Loudoun Valley's wrestling team had suffered a decisive home loss to Warren County earlier in the week, but the Vikings found some bright spots when they met the same Wildcats--and six other teams--at last weekend's Brentsville Invitational.

Two Vikings--Sam Wilkinson and Mickey Pullin--won individual titles, and Loudoun Valley took fifth place in the eight-team tournament. Wilkinson, who advanced to the state tournament last year, took the 171-pound crown, while Pullin won the 130-pound title.

"I'm really proud of Mickey," Loudoun Valley Coach Todd McClelland said. "He's developed a couple more moves and matured a lot. He deserved a title because he's a captain, he's wrestled here since his freshman year, and he missed going to states last year by one match. I think, now, he has a very strong chance of getting to states."

Other Vikings had strong showings, including third-place finishes for Gennaro Budesheim (215) and Matt Thompson (heavyweight) and fifth place for 189-pounder Jamie Murray.

Warren County squeaked by Brentsville, 413-409, to win the team title. Fauquier finished third with 371 points.

Berkley Springs Invitational

Neither a stomach in knots nor a case of dehydration could force Loudoun County junior Andrew Bango from last weekend's Berkley Springs wrestling tournament.

The 125-pounder arrived at the West Virginia exhibition last Friday feeling fine and winning his first match. But the next morning, his stomach was aching and he was losing fluids rapidly. Even though he lost two matches to fall into the consolation bracket, Bango won three times, including 17-1 in his final match, to capture fifth place.

"He had a real good showing for someone in his condition," Loudoun County Coach Derek Farrey said. "That was the worst possible time for him to get sick, but he shook it off and wrestled well."

Although the Raiders finished 14th in the 18-team field, seven of them advanced to the second day of competition. Two of those wrestlers, junior Greg Sandstrom (140 pounds) and senior Brandon Joyce (145), showed significant technical improvement, Farrey said.

"Overall, I felt pretty pleased with our team," Farrey said. "We were definitely the least experienced team there, so to get seven guys to the second day was really impressive. I was hoping just to get two there [to the second day]. I was pleasantly surprised."

First place went to Northern of Garrett County, Md. Northern finished with 217.5 points, 37.5 better than second-place Hedgesville (W. Va.).