By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
Area wrestling teams made quite a showing at the WSAZ Invitational over the weekend.
Four teams finished in the top 10 and another, Liberty, was 11th. Greenbrier West, the state’s second-ranked Class AA/A team, was second to champion Huntington, the No. 1 team in Class AAA that had five champions and scored 271.5 points.
The Cavaliers had eight placewinners, including champions Malik Boatwright and Tyler Parker, and finished with 175.5 points.
Finishing third was Shady Spring with 162.5 points. Woodrow Wilson was seventh with 124 and Independence was ninth with 112.5.
Liberty, battling a numbers disadvantage all season, scored 96 points.
Boatwright and Parker remained undefeated in their title runs. Boatwright, who beat Huntington’s Paden Christian 4-3 for the 152-pound title, is now 31-0 on the season. Parker ran his record to 33-0 after he beat Nicholas County’s Jake Tyler 5-0 for the championship at 170.
Also winning a championship was Colton Ward of Independence. Ward defeated North Marion’s Austin Stanley 9-6 in the 132-pound finals to solidify his hold on the state’s No. 1 ranking in that weight class.
Shady had two wrestlers in the finals in continuing its recent surge. Johnny Forren fell to Class AA/A No. 2 Ryan Elliott of North Marion in the 120 finals, while Nick Farley was defeated by Huntington’s Billy Waldeck — ranked second in Class AAA — in the 138 title match.
Woodrow, buoyed by the return of Jakob Cooper and Cole Williams, had its most impressive tournament of the season. The Flying Eagles had four placewinners, including Cooper at 126 (sixth) and Williams at 152 (fourth).
Nicholas County (18th) had 54.5 points, while Richwood (22nd) scored 35.
Complete results and a list of placewinners can be found at wvmat.com.
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Fayetteville enjoyed a successful weekend, placing fourth at the Calhoun Invitational. The Pirates scored 92 points and had five placewinners.
River Pullens pinned Caleb Ferguson of Class AA/A No. 3 Wirt County to win the 195-pound championship.
Also placing for coach Wayne Yonkelowitz’s Pirates were Bailey Bowles (second, 113), Troy Farrell (second, 126), Cameron Underwood (fourth, 138) and Hunter Pullens (second, 170).
The Pirates will compete in the Bob Stover Classic at Clay County on Saturday, as will Fayette County rival Oak Hill.
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Greenbrier East continued its tour of Virginia over the weekend, competing in the Big Blue Tournament in Christiansburg.
The Spartans were unable to win their third straight tournament, but they did come away with a top 10 finish at ninth.
They had five placewinners in all: Davis Solak (third, 170), Jasiel Kinder (fourth, 106), Dylan Bullock (fourth, 138), Charles Withrow (sixth, 182) and Josiah Solak (seventh, 160).
Up next for East is the Greenbrier Dual, a county showdown with Greenbrier West. The match will start at 7 p.m. Saturday.
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Other teams in action this weekend include Woodrow Wilson and Shady Spring at the West Virginia Duals in Parkersburg on Friday and Saturday, and Independence at the Bob Zide Rumble in Williamstown on Saturday.
Shady’s junior varsity team will host the Dix Manning Memorial on Saturday.