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Westfield wrestling makes early statement

Westfield’s John Orchard-Hays saw there was a tent set up underneath the stands at Fairfax High School Saturday evening, complete with blanket and pillow. But this was not some indoor slumber party. Instead it served as a stark reminder of how arduous and long tournaments like this weekend’s 21st annual Northern Region Classic can feel.

Judging from the smile on the face of Orchard-Hays after he fought through a charley horse to win the 130-pound championship, it also provided evidence of just how rewarding a win at early-season tournaments can be in the long run.

“Being able to size yourself up and see where you’re at compared to everyone else,” said Orchard-Hays. “It’s a good measuring stick. But it wears on you each day. Tomorrow I’m gonna chill out, I need a day off.”

He and his Bulldog teammates earned that break after putting on quite the display with the majority of the Northern Region present to take notice. Already the two-time defending regional champions and the favorite heading into the tournament, No. 4 Westfield placed a wrestler among the top eight of all but two weight classes, finishing with more champions (five) and finalists (seven) than any other school. Its 302 team points were 140 more than that of second-place Fairfax.

But the storyline many in the gym couldn’t stop talking about was the school that finished in last place in the team scoring – No. 3 Robinson. The Rams decided to send a watered down lineup to the venerable “Classic,” while most of their top wrestlers participated in the Ed Peery Invitational in Annapolis. Robinson finished in second place there, one point behind team champion Archbishop Spalding. The Rams had 10 finalists and six champions.

And their absence was noticeable as many in the Northern Virginia wrestling scene are anxious to see how the Rams and Bulldogs will stack up against one another this season. They’ll have to wait until Jan. 9, when both Robinson and Westfield participate in the Battlefield Duals at Colonial Forge, though after Saturday, Orchard Hays admitted he hoped “these stats make Robinson wish that they were here.”

“We had high expectations and as a whole, I think we performed to that level and we withstood the pressure,” said Westfield Coach Chuck Hoskins, who singled out Orchard-Hays, 103-pound sophomore Brett Campbell, and 135-pound freshman Beau Donohue with praise. “But this is just a stepping stone to where you want to get … in February.”

Other News and Notes:

*The best match of the championship round came in the 145-pound weight class when Woodberry Forest’s Taylor Reuss narrowly defeated Sean Dunn of Heritage, 6-5. Dunn scored a one-point escape with just more than a minute remaining in the third period to go up 5-4 and looked to be in cruise control (or cautious stalling mode, depending on which coaching staff one talks to). Reuss broke through with a two-point takedown with just six seconds left on the clock, but before the buzzer sounded a mad scramble had Reuss on his back, but still in control of Dunn. The refs ruled no reversal had occurred and the match went to Reuss.

Runner up goes to the 171-pound weight class, where Woodbridge’s Anthony Blocker threw Annandale’s Stacey Anderson to his back as time expired to prevail, 3-1. The move was noteworthy because it occurred with less than five seconds remaining in regulation and right after it appeared Anderson was about to score the decisive two-point takedown.

*Coaches voted Duke Pickett of Woodberry Forest most outstanding wrestler after he pinned his way to the finals of the 140-pound weight class and then defeated Westfield’s Kyle Arnold, a seventh-place finisher at the state tournament last year, for the championship.

*The most interesting weight class was 152, where top seeds Jack Carlson of Chantilly and Kevin Koch of Westfield were both upset in the semifinal round. Nolan King of Woodbridge defeated Koch in a tightly contested 9-7 contest and then had an easier time with Thomas Jefferson’s Alex Shmorhun, winning 8-3 in the championship round. Koch hung on for a 4-2 victory over Carlson in the third-place match.

Northern Region Classic Results
Finals: Brett Campbell (Westfield) def. Miguel Escoto (Annandale) 7-4
3rd Place: Elliot Mondragon (Ireton) pinned Mitchell Kohlhaas (W.T. Woodson) 2:18
5th Place: Gabe Pike (Herndon) def. Daniel Feldman (Madison) 4-3

Finals: Dane Harlowe (Annandale) def. Steven Aiello (Westfield) 5-1
3rd Place: Derek Arnold (Westfield) pinned Robert Dooley (Madison) 4:45
5th Place: Nick Rea (Potomac Falls) def. Kevin Richards (Fairfax) 5-1

Finals: Bob Hauser (W.T. Woodson) def. Omar Maknassi (T.C. Williams) 7-4
3rd Place: Albert Schultz (Madison) def. Tanner Karl (Westfield) 1-0
5th Place: Abdul Chadli (Fairfax) def. Andy Chung (McLean) 5-0

