Split in Battle-of-Bethesda Lands Vikings in Region Duals
A dominating performance over Walter Johnson to open the Battle-of Bethesda Tri-Meet Saturday clinched a spot for the Vikings in the Region Duals. The Vikes followed with a gutsy performance against host B-CC that fell just short of the win and the top region seed. The 10-4 Vikings are healthy and peaking and have set the stage for exciting rematch possibilities against B-CC or Churchill or both on Wednesday night. Action will begin at 5:30 at a location TBD.
The Vikings also have their first wrestling state champion of the year: Stephanie Solloso! Yesterday, Stephanie won her weight class at the MPSSAA female state tournament, improving on last year’s second-place finish. Congratulations, Stephanie!
The JV Vikes beat both WJ and B-CC to close out the season strongly before heading into the Montgomery County JV Tournament at Gaithersburg High School this weekend. There is still a lot of wrestling left this season, so keep coming out to cheer on the Vikes!
Vikings over WJ 57-13
The Vikings opened the day with a strong showing against a typically strong WJ team.
Isaac Besrat (113) started the day with a technical fall after going up 17-0 in the third. Up 2-0 after one, Isaac scored a quick escape to start the second. He followed with a takedown and a cradle for three back points and an 8-0 lead after two. Down again to start the third, Isaac escaped quickly then used a nice slide by to score another takedown. Two cradles for near falls later, Isaac broke the 15-point differential for the tech fall. 5-0 Vikings.
In the blink of an eye, Peyton Casamento (120) put the Vikes up 11-0. After a takedown at 1:48, Peyton put his man into a cradle and nailed the pin at 1:11.
Next up, Caleb Brenner (126) jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a double-leg takedown. After a reversal and a point for an illegal hold, Caleb escaped right at the buzzer to end the first up 4-2. Caleb escaped from down and was awarded another illegal hold point before giving up a last-second takedown to end the second up 6-4. The match tied with a reversal at 1:32 in the third before Caleb put the match out of reach with his own reversal and a three-point near fall at 0:18 for the 11-6 win. 14-0 Vikings.
Matthew Lindstrom (132) kept the streak going. After a takedown in 15 seconds, Matthew used a wire for two back points, then an armbar for another three. An escape and takedown later, Matthew was up 8-1 after one. As the second period was coming to a close, Matthew was up 14-2 after a reversal, a near fall, and a takedown, when he put his opponent on his back. Another 3-point near fall would have resulted in a tech fall, but Matthew wanted more and secured the pin with 15 seconds remaining. 20-0 Vikings.
Colby Fong (138) encountered WJ’s best pound-for-pound wrestler, a state finalist last year who is ranked 1st in 4A/3A this year. Colby took him into the third period before a giving up a technical fall. 20-5 Vikings.
Arthur Dehareng (145) put the Vikes back in the win column. Arthur scored a takedown in the first 15 seconds and rode top the rest of the first. In the second, he escaped in five seconds, scored another takedown, and then used a cradle for two back points to go up 7-0. The third period started neutral, and its first 50 seconds were filled with ties and flips and rolls as the wrestlers sought the takedown. At 1:12 Arthur won the battle and went up 9-0, then rode out the match to secure the major. 24-5 Vikings.
Charlie Imperial (152) faced off against a wrestler listed in the “others to watch” for 3A/4A in Maryland and ranked third in the county. Charlie wrestled strongly, down 1-3 after two. He closed the gap to 4-5 with a takedown in the third, but fell short 4-10. Vikings up 24-8.
John Mackall (160) started slowly in the first, taking a shot with about five seconds remaining and just missing the takedown before the buzzer sounded. The second was a different story. Starting up, John secured a cradle and after a few adjustments landed the pin at the 1:18 mark. 30-8 Vikings.
Seb Turkewitz (170) promptly followed suit. Down 0-2 after a takedown, Seb used a headlock to roll the reversal and lock the pin at 1:11 in the first. 36-8 Vikings.
Thomas Santora (182) went up 2-0 with a slide-by for the takedown at 1:50 and never relinquished his lead. After an escape, Thomas used a hug for another takedown and a 4-1 lead. An escape and takedown in the second put him up 7-1. Up to start the third, he gave up an escape then tied up for the remainder to win 7-2.
After forfeits to Yussef Zaki (195) and Adam Nganwa (at 220 in his first appearance of the season), the Vikings were up 51-8.
Tom Wilmarth added another six to the team score. Tom used a bear hug for a first-minute takedown, then twisted the wire for the pin at 0:37. After Peter Li (106) gave up a technical fall, the final score of the match was 57-13.
