COVINGTON — Twenty-one local grapplers stepped unto the mats and one walked away with gold in the state wrestling tournament while four others also medaled on Saturday.
Rockdale’s Alonzo Allen was a perfect 4-0 at the 113-pound division at Chattahoochee High School to win the Class AAAAAA tournament.
Allen stated the tournament with a technical pin over Meadowcreek’s Malik Saunders before sending Archer’s Gio Fernandez to the consolation side of the bracket with a 16-4 win. Wheeler’s Asian Kilic lost to Allen in the semifinal of the championship round before beating Jordan Pitt 11-4 in front of his home crowd to take the top spot on the podium.
In the 220-pound weight class in the Class AAAAAA tournament, Newton’s AJ Palomino pinned his first two opponents beating Douglas County’s Michael in 1:26 and Roswell’s Ryan Willis in 4:00 before downing Duluth’s Alex Brown with a 7-3 decision sending Palomino to the championship finals. But McEachern’s Christian Wade was able to edge him out 3-2 giving Wade the state title.
Alcovy’s Kamari Williams started the Class AAAAAA tournament strong in the 195-pound weight class with wins over Douglas County’s Desmond Wareham (16-4) and Chattahoochee’s Sean Hoffman (10-7) before losing in the championship and consolation round of the semifinals. However, he came back to beat Lassiter’s Phillip Murray 4-1 to take fifth place in his weight class.
Eastside’s Michael Troutman had little trouble with his first opponent in the 182-pound weight class of the Class AAAA tournament at West Laurens pinning Crisp County’s Gregory Harvey in 21 seconds. He went on to pin Stephens County’s Devin Burns in 3:24 before losing in the quarterfinals of the championship bracket.
However, Troutman did not ponder on the loss pinning Fayette County’s Kimani Nasrullah (2:24) in the consolation semifinals prior to pinning West Laurens’ Kameron Jackson in 3:35 to take third place.
After pinning Caleb Barlik of Marist 1:40, Eastside’s Levi Leach put Cross Creek’s Brandon Dowling in the consolation bracket with a 5-2 win the the 120-pound division. However, he was unable to continue his winning ways losing in the semifinal round of the championship bracket. He responded with a 9-2 win over Chamblee’s Yalwalker Eshete in the semifinals consolation bracket before losing to Cass’ Hunter Quinn in the consolation finals giving Leach a fourth place finish.
Two wrestlers that came close to advancing to the medal round were Eastside’s Rod Boley (106) and Misha Felton (126).
Boley started the tournament with a 2-0 loss to Carrollton’s Daniel Paivechio before eliminating Alexander’s Brentyn Russell with a 5-4 win. One point also eliminated Boley as he lost to Pickens County’s Koby Miller 1-0 taking Boley out of contention.
Felton started the tournament with a 5-3 win over Crisp County’s Adarius Pruitt. Even though he came close, he was unable to find himself on the winning side losing his next two matches by two points. He lost to Jonesboro’s Jalaal Malik 3-2 in double overtime before Felton found himself in the stands losing to Veterans’ Grant Lensch 1-0.
Three wrestlers, Alcovy’s Parafait Fondseyuf at 170, Rockdale’s Luis Galindo at 182 and Heritage’s David Harris at 113 in Class AAAAA, came close to standing on the podium with a 2-2 record while nine others, including Boley and Felton, had one win before being eliminated from competition. Only four wrestlers failed to have their hand raised in victory.