Finals: Jake Cox (Fairfax) def. Josh Pike (Herndon) 2-1
5th Place: Henry Majano (Wakefield) def. Tyler Haley (St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes)

Finals: John Orchard-Hays (Westfield) pinned Greg Nelson (Woodbridge) 5:13
3rd Place: Tyler Howard (South County) def. Sam Zhang (Thomas Jefferson) 9-0
5th Place: Batchka Zukhuluu (Potomac Falls) def. Marvin Garcia (McLean) 6-4

Finals: Beau Donahue (Westfield) pinned Matt Olem (Herndon) 3:43
3rd Place: Ryan Forrest (South Lakes) def. Matt Lamb (Thomas Jefferson) 6-1
5th Place: Dan Jeong (Chantilly) def. Adam Pierce (T.C. Williams) 3-0

Finals: Duke Pickett (Woodberry Forest) def. Kyle Arnold (Westfield) 3-0
3rd Place: Alex Morgan (Fairfax) def. Jackson Islin (Centreville) 3-2
5th Place: Mike Oswald (Potomac Falls) def. Carlos Bonilla (Wakefield) 3-1

Finals: Taylor Reuss (Woodberry Forest) def. Sean Dunn (Heritage)
3rd Place: Marvin Gomez (T.C. Williams) def. Victor Leavell (Wakefield) 4-1
5th Place: Ben Pfotenhauer (Paul VI) def. Joe Vitale (Ireton) 3-1

Finals: Nolan King (Woodbridge) def. Alex Shmorhun (Thomas Jefferson) 8-3
3rd Place: Kevin Koch (Westfield) def. Jack Carlson (Chantilly) 4-2
5th Place: Hunter Rheaume (Yorktown) def. Damien Ashley (Paul VI) 4-3

Finals: Nick Grinups (Westfield) def. Tommy Williams (W.T. Woodson) 19-6
3rd Place: Aaron Rowane (Potomac Falls) def. Jack Velasquez (Annandale) 4-2 in OT
5th Place: Skylar Ocetnik (Mount Vernon) def. Sam Burton (Yorktown) Default

Finals: Anthony Blocker (Woodbridge) def. Stacey Anderson (Annandale) 3-1
3rd Place: Jordan Yost (Fairfax) def. Martin Seneca (Centreville) 5-0
5th Place: Billy Wisman (Heritage) def. Chuck Carlton (Paul VI) 12-4

Finals: Austin Fallon (Westfield) def. Alex Jabaley (W.T. Woodson) 13-2
3rd Place: Mark Bergenholtz (Marshall) pinned Christian Banghart (Mount Vernon) 4:17
5th Place: Joseph Vanderplas (Fairfax) pinned Alex Stanley (South Lakes) 4:02

Finals: Andrew Embree (Marshall) pinned Reed Dismuke (South Lakes) 3:47
3rd Place: Daniel Johnson (Centreville) def. Evan Greenleaf (Woodbridge) 5-2
5th Place: Sammy Ojjeh (Paul VI) def. Andrew Lutterloh (Ireton) 19-2

Finals: Zack Duffin (Potomac Falls) pinned Joe Latta (Thomas Jefferson) 1:41
3rd Place: Carter Kraus (Mount Vernon) pinned Charlie Wheldon (Yorktown) 4:59
5th Place: Matt Crawford (Marshall) def. Dashaun White (Tallwood) Default

By Mark Giannotto  |  December 13, 2009; 12:25 PM ET
Categories:  Annandale , Centreville , Chantilly High School , Edison , Fairfax , Herndon , Jefferson , Lake Braddock , Madison , Marshall , McLean , Mountain View , Northern Region , Paul VI , Potomac Falls , Robinson , South County , St. Stephen's/St. Agnes , T.C. Williams , W.T. Woodson , Wakefield , Westfield , Woodbridge , Wrestling , Yorktown  
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Among the many impressive stories in this tournament is one concerning Thomas Jefferson's Joe Latta, who placed second in the heavyweight division. Joe was wrestling "äbove his weight class." He could easily qualify for the 215 lb category, but helped the Jefferson team to make way for another teammate in that division. To qualify for the championship round, he wrestled until midnight on the first day. Then he arrived for weigh-ins Saturday morning at 6:45, but left to take the ACTs (he is a TJ student, after all), and then returned to contest for the title. --Bart Naylor, another proud Jefferson parent.

Posted by: bartnaylor | December 16, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

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