Seven grapplers advance to states
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 25, 2013 1:47 PM
Perennial county powers Charles B. Aycock and Rosewood combined for just one gold medalist during their respective N.C. High School Athletic Association wrestling regionals contested Saturday.
But seven grapplers will get a state-title shot in Greensboro this week.
Rosewood ended up fifth with 99.5 points behind 1-A regional team champion North Rowan, Carolina-4 Rivers rival Ayden-Grifton and perennial Coastal Plains powers Dixon and Southwest Onslow.
Four Eagles extended their respective careers -- sophomore Malique Boyd (106), senior Angel Jaramillo (113), defending state champion Nick Quillen (126) and sophomore 160-pounder Kaleb Smith.
Quillen secured his third regional crown with a dominating, 18-3 triumph over Dixon sophomore Teva Smith in the championship match. He improved to 56-1 this season and has prevailed in 117 of his last 118 matches overall.
A two-time state placer, Jaramillo battled back and claimed third after falling to the region's top seed in the semifinals. Boyd and fifth-seeded Smith each placed fourth.
"Kaleb was the wild-card in this group and has worked so hard to earn his spot at the big show," RHS head coach Bill Edmundson said. "Kaleb had upset wins in each of the tournament ... what a great time to peak out. Malique wrestled some tough matches this weekend.
"Angel also wrestled well."
Golden Falcons sophomore Zack Howard placed second at 106 pounds during the 3-A regional wrestled at Rocky Mount. Teammates Daniel Romo and Khaleil Owens placed third at 132 and 160 pounds, respectively.
Owens clinched his third consecutive trip to the state tournament.
"It was a predictable regional for us with not many surprises from our lineup," CBA head coach Marc Peck said. "We thought we would take four, but (senior) Jordan (Bailey) came up a couple of points short. We were disappointed for him, but he has had an outstanding career -- one to be proud of."
Aycock finished ninth with 81.5 points in the 23-team regional.
Howard, the region's top seed, pinned his first two opponents. His second victory, a second-period fall over Southern Nash's Dakota Medina, gave him 100 career wins.
White Oak sophomore Jamarcus Allen defeated Howard in the final.
Romo, one of eight CBA seniors, eliminated his first two opponents with ease. He lost in semifinal-round action, but bounced back to grab the bronze medal and keep his career intact for one final week.
Owens entered as the regional's top seed and endured a stunning, 2-1 loss to Havelock's Tanner Stemper, the No. 12 seed, in the semifinals. Owens regrouped and claimed an injury-default win over South Central's Jaedon Locke in the consolation final.
"It has been a great year for Khaleil," Peck said. "It has been a while since we have placed a wrestler at states, but with these three taking the mat, we should have an outstanding shot."
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