12/12/11 — 16th Eagle Invitational

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16th Eagle Invitational

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 12, 2011 1:48 PM

The only things missing were a ring announcer, the bikini-clad card flashers and the turn buckles.

Everything else was normal as expected during the 16th annual Eagle Invitational contested Saturday at Rosewood High School.

Tournament organizer Bill Edmundson was informed Friday afternoon that no wrestling mat could be within 10 feet of any permanent structure. So, instead of using the team's practice room, Edmundson and his staff opted to wrestle outside once the temperatures rose above 50 degrees.

The unusual change was a hit.

And it prevented the 21-team tournament from lasting until the wee hours of Sunday morning. More than 450 bouts were wrestled in the double-elimination event that included 10 third-place ties due to the five-match rule.

Millbrook successfully defended its team crown, while seven grapplers protected their respective No. 1 seeds and emerged gold medalists.

Rosewood's Angel Jaramillo and Nick Quillen, and Princeton's Forrest Stewart were the lone area competitors to claim first place in their respective weight classes. Jaramillo won the 113-pound title with a third-period fall over Millbrook's Nick Norton, while the 126-pound Quillen pinned Charles B. Aycock's David Romo just 56 seconds into their title tilt.

Fellow Eagles Taylor McGill (195 pounds) and heavyweight Jacob Guthrie placed second and third, respectively.

"Angel and Nick stole the show with exciting matches and huge wins against quality wrestlers," said Edmundson. "Wrestling at home pushes our guys to perform at or above their potential. It's definitely a pride thing for them. As a coach, it's hard to ask for more from these young men.

"I thought Taylor wrestled very well and has done nothing but get better on every match. He is a great leader and motivator for our team."

Stewart pinned Smithfield-Selma's Sam Gray in the second period of their 182-pound championship bout.

Rosewood finished fourth overall in the team title chase behind Millbrook (149.5 points), North Pitt (132) and Cleveland (131.5). Aycock ended up fifth with 112 points.

Smithfield-Selma, Corinth-Holders, North Johnston, Dixon and Pamlico County rounded out the top 10.

The Golden Falcons held the team lead going into semifinal-round action, but their point production became restricted when Charlie Mills and Jorge Flores couldn't continue due to injuries. Head coach Marc Peck did not indicate the status of either wrestler for this week.

Aycock begins defense of its Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference dual-team title at home Tuesday against Cleveland.

"I am happy with the team's effort as four new starters continued to get some valuable mat experience," said Peck. "We look forward to the challenge we face on Tuesday night. The Cleveland match could decide the conference title."

Zach Howard (106 pounds), Daniel Romo (132), Preston Tucker (145) and Khaleil Owens (160) each placed third in their respective weight class.

Eastern Wayne, which logged a 12th-place team finish, continues to show progress on the mat with third-year head coach Jonathan Jones. The Warriors had three third-place finishers -- Warren Kirkwood (120), Quadrick Williams (160) and Jamal Barrett (189).

Williams earned his second medal of the year.

"Most of the guys had a better showing," said Jones. "Warren and Jamal each had a strong day."

Kurtis Durham (152 pounds) and heavyweight Ricardo Exum each picked up an individual win for Goldsboro. Spring Creek got individual wins from Corey Howell (132), Carson Gramley (182), Kevin Lipscomb (195) and heavyweight Anthony Henriquez.