Winston Churchill High School wrestler Hunter Sutton can finally cross “county champion” off of his to-do list. The senior team captain, who wrestles at 152 pounds, earned a 6-2 decision over Colin McLaughlin from Damascus at Saturday’s Montgomery County Wrestling Championships, held at Gaithersburg High School.
“It was a little stressful,” Sutton said. “My first two years I got second (at counties), and both times the guys I lost to were my contenders at states. This year — after coming off of a knee injury last year which sidelined me for counties, regions and states — I was just ready to get the title. I kind of wrestled conservatively, but I was more concerned about winning.”
Sutton has two state titles and a region title to his credit, but he admits that his first county title has him riding high heading into the 4A/3A West Region and state tournaments over the next two weekends.
“I’m feeling pretty confident,” Sutton said. “I think I can definitely take it to them, and hopefully capture my third state title.”
The victory pushed Sutton’s season record to 40-0.
Adama Kieta also claimed an individual title for the Bulldogs at 160 pounds, defeating Johnny Fischer (Damascus) with a takedown in the sudden-victory overtime period. The exciting, 6-4, victory brought the crowd to it’s feet at several points, as supporters for other schools seemed to rally around any wrestler taking on a representative from the defending county champion Swarmin’ Hornets.
“It was awesome,” Kieta said of the support. “It gave me energy, and it just motivated me to wrestle better.”
With nine grapplers advancing to the final bouts, Damascus had the team title wrapped up before the championship round even began. The Swarmin’ Hornets (244.5 points) secured a third-consecutive county team title and the 11th in program history.
“To see them perform at this level, and the majority of them are juniors, it really made a statement tonight for what kind of program we have here at Damascus,” Hornets coach John Furgeson said. “It’s unbelievable to be a part of it. It has given me as much as I hope I have given them. You know, iron sharpens iron, so they are all helping each other out to get to this point, and it really shows.”
The Swarmin’ Hornets finished with four individual champions: freshman Scott Obendorfer (106 pounds), junior Mikey Macklin (113 pounds), junior Michael Wilkerson (126 pounds) and junior Ari Cacopardo (182 pounds). It was the second county title for both Macklin and Wilkerson.
“I was most impressed with Ari Cacopardo, and our freshman Scotty Obendorfer,” Furgeson said. “Scotty got a big tech fall over (David) Silverberg in the finals as a freshman. He’s a kid to watch for the next four years. Ari has been beaten by some of those guys earlier this year, so to come out on top he wrestled a smart tournament.”
Northwest senior Nick Davis (120 pounds) claimed his second county championship by pinning Brendan Parent with five seconds to spare in the second period. The victory is the 97th in his career, setting him up to surpass the 100-win plateau with a successful region tournament.
“Every day I have been working that move, constantly pounding it, so when I finally was getting him on his back, he started getting lose and I was like, ‘I can’t let him do it. I can’t let him go,’” Davis said. “This is the first step towards states and getting my 100 wins, so it was exciting to get this win.”
Jeff Moreno also secured an individual title at 170 pounds for the Jaguars, taking down Logan Brooks in the sudden-victory period for a 3-1 victory.
A pair of team captains claimed county crowns for Quince Orchard. Kyle Bollinger rode the momentum of a semifinal upset of top seed Cory Obendorfer to a 13-10 victory at 138 pounds, while 285-pounder Connor Tilton made quick work of every opponent he faced — finishing the tournament with three pins, each in under a minute.
“I am ecstatic,” Tilton said. “It’s so fun. This is my first county championship, so I get my name hung up in our wrestling room forever. That’s probably the best feeling I have ever had.”
Other champions included: Mitch Fenton (Walt Whitman) at 132 pounds, Mitchell Zio (Paint Branch) at 145 pounds, Robby Happy (Sherwood) at 195 pounds and Thomas Fitzpatrick (Richard Montgomery) at 220 pounds.
2013 MCPS Wrestling Tournament
106: Scott Obendorfer (DAM) tech fall David Silverberg (RM), 18-2
113: Mikey Macklin (DAM) dec. Jamil Garrison (NW), 9-3
120: Nick Davis (NW) fall Brendan Parent (DAM), 3:55
126: Michael Wilkerson (DAM) dec. Andrew Barnes (CZM) Barnes, 6-5
132: Mitch Fenton (WW) dec. Oumarou Bitang (MB), 5-0
138: Kyle Bollinger (QO) dec. Chris Crawford (WJ), 13-10
145: Mitchell Zio (PB) dec. Owen Brooks (DAM) , 8-5
152: Hunter Sutton (WC) dec. Colin McLaughlin (DAM), 6-2
160: Adama Kieta (WC) dec. Johnny Fischer (DAM) , 6-4 [SV]
170: Jeff Moreno (NW) dec. Logan Brooks (DAM), 3-1 [SV]
182: Ari Cacopardo (DAM) dec. Brendan Cowie (BCC), 7-5
195: Robby Happy (SHE) dec. Max Sessions (WW), 5-2
220: Thomas Fitzpatrick (RM) fall Tim Mallet (WHE), 0:15
285: Connor Tilton (QO) fall Chris Young (PB), 0:52
Notable team standings
1. Damascus 244.5
2. Northwest 167
3. Sherwood 122
4. Walt Whitman 107.5
5. Paint Branch 106