Adam Fassnacht's biggest smile after winning the Northern Region 215-pound title on Saturday did not come when his arm was raised in victory, nor when the championship medal was draped around his neck.
Instead Fassnacht rejoiced when, as he stepped off the podium, Robinson lacrosse Coach Tom Tufts awarded him a homemade apple pie.
"He made me one last year when I won," Fassnacht said. "They're great. He makes them from scratch."
Fassnacht was one of the few Robinson wrestlers smiling after the tournament. The No. 5 Rams placed third behind Hayfield -- which won its fourth title in five years -- and Herndon. Hayfield placed 10 of its 14 wrestlers in the top six and sophomore Ronnie Mills placed first at 103 pounds to help the Hawks total 178.5 points. Herndon (162 points) had two individual champions -- seniors Michael Davis (130 pounds) and Eric Zakrzewski (171) to hold off Robinson (155 points).
Robinson senior 171-pounder Mike Vachon finished third after falling to defending state champion Zakrzewski in an exciting semifinal. Vachon led 2-0 late in the third period when Zakrzewski earned a reversal and pinned Vachon with 30 seconds remaining.
Robinson junior Brent Jones placed second, falling to Mount Vernon senior Rob Valentine for the first time in three matches. Valentine pinned Jones with one second remaining in the match.
Fassnacht, a two-time Northern Region champion, is seeking his first Virginia AAA title after placing second last season. He also seeks a state title in his third sport -- Fassnacht has won state titles for Robinson's football and lacrosse teams.
The Northern Region will bring one of its strongest classes to the Virginia AAA Championship this weekend at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake. The region has not boasted multiple individual champions since winning two titles in the 1999-2000 season.
Included among the region's favorites to challenge for titles are its trio of undefeated seniors: Mount Vernon's Tony Martinez (32-0), Edison's Sam Alvarenga (38-0) and Westfield's Chris Goings (45-0). Each wrestler won his first Northern Region title last Saturday, and each seeks a first state place finish.
"Chris still has some business to take care of at states," said Westfield Coach Chuck Hoskins. "He wants to win it and he works real hard it. I always felt he could be right there with the elite wrestlers."
T.C. Williams senior Branden Beasley (33-1) won his second straight region title and hopes to improve upon his second place finish in the state last season. Beasley likely will have to knock off Western Branch's defending champion Brandon Hardy, who has committed to wrestle for the University of Oklahoma.