The Watauga High wrestling team continued its climb to respectability on Saturday with a fifth-place finish at the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference championships at Patton High School in Morganton, N.C.
The Pioneers produced six place finishers, including two conference champions---Demetre Kostis at 132 pounds and Mark Townsend at 120. Kostis won his title with a pinfall win (in 3:36) against Nick Morris of Patton in the semifinals before he defeated Dylan Cassidy of Fred T. Foard by major decison, 11-2.
Townsend won his title with a pair of pinfalls in the quarterfinals against Dylan Cunningham of Hickory (0:50) and Jace Kemper of South Caldwell (1:02) in the semis. He knocked off Caleb Hart of Fred T. Foard in a major decision, 15-2.
Jeremy Critcher finished second in the 195 weight class. Critcher defeated Oscar Pimental of St. Stephens by pinfall (1:40) in the quarterfinals, and he pinned Tyler Brown of South Caldwell (3:57) in the semifnals before he lost to Christian Ohmer of Foard by pinfall (1:02) in the finals.
Jacob Rutz at 220, Gabe Irwin at 160 and heavyweight Jeremiah Wooldridge all finished fourth. Rutz pinned Preston Huffman of South Caldwell to move into the third-place match where he lost to Bubba Brogley of Freedom, 7-3.
Irwin, who lost to Trevor Cook of Foard by major decision, 14-2, in the quarterfinal round, defeated Kahlil Rutherford of Hickory by pinfall (5:17) in his consolation semifinal match before he lost to Thomas Singley of Patton 3-0 to finish fourth.
Wooldridge finished fourth in the heavyweight division dropped a 13-0 decison to Logan Locklear of St. Stephens to finish fourth. Wooldridge marched his way into the quarterfinals by pinning Thomas Probst of Hickory in 1:08. But Wooldridge fell into the consolation round when he was pinned by Dylan Curtis of Foard in 32 seconds.
Wooldridge rebounded by pinning Manual Diaz of Freedom in 33 seconds before he lost his third-place match.
Team-wise, the Pioneers had 96 points. Foard, the regular-season champions, claimed six top spots along with six runner-up finishes in staking claim to the championship with 243½ points. St. Stephens took second with 156 while Freedom finished third with 118 points.
WHS travels to Cornelius-Hough for the Class 4A Western Regional championships February 14-15.
NOTES: The Pioneers lost their final dual match of the year at Fred T. Foard Thursday night. The Tigers beat WHS 59-12 in Newton. The Pioneers were 2-5 in duals in the NW3A/4A Conference this season.
Northwestern 3A-4A Conference Championships
Team scores: 1. Fred T. Foard 243.5, 2. St. Stephens 156, 3. Freedom 118, 4. South Caldwell 108.5, 5. Watauga 96, 6. Patton 89, 7. Hickory 3.
Note: Hibriten elected not to compete due to the death of one of its wrestlers.
106: Cole Riggs (FTF) p. Calyn Clark (F), 5:30
113: Isaac Holler (FTF) p. Austin Pickard (SS), 0:45
120: Mark Townsend (W) md. Caleb Hart (FTF), 15-2
126: Dalton McGalliard (F) d. Austin Hughes (FTF), 6-0
132: Demetreis Kostis (W) md. Dylan Cassidy (FTF), 11-2
138: Chris Hunt (SS) md. Alex Leatherman (FTF), 11-3
145: Carl Guess (SC) d. Keith Hicks (F), 9-4
152: Zach Fincannon (SS) d. Jacob Honeycutt (F), 3-1
160: Brian Mayfield (F) d. Trevor Cook (FTF), 6-3
170: Cameron Chapman (SC) p. Tate Blanton (FTF), 1:16
182: Caleb Bumgarner (FTF) d. Aiden Vetter (SC), 5-0
195: Christian Ohmer (FTF) p. Jeremy Critcher (W), 1:02
220: Cameron Wilfong (FTF) d. Wayna Rankins (SS), 6-0
285: Dylan Curtis (FTF) p. Chandler Laws (P), 3:22
106: Brennan Triplett (SC) p. Drew Clark (P)
113: Trevor Dale (P) won by forfeit
120: Justin Kidd (SS) d. Jace Kemper (SC), 6-4
126: Dalton Teague (SC) p. Nolan Foster (SS), 2:08
132: Juan Loredo (SS) md. Nick Morris (P), 13-2
138: Mitchell Shull (F) p. Colby McNeil (SC), 4:54
145: Santiago Morris (P) d. Brandon Johnson (FTF), 5-4
152: Calub Stone (FTF) tf. Hunter Reid (P), 16-0
160: Thomas Singley (P) d. Gabe Irwin (W), 3-0
170: JP Kinson (SS) d. Grant Brown (F), 3-1
182: Chad Spurlin (P) p. Shyheim Huitt (SS), 2:33
195: Oscar Pimental (SS) p. Tyler Brown (SC), 1:07
220: Bubba Brogley (F) d. Jacob Rutz (W), 7-3
285: Logan Locklear (SS) d. Geramiah Wooldridge (W), 13-0
Most outstanding wrestler: Brian Mayfield, Freedom, 160-pounds