HILLSVILLE, Va. — Mount Airy won the Carroll County Invitational wrestling tournament on Saturday.
The Bears’ Triston Mabry also took first individually at 152 pounds in the 12-team tournament. Brookville High School (Lynchburg) was second and Rural Retreat High was third. Rounding out the field was Western Guilford (N.C.), Graham (N.C.), Carroll County, Floyd County, Martinsville, George Wythe, Galax, Magna Vista and Bassett.
Mabry pinned his first three opponents, then won his finals match 9-2 against Brookville’s Luke Milhoam to improve to 15-2 on the season.
“Overall we wrestled well. I was pleased with them,” Mount Airy Coach Michael Bodnar said. “We didn’t wrestle too well at Surry Central last weekend. We beat Elkin Tuesday and lost a tough match to North Iredell. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were pretty hard practices. We put them through the ringer. We worked hard in practice, got things squared away and came to wrestle.
“I’m always pleased with Triston. As long as he stays healthy, we are expecting big things. It should be a return to state for him.”
Tournament runner-up Jacob Hogue reached the finals at 106 pounds and lost a decision to Floyd County’s Miguel Policarpo, a state placer in Virginia a year ago. Hogue is 14-2 on the season, with his only two losses coming to tough opponents, Policarpo and Nathon Bautista of Surry Central.
Cameron Pack reached the finals at 160, pinning his first two opponents. In the finals, he trailed Gavin Scott of Carroll County 6-5, then Bodnar said he was hit with a couple of questionable stalling calls by the official. He lost the match 9-5.
Landon Mumford pinned two on his way to the finals at 170, and lost a tough match to a solid wrestler from Graham.
The Bears got a great performance from freshman Cody Smith at 220 pounds. Smith was filling in for David Sparger, who was out with the flu. Smith won by a 10-4 decision in his first match, then earned a first-period pin in his second match. In the semifinals, he earned a last-second pin in overtime to advance to the finals. He lost to state placer Ben Sanchez 9-1, but Bodnar said the coaches were especially pleased with his wrestling performance.
Chandler Snyder finished third at 138 pounds. He won his first match and then fell to the eventual winner in the second round. Snyder got an escape in a close final match to win 9-8. Kenyon Smith took third place at 145. Smith went 4-1 on the day and earned a first-period pin to secure third. JJ Wheeler took third at 195, earning a win by pin in his last match of the night. At heavyweight, Brian Bennett won his first match of the season with a first-period pin, then a 3-1 decision in the second, before falling to Caleb Spurlin, a state qualifier from Galax.
For the Bears, it was the first of two big individual tournaments they have on the schedule. Mount Airy is scheduled to wrestle in a tournament at R.J. Reynolds on Dec. 26. On Wednesday, the Bears host a tri-match with Grayson County (Va.) and R.J. Reynolds, beginning at 6 p.m. On Saturday, Mount Airy goes to a dual team tournament at Alleghany High School.