Vikes Fall Short against B-CC Barons, 25-40
The B-CC Barons have a strong team this year, with wrestlers at 106, 113, 132, 138, and 145 ranked in the top five for 4A/3A in Maryland and county-ranked wrestlers at 126 and 152. The Vikes knew they had their work cut out for them and, despite spirited wrestling, fell just short of the win.
Peyton Casamento (120) led off with a win. Peyton gave up a take down to start, but tied with a reversal before giving up an escape at the end of the first to go down 2-3. In the second, Peyton started down and gained a point and the tie when his opponent ceded to neutral. Peyton then used a slide-by to land a takedown at 1:48. He rode top the rest of the period, falling just short of several efforts for back points. In the third, he started and stayed on top, again falling just short of back-point tries and finishing with a 5-3 victory. Vikings up 3-0.
Caleb Brenner (126) was hit with a quick double-leg takedown, escaped, and then was taken down again before a pin at 1:11. Matthew Lindstrom (132) then gave up a technical fall when he went down 15-0 in the third. Colby Fong (138) ducked under for a takedown to narrow the gap to 4-9 in the third, but an escape and takedown resulted in a 4-12 major. Arthur Dehareng (145) gave up a pin in the first. Charile Imperial (152) then put up a good fight but could not muster points and gave up a 1-11 major. This string put the Vikes down 3-25.
John Mackall (160) knew the team needed a spark and gave it to them. He quickly popped an outside single-leg takedown and squeezed his man’s shoulders for a near fall, just missing the pin, before latching another cradle and nailing the pin at 1:08. Vikes down 9-25.
Seb Turkewitz (170) then took a major. Up 2-0 after one, Seb started down in the second, escaped at 1:34, scored a single leg takedown and, in the last ten seconds, cut his opponent and scored another takedown for a 7-1 lead. Starting the third in neutral, both wrestlers knew every team point would count, and B-CC was called for stalling trying to avoid a takedown or worse. Seb landed a takedown at 0:57, but could not flip his opponent and secured a 10-1 major. Vikes down 13-25.
Thomas Santora (182) went up 4-1 after the first, and escaped and scored a takedown for a 7-1 lead after two. After a stall call against B-CC in the third, Thomas was up 10-3, and a last minute take down made the final 10-5. Vikes close the gap to 16-25.
Yussef Zaki (195) then took his opponent down in 10 seconds and pinned him with an armbar at 1:24, bringing cheers from the Whitman crowd as the score narrowed to 22-25.
Next up at 220, Adam Nganwa started with a single leg for a 2-0 lead, but then went down 2-3 from an escape and takedown before escaping with ten seconds left to end the first tied 3-3. In the second, Adam escaped in ten seconds, but then gave up a take down to go down 4-5. Both benches and crowds were on their feet, as thee wrestlers entered the third period. Adam started up, then cut his man for a 4-6 deficit. His first live bout of the season, Adam dug deeply through fatigue in the third to try several shots and regain the lead, but he fell just short and gave up a takedown with 15 seconds left and ceded a 4-8 decision. Vikings down 22-28.
Tom Wilmarth (285) put up another victory for the Vikes. Tom dominated his opponent, scoring three takedowns, but just could not lock his attempts to flip him for back points or the pin, and went away with a 6-2 decision. Vikings down 25-28.
Peter Li (106) and Isaac Besrat (113) then faced state-ranked wrestlers. Both fought gamely but could not avoid pins. Isaac Besrat took his match to the second period with a tremendous effort, however. Isaac was put on his back at the 1:50 mark of the first, but then bridged for the entire remainder of the period to limit his opponent to a three-point near fall. Hats off to that effort.
And hats off to the Vikings’ effort yesterday and throughout this season. Despite a rash of injuries and illnesses, including the absence of Seniors Max Gersch, Sang Bobbitt Hanna, and Yussef Zaki for most of the season, the Vikes have shown versatility, determination, and continuing improvement to earn their placement in this week’s Region Duals. First-time or younger varsity wrestlers like Peter Li, Isaac Besrat, Joseph Aron, Sean Mitchell, Rian O’Connor, Stephanie Solloso, Arthur Dehareng, Charlie Imperial, Will Macdonald, and Danylo Hartzler emerged and contributed essential skill and depth. Juniors Peyton Casamento, Caleb Brenner, John Mackall, and Seb Turkewitz, despite each missing some part of the season because of injury or illness, have added consistency and competitiveness where and when it was needed. Seniors Matthew Lindstrom, Colby Fong, Tom Wilmarth, Thomas Santora (who also has battled through injuries), Yussef, Sang, and Max showed leadership through excellence on the mat at multiple points through the season.
The 10-4 regular season has truly been a great team effort. We are looking forward to the wrestling yet to be done this season. Go Vikes!
By: Tom Mackall