Western Albemarle’s wrestling program took a big leap forward earlier this season with the Warriors’ second-ever Jefferson District title. But going over into the valley, a wrestling hotbed, as part of the Conference 29 tournament, Western faced a tall task Saturday.
The Warriors were up for it.
Western logged 207 points to outpace second place Turner Ashby 207-162 to win the Conference 29 title.
“Winning the Conference 29 tournament is an awesome accomplishment for our program and we are very proud of all our wrestlers,” said Western coach Adam Mulcahy. “(The coaches) felt that we had a shot going into the day and knew we would need all of our guys to contribute and work hard for every bonus point.”
Most of Western wrestlers contributed to the win and 12 Warriors grapplers earned spots in the Region 3A West tournament.
Four Western players won individual conference titles, with Will Davis winning at 138 pounds, Russ Hill taking the championship at 145, Nate Riley winning at 182 and Jake Jackson picking up the heavyweight title.
David won his final in a 7-2 decision over Broadway’s Caleb Craft while Hill took the 145 championship with a pin against Kerry Showalter of Waynesboro. Riley beat Dylan Kerns of Turner Ashby 9-1 for a major decision. Jackson capped his run to the conference title by pinning Broadway’s Matthew Rittenhouse.
At 106 pounds, Jack Overstreet finished second for the Warriors, as did Anthony Ramazani at 132, Keegan Riley at 160, Asa Shin at 170 and Jabari Gomez at 195.
Zach Swales took third at 113 for Western while teammate Cy Ward grabbed third at 126 and Drew Rakes took fourth at 120.
“These kids are amazing, resilient and accountable to each other,” Mulcahy said. “It was an exciting day and I think it showcases the hard work and dedication that our kids put in every day. Another great team win.”
Monticello’s Logan Zimmerman won a Conference 29 title as well, pinning Turner Ashby’s Dalton Farley in overtime for a thrilling victory. The Mustangs also scored points with a second place finish from Kaleb Phillips, a third from Jacob Watson and fourth place finishes from Ryan Smith and Caleb Bouw.
Fluvanna County had two third place finishers and a fourth place. Esa Mayo-Pitts finished third at 120 pounds, Ian Dillon took third at 152 pounds and Jimmy Dillahunt took fourth at 170.