Aycock's Farrell battles through injury
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 1, 2010 1:50 PM
GREENSBORO -- One injury sidelined Justin Farrell.
A second didn't.
Battling a nagging knee injury, Farrell finished tied for seventh at 119 pounds in the season-ending, N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A wrestling championships.
The senior grappler just missed becoming the 14th state placer in Charles B. Aycock history since 1998.
"Tied for seventh ... honestly that wasn't bad for Justin and is a commendable achievement," said Golden Falcons head coach Marc Peck. "It was a great improvement (from last year). Justin came in (this season) with a different look in his eye.
"He was determined and confident."
But an early-season arm injury tested that grit and self-belief. Farrell missed nearly a month of important mat time, and was limited in workouts.
Inclement weather postponed key weekend dual matches after his return. Farrell couldn't get bouts against quality competition, which prevented him from picking up that all-important mat time he needed to get back into a rhythm.
Farrell rediscovered some his early-season swagger in late January. He helped Aycock reclaim the Eastern Carolina 3-A dual-team and tournament titles, won wrestler-of-the-year accolades and secured the No. 1 seed in the East regional.
"He battled injuries all year and he fought through a month of being out of commission," said Peck. "The limited schedule we wrestled, and then going against kids who had 50 or 60 matches, that might have played a part (also)."
Farrell banged up his knee during the regional. The pain bothered him as he prepared for the state tournament, but he worked through the discomfort.
The No. 2 seed from the east, Farrell drew an opening-round forfeit against East Rowan's Elliott Thompson. He dropped into the consolation bracket after a 3-0 loss to Union Pines' Brandon Berry.
Farrell eliminated South Brunswick's Corey Craven, but his season ended when Northwest Cabarrus' Robert Golde earned a second-period pin. He concluded the year 31-4 overall and exited with 110 victories in his prep career.
"Last year, I think he was overwhelmed being on the big stage," said Peck. "This year he knew more of what to expect, but you have to be on your 'A' game at the state tournament."
Rosewood freshman Nick Quillen finished 1-2 and just missed standing on the medal podium in the 1-A division.
The 112-pounder defeated Thomas Whitman of Rosman in his opening-round match, but tumbled into the consolation bracket with a two-point loss to eventual state runner-up Cody Decamp of South Davidson.
Quillen's season ended with a 6-1 loss to East Wilkes' Zach Prevette, who wound up taking fourth overall.
"I think what Nick can take out of this experience is that you have to use these setbacks as a motivating tool, and not something that takes you out of your gameplan," said Eagles coach Bill Edmundson. "Nick now knows what it takes and what to expect at this level of wrestling, and I don't see anything standing in his way to be even more successful after this year of competition."
Rosewood's Cameron Lane (215 pound) and Josh Pipkin (145) each concluded the weekend 0-2. East regional champion Daniel Richter wrapped up his Spring Creek career with a 1-2 showing at 112 pounds. Princeton's B.J. Creech finished 1-2 at 145 pounds.
In 3-A action, Charles B. Aycock senior Jon Rudolph ended up 0-2 at the 189 pounds.
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