The suggestion that the sudden success of Dominion's wrestling program last year was a fluke never really sat well with those in the program. In winning their second straight AA Dulles District tournament title at Park View on Saturday, the Titans proved they have staying power.
Heavyweight Brandon MacLean and 135-pounder Farid Iqbal repeated as champions, and 215-pounder Zach Gitzen won his first title. The Titans sent eight wrestlers into the finals, scored 209.5 points and finished comfortably ahead of Broad Run (190 points) and Potomac Falls (165.5).
Dominion had hoped to defend its regular-season title this year but lost dual meets on the same night against district front-runners Broad Run and Potomac Falls, essentially sealing its regular season fate and relegating it to third place.
"We feel like we've got a lot of seniors in the lineup who had experience," Titans Coach Bill Young said. "Not beating everyone in the dual meets helped fuel us for this. Sometimes you get a big head and you take things for granted, but you've still got to go out and wrestle."
Of the nine wrestlers who advanced to this weekend's Region II meet at James Wood, eight are seniors. And almost all of them have been with the fourth-year program since its inception, when the Titans failed to win a match against Dulles District competition.
"A lot of these kids never won a match that first year," Young said. "But to cap off their wrestling careers going out as champs shows what being dedicated and staying with it can do. I really feel good for them."
Battle for SecondBroad Run and Potomac Falls took their best shots at winning the district title. Broad Run, which finished second to Potomac Falls in the regular season after a narrow dual-meet loss to the Panthers last week, qualified 10 wrestlers for the Region II meet. Jesse Hall (130), Cameron Steuart (152) and Zack Austin (189) each won titles. Meanwhile, Potomac Falls ended up with two champions and nine region qualifiers despite sending only 12 wrestlers to the meet because of injuries. Paul Rowane (119) and Joey Zedan (140) took home titles for the Panthers, who won the tournament four straight times before last season.
"We wrestled some really good matches this weekend," Potomac Falls Coach Rob Puterio said. "Some of our kids wrestled really well, and it just didn't go our way. With only 12 kids going in, we needed everybody to be on their game."
News and Notes
Loudoun County had an impressive showing at the Dulles District tournament, sending five wrestlers into the finals and claiming two champions in Ben Middleton (145) and Josh Chung (160). Other champions included T.J. Julia (103) and Thomas Hulcher (125) of Briar Woods, Heritage's Justin Smith (112) and Park View's Anthony Damico (171). . . .
Fauquier placed fourth at the Virginia AAA Northwestern Region meet Saturday. Heavyweight Nick Cook placed second, while Ryan Hunsberger (103), Kevin Chapman (119) and David Yost (125) finished third.
Chapman lost in the semifinals to defending state champion Mike Garofalo (Colonial Forge), who handed him his only other loss this season.