Difficult Grapple for Depleted Vikings
The Vikings entered the “Grapple at the Brook” rowing against the current, with three weight classes unmanned and missing five varsity wrestlers from the standard dual-meet lineup, and encountered rougher waters through two days of wrestling. They departed the tourney with a combined record of 12-22, having as many wrestlers exit with injuries as those who placed and finishing in the bottom third of the 15 participating teams.
The Springbrook-hosted Grapple is known as a tough tournament, drawing teams from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and Howard and PG counties in addition to Montgomery County. The Vikings entered with a reconfigured lineup to accommodate injuries, illness, and other factors. The 11 wrestling Vikes were Peter Li (Fr. 106), Isaac Besrat (So. 113), Peyton Casamento (Jr. 120), Matthew Lindstrom (Sr. 132), Ryan O’Connor (So. 138), Arthur Dehareng (So. 145), Will Macdonald (So. 152), John Mackall (Jr. 160), Sang Bobbitt Hanna (Sr. 170), Seb Turkewitz (Jr. 182), and Tom Wilmarth (Sr. 285). No Vikes wrestled at 126, 195, or 220.
Matthew Lindstrom, seeded fourth with a bye in the first round, was the Vikings’ brightest spot. Matthew led 2-0 after a takedown in the first period of his first bout, then built a 6-2 lead through the second period with takedowns and cuts. In the third, starting from neutral, he scored two more takedowns to finish with a 10-4 victory. After losing by technical fall in the championship semis to the eventual tourney champion, Matthew earned his own technical fall in the consolation semis, with three takedowns, three near falls, an escape and a penalty point for a 15-0 victory. He lost a close match, 6-7, to a Springbrook opponent in the placement round, surrendering a go-ahead takedown with thirty seconds remaining. Overall, Matthew finished 2-2 and earned a fourth-place medal.
Peyton Casamento also shined for the Vikes. Peyton opened strongly by taking a 13-1 lead over his TC Williams opponent before landing the pin at 0:26 in the second. In the championship quarterfinals, he dominated his Sherwood opponent, going up 5-0 after one, using a wire move for a 3-point near fall at the buzzer in the second, then using a half for another near fall in the third and giving up only a last-minute escape for an 11-1 major. In the championship semis, Peyton gave up a takedown in the second to go down 2-1, and started the third in the down position. His Clarksburg opponent, who finished second for the tourney, remarkably rode top for two minutes without any stall warning or points to secure the win. In the consolation semis, Peyton was leading his Cape Henlopen opponent and third-place finisher 2-0 and started the second in the down position, but got caught in a roll for a pin at the 1:00 mark. Peyton won a rematch with Holda from Sherwood in the placement round, but this time with a much closer score of 2-1, the winning points coming from whizzer and cross-face for a takedown in the second. Peyton finished in fifth place with a 3-2 record.
Four Vikes won early-round matches. After going down 0-2 to start his bout, Isaac Besrat (1-2) tied it up with a reversal and then in the second reversed and pinned his opponent at 1:36. Isaac then lost matches to the first-place and third-place winners.
Will Macdonald (2-2) started with a double-leg takedown against his opening opponent from Gaithersburg and never looked back, scoring a 15-4 win. After losing a second-period pin to the tourney’s second-place finisher from Long Reach, Will won the next round by forfeit, before losing 2-13 to the fifth-place finisher in the next consolation round.
Seb Turkewitz (1-2), back in the line-up after only a day of practice since returning from injury, built a 5-1 lead over his opening opponent before using a headlock for a takedown to pin with :06 remaining in the first. Seb then lost a close 0-3 decision to finalist and High-Five teammate Pfeiffer from Sherwood, and a close 2-3 decision in the second consolation round.
Tom Wilmarth (1-2) scored a takedown with a snap in the first period and an escape in the second, for a 3-0 win to open the tourney, before losing his next two bouts.
Arthur Dehareng (1-2) lost his opening round match, but came back with a pin at 1:07 in the second in the opening consolation round. Sang Bobbitt Hanna (officially 1-2) won his opener by forfeit, before losing to a tourney finalist from Atholton and then forfeiting his next match due to injury. John Mackall (officially 0-2) lost a close match in the opener to third-place finisher, Ramm from Clarksburg, when he surrendered a last-minute takedown breaking a 1-1 tie. John then forfeited his next bout due to injury. Peter Li, in his first Grapple, and Ryan O’Connor, wrestling up a weight class (or even two) in his first grapple, could not get into the win column.
The Vikings get a week of much needed rest, with no action until a tri-meet next Saturday, January 26, against Wheaton and Churchill. The action begins at Churchill at 1:00 pm. On Tuesday, January 29, the Vikings return home against Wootton. The Tuesday match is Senior Night, so please make a special effort to come to the match to honor the 12 Senior Viking Wrestlers. Go Vikes!
By Tom Mackall