SALEM, Va. – Christiansburg's 17-year stranglehold on the Class 3 wrestling ranks in the Commonwealth was finally broken by a New Kent team that was young and deep and talented--and showed poise beyond their years.
Christiansburg and New Kent both managed three championships but it was the Trojans scoring depth that told the tale.
"Last night was a big round because right at the end there, unfortunately Christiansburg's guys got knocked out and then right afterwards we had two guys make it to the second day. So we had 10 scorers and they had eight and that made a big difference," New Kent coach Mike Faus said.
"It happened when we lost a couple kids out of the tournament early that didn’t score points. We knew coming in that we needed everybody scoring points. Those head-to-heads, of coarse are what everyone sees when it came down to the wire, but it was a team effort." Christiansburg head coach Cliff Warden said.
The Blue Demons three titles were a Brandon Crowder gutsy 2-0 decision at 120 pounds, a thrilling 10-8 overtime "sudden victory" by Nathan Warden at 170, and an Andy Smith fall at 2:48 over Valley rival Jacob Elliott of Northside at 220.
In the Class 2 Ranks Grayson County managed three runner-up finishes and a balanced team effort for state silver.
And in Class 1 tradition-rich Rural Retreat got a fourth state title out of Ethan Martin--and a runner-up team finish.
Galax also crowned a four-time champion in Joshua Spurlin at 138. He joins an elite club in the history of the sport.
"To get a chance to be a part of our school's history and the states history, that’s really big," Spurlin said. Spurlin's older brother was a three-time champion.