“You don’t go out there to lose,” said Llopez, the state’s first junior freestyle champ since Faust’s double championship 12 years ago. “You train all summer for it. ... Starting on the airplane on the way out there, I was thinking that I was going to win the whole tournament.”
Llopez, who has capped his first high school seasons at La Plata with Maryland 4A/3A titles, won’t continue that streak. He said he will begin classes at St. Mary’s Ryken next month and plans to compete for the Knights next winter in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, a move he hopes will help set him up academically to wrestle in college.
(Jonathan Newton/WASHINGTON POST) - Josh Llopez, who is transferring from La Plata to St. Mary’s Ryken, had a strong showing in Fargo.
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“I’m ready to compete with those guys,” Llopez said of his venture to the private school scene, which offers the chance to end his season at the National Prep tournament. “I think I can hang.”
Recent Centennial graduate Nathan Kraisser — the All-Met lower weight wrestler of the year last winter — finished seventh in both competitions at 126 pounds in his final trip to Fargo. The four-time Maryland public school champion will wrestle at North Carolina next year.
Northern 152-pounder Eric Hoffman — a rising senior who earned second-team All-Met honors last season — was the other local junior wrestler to post two All-American performances with a pair of eighth-place finishes.
Duval 120-pounder Thierno Diallo (fourth), Hayfield 138-pounder Sahid Kargbo (third), Georgetown Prep 138-pounder Daniel Sanchez (sixth) also earned All-American status in the junior Greco Roman competition.
In the cadet category (ages 14-15), Severn 88-pounder Michael Doetsch earned All-American status with top-eight finishes in both competitions, including a second-place showing in freestyle. Northern 88-pounder Breandan Coughlin (second) and Good Counsel 94-pounder Adam Whitesell (eighth) were Greco Roman All-Americans.
On the girls’ side, Harriet Symington, a rising junior at Whitman, posted a pair of All-American performances, finishing third in the cadet freestyle competition at 101 and seventh in the junior freestyle draw at 97.