WRESTLING

Westfield Wrestling Wins Sixth Straight AAA Concorde District Title

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By Dan Bowman and Jeff Greer
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, February 8, 2009

It was a moment three years in the making for Westfield's Austin Fallon. After falling in the Virginia AAA Concorde District finals as a 160-pound sophomore and a 171-pound junior, the senior finally broke through, topping Robinson senior Marcus Hathaway, 7-4, for the 189-pound championship yesterday at Chantilly High School. Fallon (34-5) was one of six Westfield wrestlers to win individual titles, helping the Bulldogs to their sixth consecutive Concorde team title.

"The last two years were pretty tough," Fallon said. "I didn't want it to happen again."

Fourth-ranked Westfield had 10 wrestlers advance to the championship round and finished with 225.5 team points. In all, 12 Bulldogs placed in the top three in their weight classes. Other champions included 130-pound senior Brandon Berling (46-6) -- who pinned all three of his opponents -- and 145-pound junior Nick Grinups (33-7), who beat Robinson senior Reid Brown for the second-straight weekend and a third time in four matches this season.

"Honest to God, in 20 years of coaching, this was the best performance for our kids from beginning to end," Westfield Coach Chuck Hoskins said. "They just did a phenomenal job. The guys who [had expectations] did what they were supposed to, and the guys who weren't supposed to do anything came through."

Robinson, which finished second with 209.5 team points, had four overall champions, including freshman Jake Smith (40-9), who pinned all three of his opponents in a total time of 1 minute 37 seconds. Despite falling just short of a team title, the No. 5 Rams actually won three of five head-to-head title matches against Westfield.

"This was the hardest championship, bar none," Hoskins said. "Our kids really earned it."

Oakton, which finished in fifth place, crowned two individual champions in 125-pound senior Chris Butters and 160-pound senior Matt Patinos. Chantilly senior heavyweight Chris Cabe (29-1) and Fairfax 171-pound junior Jordan Yost (35-3) also coasted to district titles.

Mason Excels

O'Connell's Kyle Mason has had a pretty good week.

After helping his team snap DeMatha's streak of 23 consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles last Saturday, the 119-pound senior won his weight class at the prestigious St. Albans Invitational for the first time yesterday, defeating Georgetown Prep standout Parke Overmiller, 9-5, in the championship.

Mason, who also won his second individual WCAC crown in three years last week, said he'd always wanted a title at St. Albans, where some of the best private school wrestlers in the country have competed for more than 60 years.

"I just wanted that jacket," said Mason, who is 37-5. "The guys at this tournament are next-level wrestlers, so I just want to keep wrestling well against them and keep getting to the next level and the next level after that."

O'Connell Coach Bill Carpenter said Mason has worked hard in practice and in the weight room all four years with the team. But at a tournament like St. Albans, it takes more than just hard work to win.

"It's all about being in the right weight class in the right year," Carpenter said. "I'm not taking anything away from what Kyle did here, but that's just how difficult this tournament is. If you pay attention, do your work and wrestle your hardest, it'll pay off."

Mason's was the only title-bout victory for No. 6 O'Connell, but senior James Young finished second at 125 pounds and 130-pounder Nam Dunbar took third. Georgetown Prep's Bobby Gribbon (152), Giancarlo Zerega (171) and Junior Monzey (189) won their weight classes, while DeMatha's Pat Prada (112) and Bishop McNamara's Aaron Jackson (103) and Andrew Bannister (130) each finished second.

O'Connell finished fourth in the team standings, behind Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), Georgetown Prep and St. Benedict's (N.J.). No. 8 DeMatha, Sidwell Friends and Good Counsel rounded out the top 10, placing eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively.


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