Churchill senior Hunter Sutton had waited more than a year for his chance at another Maryland 4A/3A state title, so he didn’t mind waiting a little bit longer.
His opponent in Saturday’s 152-pound final, Wilde Lake’s Malik Jackson, circled and fidgeted in the center of the red mat at Maryland’s Cole Field House. Sutton, meanwhile, dropped to one knee and waited.
Sutton won state titles in his freshman and sophomore seasons before tearing the meniscus in his right knee just before the state tournament last year. The injury ruined his chances of becoming a four-time state champion. But with a 5-3 victory against Jackson, he settled for the next best thing.
“Four was behind me,” said Sutton, who will wrestle at Navy next year. “I couldn’t get it, so three was my next step. I finished with an undefeated season, so I’m excited.”
Sutton was one of 15 area wrestlers to win a state title Saturday and one of seven to complete an undefeated season in the process. Local wrestlers swept the 14 weight classes in the 4A/3A division, and Jaron Smith of Oakland Mills won the 2A/1A title at 160 pounds.
Eighth-ranked River Hill had three individual champions and finished second in the team standings with 92.5 points, four points behind state champion North Hagerstown (96.5).
Senior 220-pounder Cory Daniel, who will wrestle at North Carolina, won his second consecutive title for the Hawks. He was joined atop the podium by teammates Michael Beck (120 pounds) and Harvard-bound senior Logan Kirby (195).
Kirby won the first state title of his high school career after finishing second in each of the past two years.
“I get to go home to my buddies and say, ‘I finally did it.’ They’ll be psyched for me,” Kirby said, grinning. “Overall, I’m just glad we can take this back to our school. It means a lot for us to have a couple state champions.”
Damascus 113-pounder Mikey Macklin and La Plata junior Marty Margolis (126 pounds) also repeated as state champions.
Margolis’s father, also Marty, and uncle each won Maryland state titles for McDonough in the 1990s. But Margolis earned some family bragging rights, eclipsing both of them with a second championship.
While the majority of final matches were decided by one or two points, Margolis dominated Westminster’s Cole Wetzel to win by technical fall, 23-8. Margolis said he wanted to emulate Penn State’s three-time all-American David Taylor and other top wrestlers who score early and often.
“I just poured it on and tried to break him,” Margolis said. “Every time I got him and let him back up, I just broke him a little bit more. And then eventually I cracked him.”
Northern 106-pounder Breandan Coughlin was the only 4A/3A wrestler to seal his state championship with a pin. La Plata’s Anthony Cable (170 pounds), Meade’s Travis Chidebe (160), Annapolis’s Stanley Proctor (138), Macklin and Daniel also completed unbeaten seasons.
“Last year, I was a little bit nervous going into this. This year I was more focused and prepared,” Daniel said. “That’s what I wanted to do all season: finish undefeated and win a state championship.”