UCA wrestler Alston proves strong in nationals

Uwharrie Charter Academy’s Lorenzo Alston, here holding down Avery County’s Mason Bentley in the state tournament in February, reached the semifinals in a national tournament. (Randolph Record file photo)

Mixed results come for Randolph County entrants

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Sophomore Lorenzo Alston of Uwharrie Charter Academy turned in one of the best finishes of any wrestler from North Carolina in the National High School Coaches Association’s national tournament in April.

Alston placed fourth in the sophomore division at 145 points at Virginia Beach Sports Center.

Alston reached the semifinals before losing 11-3 to Kross Cassidy of Fairfax, Va. He won a consolation-round bout by 4-2 against Jordan Thompson of Bradford, Pa., before falling in the third-place match by 7-2 to Zeno Moore of Orlando, Fla.

Only Northern Guilford’s Jack Harty, who placed third in the freshman class at 160, had a better finish than Alston among all the high school boys’ divisions. In two high school seasons for UCA, Alston is undefeated with two Class 1-A state championships.

Alston opened the NHSCA tournament with a 29-second pin of Xavier Rodgers of Due West, S.C., before he had a tight second-round match with a 3-2 decision against Cole Gibbons of Mt. Lebanon, Pa. he followed that by sticking Ryan Everhart of Cherokee Trail, Colo., in 1:12 and pinning New York’s George Johnson in 2:36.

In the quarterfinals, Alston defeated Max Wirnsberger of Watsontown, Pa., by 8-5.

Trinity 285-pound sophomore Joseph Trahan won three matches. Trahan was pinned in 55 seconds by New Hartford, N.Y.’s Christopher Belmonte in the round of 32. Trahan had a better start to the tournament by defeating Kyle Terrell of Adel, Ga., by 10-2.

After the loss, Trahan handled Jahlil Settles of Bear, Del., by 7-0 and pinned Ellerslie, Ga.’s Wesley Sappington in 1:58 before he was eliminated via a pin by Turlock, Calif.’s Troy Ceja.

Also in the sophomore bracket, Wheatmore’s Dominic Hittepole posted a 1-2 mark at 182 pounds. He began the tournament by pinning Donnie Tibbitt of Englishtown, N.J. in 3:40. Then came a 13-8 loss to Billy Edmonston of Denham Springs, La., and a 4-0 setback to Tyler Palumbo of Little Silver, N.J.

** In the senior division at 220 pounds, Trinity’s Gavin Hardister won three matches.

Hardister, a Class 2-A state champion, had a 21-13 opening-round victory against Elijah Austin of Zephyrhills, Fla., and then flattened Divesh Thapa of Klein, Texas, in 1:46. He was derailed with a 9-6 setback to Jerameel Vazquez, of West Springfield, Mass., before a 5-1 triumph against in-state opponent Kmauri Morgan of Richmond County. Hardister was done when Kyle Oliveira of Hoover, Ala., pinned him in 2:39.

Bradyen Hall of Trinity claimed two victories before suffering two defeats at 120 pounds. The victories came with a pin in 2:56 of Mackiah Claudio of Parkersburg, W. Va., and a flattening in 1:46 of Austin Jeffrey of Powhatan, Va.

Then Hall was defeated via technical fall by Miami’s Gabriel Tellez and by a 4-0 count by Jackson Township, N.J.’s Joseph Weikel.

Trinity 120-pound senior Spencer May went 1-2, falling to McDonough, Ga.’s Mason Moody by 7-3 and to Edgewater, Colo.’s Enquire Soto by 4-0, while in between those results he pinned Claudio in 3:23.

** There were several Randolph County juniors competing.

Southwestern Randolph’s Jose Flores, who won a state title as a sophomore but lost to Hardister in February’s state tournament, won his first two matches at 220 pounds. He ended up 2-2.

Flores pinned Jordan Folmer of LaGrange, Ohio, in 3:40 and edged Michael Diorio of Providence, R.I., by 8-6. Then his losses came by 6-3 to Bowie, Md.’s Jamil Morrow and via a pin 3:34 to Lewes, Del.’s Patrick Donahue.

Trinity 170-pounder Lawson Coltrane went 2-2, beginning when he was pinned by Jackson Davis of Signal Mountain, Tenn., in 2:20.

Coltrane followed that by defeating UCA’s Caden Thorne by a 5-0 decision, sending to 0-2 record. Coltrane went on to a 6-4 overtime victory against Ismael Youla of Bronx, N.Y., before falling by 6-4 to Brody Kountouris of Lanoka Harbor, N.J.

Randleman’s Braxton Walker began the 195 bracket with a 5-2 decision against Mitchell Knepp of Travelers Rest, S.C. Then came a loss by pin in 3:58 to Teaneck, N.J.’s Kaleb Jackson and a 2-1 defeat to Fort Mill, S.C.’s Derek Bylone van Sandwyk.

By Randolph Record