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Eleven wrestlers from Uwharrie Charter School — including four regional champions — will vie for individual state titles Thursday-Saturday at the Greensboro Coliseum.     Photo by Arica Robinson

38 Randolph wrestlers advance

It has been proven over the years that Randolph County is certainly one of the top counties in the state when it comes to high school wrestling.


That was even more evident with this year’s NCHSAA Dual Meet State Championships as Uwharrie Charter Academy captured its second straight 1-A title and the Trinity Bulldogs captured their first 2-A championship.


Now that success is showing once again: A total of 38 wrestlers from Randolph County qualified for the state championship meets after regional action last weekend at various high schools.


Those qualifying include nine regional champions:

- In the 1-A East Regional at South Davidson High School, UCA’s Lorenzo Alston (150), Carson Robinson (157), Alek Millikan (165) and Jaden Maness (215) all earned regional championships.

- At the 2-A Midwest at Mount Pleasant High School, Trinity’s Spencer May (120), Levi Dennis (132), Jaden Allred (138) and Gavin Hardister (215) claimed regional crowns. 

- At the 2-A Mideast Regional at Morehead High School, Randleman’s Braxton Walker won the 190-pound title.


A total of 11 wrestlers from UCA, 12 from THS, four from Southwestern Randolph, four from RHS, three from Wheatmore, two from Eastern Randolph and one from Asheboro High School will represent Randolph County next week at the state championship meets.  


Along with the four regional champions from UCA, Ethan Hines (106), Jack McArthur (132) and Jair Ulloa (138) placed second, Caleb Saldana (113), Caden Bond (175) and Devonte Harrison (285) placed third and Brennan Worrell (120) placed fourth.


UCA also won its seventh straight team regional title with 264 points. Rosewood was second with 183.


“I was very pleased,” veteran UCA coach Chris Waddell said. “Going into it, I thought we had a chance to advance all 14 with maybe 10 on the low end. The kids put in the work and I expected us to do what we did.”


ER’s David Lambright placed fourth at 126, Maddox Carson fourth at 285 and Joshua Watson fourth at 106.


Trinity dominated at Mount Pleasant High School with 248.5 points; the host team was second with 178.5.


The four regional champions from THS were joined by second-place finishers Baron Justice (150), Edgar Vasquez (113), Brayden Hall (126) and Charles Schaefer (144), third-place winners Aiden Burkholder (106), Lawson Coltrane (165) and Joseph Trahan (285), and Xavier Horton, who placed fourth at 190.


“We have had high expectations with this group for quite a while,” THS coach Brandon Coggins said. “Just stay on that grind and keep those guys on the track and focus and it’s seemed to work. I thought it was a really good day in a really, really tough region.”


Wheatmore’s Trey Swaney placed second at 138, Zack Starkweather third at 150 and Dominick Hittepole second at 175.


In the 2-A Mideast Regional at Morehead High School, Randleman placed four wrestlers, including Walker. Kolby Garner placed second at 138, Alex Raymundo placed third at 106 and Jesus Garcia was third at 144.  


Walker received a first-round bye, pinned his next two opponents in 3:20 and then in 1:17 and topped Seaforth’s Harrison Compton 3-1 in the title match at 190 with a late takedown.


“I feel we wrestled well,” RHS coach Andrew Molina said. “All my guys wrestled well.”


SWR also placed four in the state tournament as Erick Lopez Rabadan (165) and Jose Flores (215) placed second, while Michael Jaimes placed third (138) and Janaskel Perez Mortero (113) finished fourth. Lopez Rabadan had a bye, a pin and a decision before falling by major decision in the finals. Flores had a bye and two wins to advance to the title match where he fell by pin.


In the state 3-A Midwest Regional held at North Davidson High School, one AHS Blue Comet advanced as freshman Oscar Zelaya placed fourth in the 132-pound classification. Zelaya went 3-2 in the regionals.


Winning twice but failing to qualify were Sammy Salinas (126), Marco Benitez (138), Luke Hughes (190) and Nico Otero (215). Adam Curry finished 3-2 after making it to the blood round.


“It was a respectable day,” AHS coach Wes Berrier said. “We had a lot of underclassmen with some good showing and they are all coming back.”


The state wrestling meets will be held Thursday through Saturday at the Greensboro Coliseum.