gold in both styles of wrestling. 549 athletes from all over the Commonwealth converged on the Arthur Ashe Center in Richmond to battle for freestyle and Greco Roman supremacy over the May 14th weekend. The tournament ran right on schedule and actually finished well in advance of the anticipated ending time. Watch the highlights of the State Tournament below.
Eight wrestlers: Cole Gorvett (FCA Wrestling) 88 lbs., Brandon Wittenburg (FCA Wrestling) 106 lbs., Patrick McCormick (PWA) 120 lbs., River Curtis (FCA Wrestling) 132 lbs., Jackson Turley (St. Christopher’s) 145 lbs., Carson Allen (St. Christopher’s) 152 lbs., Justin Florence (Liberty) 160 lbs., and Tyler Matheny (Banditos) 170 lbs. all claimed double titles in the Cadet Division. Virginia Team Predator took home the freestyle team title with 227 points, while Fellowship of Christian Athletes edged Forge Raptors 108-100 to win the Greco Roman team title. Beau Curtis (FCA) 113 lbs., Malcom Robinson (Rangers) 126 lbs., and St. Christopher’s Jackson Turley (145) all dominated their freestyle weight classes. FCA teammates Brandon Wittenburg (106) and River Curtis (132), and Carson Allen (St. Christopher’s) 152 lbs. blitzed the Greco competition.
Virginia Elite and Gunston won team titles in the Junior division- Virginia Elite won the freestyle title and Gunston the Greco, edging out each other for team honors. Nine wrestlers won both styles in the Junior division: Trevon Majette of the Tiger Wrestling Club at 120 lbs., Colin Gerardi from Virginia Team Predator at 126, Virginia Elite’s Marshall Keller at 132, Gunston’s Robert Garnett at 138, William Lawrence from the New River Wrestling Club at 145, Hunter Bolen of Virginia Elite at 160, PWA’s Stanley Smeltzer at 170, Amherst’s Jeffry Allen at 220, and Sam Bouis from THyde Wrestling Club at 285. Majette upset 2015 Junior National All-American Killian Cardinale in the 120 lbs. freestyle final, while Keller upended 2015 Junior National All-American Joey Prata at 132 lbs. Smeltzer, a 2016 VHSL State Champion, knocked off 2015 VHSL State Champion Kade Sanders in the 170 lbs. freestyle final. Gerardi blitzed the field in both styles to dominate the 126 lbs. weight class, as did Hunter Bolen at 160.
The Virginia Women’s National Team dominated the Women’s Division, winning each weight class to win the team title. In a battle of 2015 All-Americans, Lexi Nalls won by tech fall over Jazmine Weaver in the 105/112 lbs. championship final.
The Banditos continued their dominance of the Kids Divisions, winning the freestyle and Greco Roman titles over Virginia Team Predator. Fourteen youth wrestlers won double titles on the weekend. In the Schoolboy division Zachary Espalin (Banditos), Evan Holloway (Virginia Team Predator), Liam Gordon (Banditos), Gene Quodala (Rangers), Mason Dubois (Banditos), Carson Manville (Banditos), Nathaniel Fly (Virginia Team Predator), Jack Campbell (Hammer), and Donald Perry (Amherst) won freestyle and Greco titles. Novice wrestlers Pierson Manville (Banditos), Isaac Hegg (Banditos), and Parker Ferrell (Virginia Elite) all claimed double titles. And Bryson Cash (Banditos) and Aiden Herndon (Banditos) won both styles in the Bantam division.
VAWA would like to thank all of the officials and volunteers for their help to make the 2016 Freestyle and Greco Roman State Tournament one of the best in years. Many of our Virginia wrestlers will travel to Atlanta, GA at the end of the month to compete in the USA Wrestling Southeast Regional Tournament.