The Hilltoppers dominated at the Region 1 individual wrestling tournament, capturing seven titles, four runners-up, and two third-place finishes at David Crockett’s gym on Saturday.
“I am happy,” said Science Hill head coach Jimmy Miller. “But this is what we’re supposed to do. This is what the team set for themselves. They showed up today and wrestled to the ability they have. I’m proud of them.”
Next up is the TSSAA state individual tournament, which begins Thursday in Franklin.
Luke Story, the Super 14 wrestler of the year, had his hands full with David Crockett’s Gavin Russell. The match was nip and tuck throughout and wound up going the distance.
Story, ranked No. 1 in the state, scored on an escape late to expand his lead and held on for a 5-3 decision.
“That match was a lot tougher than it should have been,” said Miller. “(Russell) doesn’t get in bad position, and he’s strong. We may be problematic to that. (Russell) has wrestled (Story) close two or three times.”
Chase Diehl, another medalist threat at the state level, methodically pulled away from Morristown East’s Alex Mercado for an 11-3 major decision. Diehl seemed to get stronger and more in control as the match progressed.
“The kid is really tough and strong, and I do my best to try to keep my lungs and keep a good pace,” said Diehl. “I’m constantly on the attack and constantly trying to score, and trying to get one takedown after another.”
Braxton Mann (113) and teammate Tyler Seeley (120) needed only a combined 2:15 to earn their titles. Mann pinned Tennessee High’s Reece Nelson in 1:37 while Seeley used only 38 seconds to capture a pin against Jefferson County’s Landon Fisher.
“At the beginning of the match, I noticed I could do a spin circle and attack on him,” said Seeley. “He was a freshman, so I wasn’t as nervous.”
Mann said, “I just made a good move and kept wrestling. My partners and my team are just great. They helped me get through everything.”
Other weight classes
Science Hill got a bit of a surprise win from Jim Kalogeros at 182. He beat top-seeded Camden Buckingham of Morristown West by a 6-4 decision.
“We wrestled over our heads there,” said Miller. …
Weston Brown pinned Cooper Jenkins of Tennessee High in just 54 seconds to win at 195 pounds. ….
Denzel Medina earned a 5-1 decision over Jefferson County’s Curtis Pinkston at 220 pounds. …
Dobyns-Bennett captured the top spot at 106 (Brennan Watkins) and 285 pounds (Brenton Salyers). ...
Tennessee High earned titles at 126 (Judson McCray), 132 (Dillon Pendley), 145 (Dominic Fields), and 152 pounds (Logan Ferguson).