Vikings Place Three at Counties

                With Senior Captains Peyton Casamento and Sebastian Turkewitz securing third place and Junior Charlie Imperial placing sixth at the County Wrestling Tournament at Gaithersburg High School Saturday, the Vikings will send at least three wrestlers to the Regionals at Clarksburg next weekend. 

Casamento (120) and Turkewitz (170) both matched their third-seed starting points by pinning their opponents in the third rounds of their Consolation Finals matches and securing third place in the tournament.

Casamento pinned 4-seed Holda from Sherwood at 1:03 in the third for his finals win. Tied 0-0 after the first, Peyton sensed Holda was riding high in the second and rolled him over for a reversal. Holda took top to start the third and got too high in his ride again. This time, Peyton secured Holda’s head and rolled him over onto his shoulders for the pin. Peyton began the tourney against Bucy of QO. The match began intensely, but Peyton snapped the head and secured a takedown at 1:30 before using an arm bar and chest-to-chest for a pin at 0:29. Next up against Magruder’s Houldswort, Peyton snapped again for a takedown and cradled for a pin at 1:16. Peyton faced Springbrook’s 2-seed and bracket runner-up, Matt Kilby, in the Semi-Finals. He led 3-2 after one, giving up a takedown before escaping and taking Kilby down and just missing a near fall at the buzzer. Peyton deferred choice to start the second, and Kilby chose top. Peyton spun and got to his feet before Kilby used legs to take him back to the mat, then caught Peyton’s arm above and behind him and used the leverage to secure a surprising pin. Against WJ’s Termini, Peyton led 4-0 after one and started from down in the second. A quick escape, then a headlock and shuck to gain advantage put him up 7-0 before he locked Termini in a cradle for a pin at 1:02 to qualify for the 3-4 Consolation Final.

                Seb Turkewitz used a takedown-to-pin with one second remaining in regulation of his finals match to win his rematch with Isiah Bell of Damascus and take home his third-place medal. The bout was close throughout, tied 1-1 with points coming only from escapes. Bell attempted repeated headlock takedown moves as time ran down. Seb finally got under Bell’s arms and put him right to his back and held him for the pin. Seb started the tourney against Bell as well. He faced a 1-4 deficit after surrendering a reversal in the second, then turned the tables when he escaped then sprawled and pressured Bell’s head down to get behind him for a takedown just before the buzzer. Tied 4-4, Seb escaped in the third for a 5-4 lead, then hand fought and slid behind his opponent for a takedown and 7-4 lead. After allowing an escape, Seb fended off a last-second shot to secure the 7-5 win and advance to the semis. Facing 2-seed and bracket champion, Jaedyn Harris from Gaithersburg, Seb could not get underneath for any strong shots and dropped a 0-7 decision. Seb advanced to the 3-4 Consolation Bout through an exciting overtime victory against Blair’s Ayivi, the 4-seed. Tied 1-1 at end of regulation, Ayivi attempted a shot to Seb’s body, but Seb got underneath, hugged Ayivi, and used an inside trip to put Ayivi on his back before securing the superior position for the decisive takedown.

                Charlie Imperial (182) started as a 7-seed and finished sixth, losing a close 5-7 decision against 6-seed Kahadze of QO in his 5-6 Consolation Final. Charlie opened the tourney with a technical fall against Watkins Mill’s Yanez. Yanez had no answer for Charlie’s tilt, which he used for five near falls and a 13-0 lead after one. Starting up in the second, another tilt near fall secured the 15-0 win. Facing 2-seed and bracket runner-up, Olympio from Northwest, in the quarterfinals, Charlie got caught with a barbed wire for a pin at 1:10 in the third. Against Little of Sherwood in his first consolation bout, Charlie again used his tilt move, going up 2-0 after 2, then reversing and nailing three more tilts for a 10-0 major. Facing a 0-0 tie going into the third period against Chen of Blair, Charlie started on top and landed two near-fall tilts for a 4-0 lead. He allowed an escape and a takedown, but toughed out the 4-3 win. Fourth-seeded Pace of Rockville pinned Charlie in the consolation semis to put him into the 5-6 bout.

The Vikings brought seven wrestlers to the tournament, which included Juniors Isaac Besrat, Will MacDonald, and Ryan O’Connor, and Senior Captain Luke Cullinane, in addition to Casamento, Imperial, and Turkewitz. Luke (195) pinned Clarksburg’s Stamper in Consolation Round 2 to take him to the verge of qualifying for a top-6 bout. Luke was up 1-0 with less than 30 seconds remaining against Blair’s Vernon when Vernon eked out a reversal and near fall just before the buzzer. Junior Captain Will Macdonald (160) took down Rockville’s Criollo and caught him in a cradle for a pin in the first period of his Consolation Round 1 match, but then dropped a 2-6 decision to Gaithersburg’s Morones (who placed sixth) in Round 2.

                Because some of the teams that wrestle in the County Tournament progress to different regions than Whitman, one or more of the wrestlers who did not place may in fact qualify for the regional tournament in addition to Charlie, Peyton, and Seb. That will not be confirmed until early this week. In any event, please make your way to Clarksburg High School on Friday and Saturday, February 28 and 29, to cheer on the wrestling Vikings.

                And, congratulations to all the Vikings whose seasons have ended for showing tenacity and grit, working hard to improve, and proudly continuing Whitman’s wrestling tradition. We know all the underclassmen will learn from both the highs and lows of the season and use their experiences to motivate for the off season work and prepare and improve through the 2020-21 season.

By: Tom Mackall

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