Union Pines High School took a large group of wrestlers to Dudley High School for the 2023 Quentin Crosby Invitational on Saturday, Jan 7. The Vikings had a full lineup of 14 wrestlers in varsity as well as 14 wrestlers in the junior varsity event, Union Pines Wrestling Coach Brian Gray announced.
In the varsity event, the Vikings were led to a team runner-up finish by their four top 6 3A wrestlers: Nicholas Mascolino, No. 1 at 182 pounds: Brock Sullivan, No. 3 at 160; Colton Collins, No. 5 at 195; and Finn McCafferty, No. 6 at 138.
Union Pines scored 161.5 points, six shy of team champion Pisgah High School and ahead of Orange High School with 152 points.
“We saw some good 3A wrestlers from Pisgah, Orange, and Dudley that we will certainly see again at Regionals (Orange) and the State Tournament,” said Gray on the performance. “We have plenty of room for improvement, hopefully we are motivated as a team to get better.”
Brock Sullivan. Photo provided.
In the finals, Sullivan won his 160-pound bracket with a 13-7 decision over his Central Davidson opponent Nathan McCartney. He had two falls and a tech fall to make the finals.
At 182 pounds, Mascolino went fall, major decision and another fall in the finals over Trinity’s Gavin Hardister to finish in first place.
McCafferty and Dantrrell Wiliams finished in second place at 138 pounds and 220 pounds, respectively.
At 195 pounds, Collins lost to an undefeated and higher-ranked Dudley wrestler in the semifinal before bouncing back for third place. Also finishing the top four were Jayden Crawford at 120 pounds and Houston Leeah at 152 pounds.
In the JV event, the Viking wrestlers won by a large margin, with more wrestlers than most teams and some great performances.
The top three JV teams: Union Pines with 177.5 points, Southwest Guilford with 115 and Grimsley with 110. The following wrestlers finished in first place: Nathan Maness at 106, Eli Bumgardner at 120, Dominic Inocencio at 152, and Chayden Hardy at 195.
The Viking had three second-place finishers, with two losing two teammates: James Brooks at 106 pounds, Alex Soukup at 113, Wesley Sykes at 120. Rounding out the placers was Sincere Bonner, third at 220 pounds, and Matthew Sykes, fourth at 160.
The Vikings will be at Panther Creek High Schoo for a tri-meet with Cary High School on Wednesday, Jan 11.
Feature photo: Nicholas Mascolino. Photo provided.