Robinson rolls to its second Virginia AAA state wrestling title in three years
By Bryan Black,
CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Going into the Virginia AAA state wrestling tournament finals, all that remained for Robinson was to see how many individual champions it would have Saturday.
There was also the matter of hoisting another state championship trophy since the Rams already had wrapped up their second title in three years. Before the night’s first championship bout even began at Oscar Smith High School, Robinson had piled up a 411 / 2-point lead.
“It’s a good day for us,” said Robinson Coach Bryan Hazard, whose team finished with 1421 / 2 points, outpacing Westfield (101 points) and Forest Park and Colonial Forge (both with 961 / 2). “We had a small lead after Friday, and it was just a great team effort.”
Jake Pinkston did get the Rams an individual title in the tournament’s final bout. He had seen two of his teammates fall in the finals.
“It was in my mind, but I told myself it was just another match,” Pinkston said after holding off Matoaca’s Anthony Helm in the 285-pound final. “There’s no better feeling than going into the finals and knowing we’d already won the team title.”
In the 152-pound final, Robinson’s Jack Bass was knocked off by Grassfield’s Taylor Misuna, 3-1, on a last-second takedown.
“We came in with a goal,” Hazard said. “Every kid’s goal is to be a state champ, but as a coach you know some of them aren’t going to reach that goal. In the end, though, we brought nine wrestlers, and eight of them placed in the top six, with the other one in the top eight.”
In addition to its three finalists, Robinson picked up important points from third-place Austin Riggs at 126, fourth-place finishers Dallas Smith at 138 and Zak DePasquale at 160, fifth-place Greyson Olimpo at 106 and sixth-place Daniel Mika at 182.
“We had two big heroes in Dallas Smith and Austin Riggs,” Hazard said. “Both were second in the region tournament and lost in the first round Friday. But they both battled back, and I’m so proud of them.”
At 170, Brett Stein gave Forest Park its third state individual champion of the night with a 5-2 decision over Robinson’s Cole DePasquale. Forest Park also got titles at 106 from Tommy Aloi and 132 from Dennis Gustafson.
Mount Vernon’s Billy Adusei pulled a rare feat at 126 by becoming a freshman state champion. Holding a 4-3 lead with just seconds to go, Adusei put Kellam’s Hayden Felch on his back for a 7-3 victory.
Westfield senior Beau Donahue became a three-time state champion by working over Battlefield’s Justus Weaver in the 145-pound final, 11-3.
At 220, West Potomac’s Will Rupp capped a 44-0 season by holding off Landstown’s Eldon Valery, 5-3.
In the 160 title bout, Lake Braddock’s Rory Renzi dominated Westfield’s Stephen Aiello, 16-7.
In the 195-pound final, Thomas Jefferson’s Patrick O’Connor was pinned by Matoaca’s Corbin Ramos.