GREENSBORO — Over the weekend, 784 wrestlers from across North Carolina made the annual pilgrimage to Greensboro seeking a coveted state title in their respective weight classes. The competition, which ran from Thursday through Saturday, took place at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Seven local young men from Elkin High School and Starmount High School were among this group of hopeful competitors. Although none of these athletes accomplished entirely what they wanted, some did earn coveted spots on the podium.
Elkin took five wrestlers and three of the group came home with medals — Jude Lloyd, Juan Anuario and Blake Frye all placed in the top four of their respective weight classes.
Lloyd defeated Robert Furr of South Stanly 10-0 in the quarterfinals and Joshua Pardue of Starmount in the semifinals to advance to the championship match. In the Championship match, Lloyd faced Rosewood’s Jordan Todd in the 132-pound finals.
After a scoreless first period, Lloyd surrendered two near fall points in the closing seconds of the second period. Working from a deficit, Lloyd was forced to take some chances and gave up an escape and a takedown in the closing seconds of the third period in route to his second place finish.
Anuario’s journey to the podium was the longest of the Elkin trio. He was pinned by West Montgomery’s Mason Coble in the quarterfinals and dropped to the consolation bracket.
After an 8-0 major decision over Mount Airy’s John Bennett and a 3-0 decision over Cape Hatteras’ Ethan Gray, Anuario once again faced Coble in the 170-pound consolation finals. This time the Buckin’ Elk was victorious, posting a 5-2 decision to earn third place in his weight class.
Frye opened the day on Friday with a 2-0 decision over Pamlico’s Anthony Davis. He lost in the semifinals to the eventual champion Quadarrius Hopkins of Tarboro 16-4 to drop into the consolation bracket.
Frye bested Branson Lambert of Uhwarrie Charter 8-4 to advance to the 152-pound consolation finals. Here he fell to Swain’s Chris Miller 18-7 earning fourth place honors.
Elkin’s Tyjae Townsend and Ethan Chipman were eliminated from competition by two eventual place winners in their respective weight classes. Townsend was pinned by Tarboro’s Raquavious Hopkins who finished third at 113 pounds and lost a 3-1 decision to Mitchell’s Colton Marlow who finished fourth.
Chipman fell 11-5 in the opening round to Uwharrie Charter’s Kris Anquiano, who finished second at 145 pounds. The Elk’s second loss came in the form of a 5-2 decision to Chatham Central’s Ryan Baker.
Starmount’s Joshua Pardue opened with an 11-5 decision over West Montgomery’s Brian Morrill before falling to Lloyd in the semifinals. In the 132-pound consolation semifinals, the Ram sophomore dropped a controversial 6-4 decision to Mount Airy’s Joan Ramirez to be eliminated from the competition.
Silas Holbrook of the Rams fell in overtime to Heide Trask’s Joseph Chung 10-8 in the 182-pound quarterfinals. He picked up a 7-2 victory over Mount Airy’s Eric Olvera before falling to East Surry’s Mitchell Edwards 3-1 in the consolation semifinals.
Other area schools sent participants and enjoyed success at this event.
Mount Airy’s Jacob Hogue (126 pounds) and Dakota Smith (195 pounds) were champions while Joan Ramirez (132 pounds) placed fourth.
Alleghany’s Britt Weaver (145 pounds) placed first while Vincent Vielandi (220 pounds) was third. Fellow Trojans Evan Wagoner (106 pounds) and Jake Blevins (120 pounds) were fourth.
The Forbush Falcons had two state place winners. Edwin Alverenga (120 pounds) was third while Caleb Price (113 pounds) finished fourth.
Surry Central also placed two on the podium. Kaleb Dunn (220 pounds) finished second while David Pena (285 pounds) was fourth.