Prep wrestling: UCA duo, Southwestern Randolph’s Flores secure state titles

GREENSBORO – Senior wrestler Aldo Hernandez became a three-time state champion, including two seasons in a row for Uwharrie Charter Academy, and two underclassmen from Randolph County schools also won state championships.

Hernandez captured the Class 1-A title at 138 pounds with a dominating performance across two days at the Greensboro Coliseum. Freshman teammate Lorenzo Alston won at 145 pounds.

In Class 2-A, it was a three-day meet, capped for Southwestern Randolph 220-pound sophomore Jose Flores with Saturday night’s championship.

UCA had three runners-up, and finished third in the Class 1-A team standings.

Hernandez, who nabbed a state title in 2021 for Montgomery Central, finished his final prep season with a 52-2 record. In the state tournament, he had a pin, a 10-3 decision and then dominated Alleghany’s Cameron Worrick for a second-period technical fall in the final.

Alston’s first season resulted in a 54-2 record. He was efficient in the tournament with a pin and two major decisions, the latter coming by 11-3 against Robbinsville’s Willie Riddle in the championship match.

UCA junior Ethan Hines (106), senior Grayson Roberts (170) and junior Jaden Maness (195) were runners-up.

Hines dropped a 1-0 decision to Avery County’s Cooper Foster in the title bout.

Roberts, the 2022 champion at 160, lost a 1-0 decision to Avery County freshman Cael Dunn after recording a pair of pins in the tournament. Roberts ended his last season with a 50-5 record.

In the 195 final, Avery County’s Seth Blackledge pinned Maness in 1:33.

Third place for the Eagles went to Carson Robinson (160), while teammate Alec Millikan (152) was fourth. Eastern Randolph’s Adrian Lopez (126) placed third.

Class 2-A

Flores capped a 30-2 season by defeating Mt. Pleasant’s Colt Kluttz 3-0. He won three earlier matches by decision, including a 12-11 outcome against Walkertown J’Lynn Sheff in the semifinals.

Trinity’s Spencer May was the runner-up at 120, dropping 7-5 sudden-victory decision in the final to Eden Morehead’s Jared Thomas. May had three pins to reach the final, with two of those coming in first periods.

Providence Grove senior Colton Wood was a repeat place winner, taking third at 285 pounds. His only loss was a one-point loss that went to overtime to Maiden’s DJ Spring, the eventual champion. He was sixth last year.

Trinity had a solid showing with Brayden Hall (113), Joey Smith (220) in fourth place and Levi Dennis (126) in fifth place.

Wheatmore had Trey Swaney (132) and Dominic Hittepole (160) both in fourth place.

Luke White (138) of Southwestern Randolph finished sixth.

Class 3-A

Asheboro senior Diego Gutierrez was the only one of the four Blue Comets entrants to win a bout in the tournament. He placed third at 120 with a 4-1 record to complete the season with a 41-2.

His only loss in the tournament came in a 4-3 decision to East Henderson’s Gunner Marshall in the semifinals. Marshall was the eventual runner-up.

By Randolph Record