Northeast Florida Matmen staff report
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Adam Breindel has been flat-out dominant in 2013.
The Clay junior showed the state of North Carolina just how dominant he’s been this year, cruising to an individual title to lead the #2 Blue Devils to a third-place tie at the two-day Tiger Holiday Classic, a 29-team event Friday and Saturday.
Clay finished with 186.5 points to tie Laney (NC) for third, just two points behind Chattahoochee County of Georgia. Jack Britt (NC), one of North Carolina’s top-ranked larger schools, won the tournament with 287.5 points.
After winning two matches (one by fall and one by technical fall) to reach Saturday’s semis, Breindel had a fall in that round, then easily dispatched the tournament’s second seed, Michael Palmer of Jack Britt, 10-1, in the title match. Palmer had pinned his way to the title round.
Although Breindel was the only one to walk away with a Chapel Hill title, he wasn’t the only Clay wrestler to reach the finals. Dale Browning (113) also got to the title round, before falling 2-1 to unbeaten Andrew Wanovich of Jack Britt in the finals.
Additional Clay placewinners included: Austin Luke (third at 138), Imier Almanzar (fourth at 152), Caleb Loyd (fourth at 160), Dylan Martin (fifth at 132), Julian Summa (sixth at 126) and Roland Samec (sixth at 285).
The Blue Devils will host the Green Cove Springs Rotary tournament this coming Friday and Saturday, the area’s biggest tournament prior to the post-season.
At Kissimmee: With just seven wrestlers in attendance, a top team finish was out of the cards for #1 Fleming Island at the two-day Knockout Christmas Classic, hosted by Osceola High School.
The Golden Eagles finished 13th in the 29-team field, which included many of Florida’s best teams as well as teams from Georgia and Virginia. Fleming Island finished with 81.5 points, well back of team champion Palm Harbor, which edged South Dade 182.5-182, with Osceola taking third with 180.
“We ended up with five placing, which isn’t bad at this tournament,” Fleming Island coach Travis Cunningham said. “It was a great test for everyone who went down. We’re looking forward to next week and having most of our walking wounded back at the Clay Rotary tournament.”
Chase Robison (113) and Charles Cuthbert (132) had Fleming Island’s top individual finishes, as both took thirds in their brackets. Robison knocked off Fargo champion and regional nemesis Brandon Staley of Winter Springs, 10-3, in the third-place match.
After falling in the semis to Palm Harbor’s Connor Prince, Cuthbert rallied to take third, with a 10-8 decision over Braddock’s Joel Alvarez in the third-place match.
Evan McCall (126) added a fifth-place finish, while David Detwiler (138) took a seventh and Xaiver Sampsel (120) took an eighth.
At Valdosta, GA: Sandalwood wound up 12th out of 16 teams at the two-day Tiger Invitational, scoring 44 points. Kennesaw Mountain, an Atlanta-area team, outpointed Ware County 199-185 for the team title.
Alex Barie was Sandalwood’s top finisher in the tournament, finishing second at 113. He won two matches after a first-round bye to reach the final, where he was pinned by top seed Luke Littlefield of Ware County.
Jaques Hale finished fourth at 106 for the Saints, losing 8-7 in the first round to the eventual bracket runnerup and then running off four victories in the consolation bracket before falling 6-4 in the third-place match.
Brackets for each of these three tournaments will be posted to the website on Thursday.