Despite placing six wrestlers in the championship round and three in the consolation final, the Potomac Falls wrestling team failed to defend its title at the 22nd annual Terry McGowan Invitational wrestling tournament Saturday at Park View High School.
Broadneck won the tournament with 169 points, followed by Potomac Falls (158.5), Broad Run (133.5), O'Connell (125), Culpeper (113), Park View (82) and Thomas Jefferson (73).
"I'm very proud of the way we wrestled," said Potomac Falls Coach Kris Kelican, who had more wrestlers in the championship round than any other team. "We scored more points than we did last year, and we had more kids in the top three. We just didn't win."
Potomac Falls was led by senior Eric Bardey, who won the 130-pound title. Bardey, who placed first in the Concorde District and third in the Northern Region last season at 125 pounds, improved to 10-0 this season by pinning Broadneck's Steve Schall in 1 minute 39 seconds.
"Eric is a very physical wrestler," said Kelican, noting that Bardey leads the team in takedowns and pins. "He's a strong 130-pounder, and he's a very good technician. . . . He's very disappointed that he did not place at the state tournament last season, and he's dedicated himself to reaching that goal this season."
Tristan Hembree (112), Drew Eggleton (145), Sean Merritt (189), Mike Bell (215) and Mark Panchura (Hwt) placed second in their respective weight classes, and Justin Oksanen (119), Eric Ceglowski (125) and Omar El-Zaby (160) each took third.
"Eric went in as the number two seed, but he was really hurting," Kelican said. "He had a temperature of 102 degrees, and it affected the way he wrestled. Between matches, he was putting on coats in the hallway trying to stay warm. He even left the tournament early so he could go home and take care of himself."
Despite placing a distant sixth, Park View had more champions than Broadneck or Potomac Falls. Led by junior Phillip Bernier, who won the 152-pound title with a 9-3 decision over Broad Run's Ryan Fertick, the Patriots had three champions on Saturday.
Steve Turner won the 145-pound title with a 9-4 decision over Potomac Falls's Eggleton, and Wyatt Toregas won the 160-pound title with a 5-2 decision over Broadneck's Ryan Bloomfield. Bernier also won the tournament's sportsmanship award.
"Phillip is a great kid," said Park View Coach Greg Mitchell, who does not have any seniors in his starting lineup. "He had a tough time cracking the [starting] lineup last year because he was behind Toregas and [Carey] Grubbs, but he's doing really well this year. He's good on his feet, he's decent on the bottom and he leads our team in pins. . . . He's been a pleasant surprise."
Turner and Toregas have not been surprises. Last season, Turner won the McGowan title and placed second in the Liberty District and fourth in the Northern Region at 152 pounds. Toregas went 29-7 last season and won the McGowan tournament at 140 pounds. Both wrestlers are 9-2 this season.
"We're very tough in the middle," Mitchell said. "Turner is a pretty strong kid for 145, and he has decent technique. . . . Toregas did a lot of wrestling in the offseason and looks real good this year. He leads the team in takedowns and has looked good in both tournaments we've competed in."
Led by Tyler Calderwood, who won the 119-pound title with an 8-4 decision over O'Connell's Dan Yates, Broad Run placed five wrestlers in the championship round and had two champions.
Junior Anthony Parada won the 112-pound title by pinning Potomac Falls's Hembree in 24 seconds, and senior Brian Smith won the 135-pound title with an 11-4 decision over O'Connell's Keith Williams-Parker.
CAPTION: Park View's Phillip Bernier, on top, defeated Broad Run's Ryan Fertick for the title in the 152-pound division.
CAPTION: Park View's Wyatt Toregas, right, tries to get the better of Broadneck's Reid Bloomfield in the 160-pound division. Toregas won the title with a 5-2 decision.
CAPTION: Park View's Steve Turner clutches Potomac Falls's Drew Eggleton, front. Turner defeated Eggleton for the 145-pound title.