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College wrestling wins first state title since 1956; Martin, Felix, Kehler topped champions

HUNTINGTON — For the primary time since 1956 the College Hawks gained a state wrestling staff title because the 2024 WVSSAC state wrestling match concluded Saturday at Marshall Well being Community Area in Huntington. 

College entered the ultimate day with 11 of its 12 wrestlers nonetheless in bracket and sat first within the general staff standings with 159.5 factors, 11.5 factors forward of second-place Parkersburg South.

The Hawks held their lead via the ultimate day and earned their first state title as a staff since 1956.

“This staff has labored onerous, they actually have. This implies every thing to us,” UHS head coach Ken Maisel stated. “That is the objective we’ve labored towards all 12 months. Personally, it hits dwelling. It’s been lots of years right here and we weren’t all the time on the degree we’re at now. To see what it has turn into and see the onerous work repay is so particular.”

Three Hawks earned spots within the state finals with junior Pepper Martin (106), senior Luca Felix (165) and junior Brock Kehler (285) who was aiming to finish his season undefeated along with his third-straight state title.

College’s Pepper Martin celebrates his finals victory to turn into a state champion on Saturday evening in Huntington. (Benjamin Powell/The Dominion Submit)

Martin met Dallas Owens of Spring Mills within the finals and earned an exhilarating 4-3 victory in an evenly-matched contest to earn his first state championship. He trailed the match 2-1 earlier than incomes two factors with a artful reversal with 20 seconds left within the closing interval and held on to earn the title. His win additionally helped increase the Hawks’ staff rating in direction of the staff state championship.

“You need to go on the market able to wrestle all six minutes since you by no means know when the most important second of a match will come,” Maisel stated. “We discuss within the wrestling room loads about when an important time of a match is and the reality is you don’t know. It might come within the first interval or the third with 20 seconds left. Pepper needed to go onerous for the complete six minutes to get it completed and that’s what he did.”

College’s Luca Felix will get locked up along with his finals opponent throughout his state championship match on Saturday evening in Huntington. (Benjamin Powell/The Dominion Submit)

Felix captured the state title at 165 kilos with a 12-4 resolution victory over Zachary Meisenzahl of Washington. The most recent title is Felix’s third in his UHS profession and he’ll be a part of NC State within the fall.

“This implies loads, I do lots of work behind the scenes and it means the world to exit on prime,” he stated. “It’s a bizarre feeling to do all of this for the final time within the UHS singlet and do all these items for the ultimate time in highschool. It felt a bit of odd strolling into the world right now however then it was all about having enjoyable.”

Felix stated with the ability to deliver a staff title to UHS for the primary time since 1956 in his closing 12 months was the objective all alongside.

“That’s what we’ve been working for all 12 months and that was our objective,” Felix stated. “Have to offer credit score to all the fellows on the decrease facet of the brackets who continued to combat and get outcomes for us. It exhibits a lot character to remain centered at that time and that’s really the place these staff titles are gained.”

College’s Brock Kehler celebrates his finals victory to turn into a state champion on Saturday evening in Huntington. (Benjamin Powell/The Dominion Submit)

UHS junior Brock Kehler accomplished his undefeated season with a first-round pin of Anthony Williams of Spring Mills to seize the state title at 285 kilos. That is Kehler’s third straight state title. His profession file is now 143-1 via three seasons.

Each wrestler that hit the mat on Saturday morning was assured to medal with a spot on the rostrum, however the closing putting was nonetheless to be decided. Winners of the opening matches moved into the third/fourth place matches, whereas the losers dropped into the fifth/sixth place bouts.

4 Hawks superior to the third/4th matches of their respective weight lessons, whereas 4 others fell to the fifth/sixth spots.

Sophomore Kaden Niemann (113), junior Carter Pauley (132), junior Rider Ludrosky (150) and sophomore Ryder Hastings (215) every completed fourth within the state of their weight class. 

Sophomores Colton Gillespie (126) and Emerson Murphy (175) every gained their closing match of the season to take fifth general within the state. Murphy’s pinfall victory was a big outcome for the UHS staff rating.

Sophomore Timothy Husk (120) and junior Jackson Pate (190) accomplished their season ending sixth general of their respective weight lessons.

Preston’s Cole Turner (165) and Owen Kilmas (190) earned fourth within the state in Class AAA.

“I favored the trouble from our guys this weekend,” Preston coach Brad Reed stated. “I’m actually pleased with Owen and Cole for making the rostrum. They have been on that trajectory all season lengthy and it was superior to see them attain that objective. We left no cause to hold our heads.”

College completed with 204.5 factors to seize the Class AAA staff state title, 11.5 factors forward of Parkersburg South which completed with 193 factors. Woodrow Wilson completed third with 166.5.

Maisel was additionally voted Class AAA Coach of the 12 months.