Four senior Whitman wrestlers placed in the top three of their respective weight classes at the Regional Tournament held at Sherwood High School February 26-27: Mitch Fenton took first place in the 152 pound class, his FOURTH Regional championship; Marcos Solloso finished second at 170 pounds; and 132 pound James Bamberger and 182 pound Ezra Alexander each captured third place.
Mitch Fenton won first place by decking all of his three opponents in a combined total of about seven minutes. In the championship match he pinned the number two seed, Damascus’ Brendan Parent, in just over one minute, extending his undefeated season record to 38-0. Mitch is the first wrestler in the long history of the Whitman wrestling program to earn four regional championships!
In total, nine Whitman wrestlers competed in the Regional Tournament; 145 pound senior wrestler Hamoon Shokoohinia qualified to participate but was unable to do so because of injury. In the overall team scoring, Whitman came in fourth among the twenty-five schools competing. In addition to the aforementioned region place winners and state qualifiers, Whitman also had four additional wrestlers who qualified for the region tournament by earning a top 8 amount of points within our 25 team region. They include sophomore Clark Boinis (113 lbs), Senior Braedan McKee(160 lbs), Sophomore John Luke Iglesias (195 pounds), and Senior Jacob Winch (220 lbs). Senior Chris Habibian (106 lbs) had also been named as an alternate.
Marcos Solloso had a scrambling, back and forth championship bout with Poolesville’s Justin Budd, whom Marcos had pinned at the very end of an equally fierce match during Whitman’s dual with Poolesville earlier in the season. Tron Carter, who does the Montgomery County blog for the Maryland State Wrestling Association, wrote that this “might have been the match of the tourney.” But this time it was Budd who came out on top, with a close 9-7 decision.
James Bamberger had dropped a match to Damascus’ Ryan Lawrence, the ultimate 132 pound champion, but James fought his way back through the consolation brackets to a third place finish, pinning, in fifty seconds, B-CC’s Seamus Selmi, who already had upset the number two seed in this tournament and the number one seed in the Montgomery County Tournament a week earlier
In like manner, Ezra Alexander had lost a decision early on to Paint Branch’s Austin Smith, but he successfully wrestled back, pinning Damascus’ Elijah Baisden in the first period of their match and then avenging his earlier loss to Smith by decisioning him 5-2 in the consolation final, to capture third place in the tournament.
All four wrestlers thereby qualified to compete in the State of Maryland 3A/4A public school tournament to be held at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro on March 4 and 5. The brackets for the State Tournament have been seeded and can be accessed via the article, “State Wrestling Tournament Seeded and Ready to Roll on Friday and Saturday!!”, at http://www.mpssaa.org/news/.
By Derek Manon