01/19/04 — C.B. Aycock finishes 5th at Sara Wilkes

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C.B. Aycock finishes 5th at Sara Wilkes

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 19, 2004 2:00 PM

EDEN -- Eleven Charles B. Aycock wrestlers placed among the top eight in their respective weight classes, leading the Golden Falcons to a fifth-place finish overall in the Sara Wilkes Invitational contested at Morehead High School this weekend.

"The competition was very tough from top to bottom," Aycock coach Kevin Smith said. "Every match my kids wrestled was against a quality wrestler. The kids know they got better this weekend.

"There is nowhere else in the state that my kids could have gone and gotten six or seven matches -- all against very good wrestlers."

John Robertson, Turner Wood and Lacardra Mitchell each reached the consolation finals. Robertson (22-8) lost a two-point decision against Martinsville (Va.) High grappler Allen Shelton. Wood (20-4) fell against Havelock's Nick Sweet, while Mitchell (23-8) stumbled against Eden's Andy Powell.

Luan Tran nipped Southern Vance's Carlos Valdes 14-13 at 135 pounds and captured fifth place. Southern Vance is the two-time defending N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 2-A dual-team champion.

Randy Meisenhelder worked his way through the consolation bracket and pinned Ryan Spidal of Havelock in 4 minutes, 22 seconds at 145 pounds. Meisenhelder climbed to 23-9 overall.

Ronald Lynn (16-9) and Blake Brockmeyer (23-6) each ended up sixth overall at 135 and 140 pounds, respectively. Greg Coudriet (25-6) and heavyweight Dustin Gurley (21-11) each took seventh place.

Tim Harrison (22-15) and Will Medus (21-12) grabbed eighth place at 152 and 160 pounds, respectively.

"My kids stuck in there and wrestled with a lot of heart," Smith said. "All of their faces looked like they had been in a boxing match, covered in cuts and bruises.

"It's easy to be proud of kids who put that much effort into their matches."

Jack Britt of Fayetteville seized the team title. Northwest Cabarrus finished second, followed by East Gaston and the host Panthers. Aycock ended up the highest-finishing 3-A team east of the Triangle.

"Our goal prior to leaving was to finish in the top five," Smith said. "Interestingly enough, the kids knew we were capable of finishing as high as third. We made a few mistakes in some key matches and lost by a point or two.

"When you wrestle top-flight competition, it is easy to pick out your mistakes because your competitor is going to take advantage of it. We're going to watch film today and correct those mistakes before regionals."

Teams, 26 in all, traveled from the far corners of North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia to wrestle in the two-day event. The top eight individuals in each weight class each received a medal.

C.B. Aycock returns home Tuesday and entertains South Central in a key Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference match. The Golden Falcons play host to Rosewood on Thursday.