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Bayne Gordon, Clarke County, VA

Seven Things to Watch at the Virginia State Wrestling Tournament

Two Locations for The State Tournament

The VHSL class 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4A state tournaments, will take place at Salem Civic Center, Salem, while 5A and 6A will take place at Oscar Smith High School, Friday and Saturday. All Tickets $10.00 each session; $25 all-session pass (4 sessions) Children 6 and under admitted free with parent.

State Participants

Nearly 896 wrestlers have qualified for the state tournament across the six classes in the state of Virginia. However, only one of them will wrestle for his fourth state championship. George Mason recruit Bayne Gordon of Clarke County will attempt to join the elite four-timer club in the Cavalier State. 12 other competitors will be aiming to win their third state championship this weekend.

Third Four-Timer for The Islanders

University of Virginia recruit Patrick McCormick of Poquoson is on the path to becoming the first Islander since former NCAA national qualifier Mike Akers to win four state titles. Akers did so in 1999. McCormick, who owns an overall career record of 129-8, is the favorite to win his third consecutive state title this season in the 126-pound weight class. With Poquoson moving down to class 2A next season, McCormick will be an even bigger favorite to end his career on the top of the podium once again.

Nationally Ranked Wrestlers

Four local wrestlers will take a national ranking into the tournament per The Open Mat. Number three at 160, Hunter Bolen of Christiansburg, will be in pursuit of his third state title. Hunter might well be going for four if he hadn’t broken his wrist in the semi-finals of the state tournament during his freshman year. John Borst of Sherando, a Virginia Tech commit and ranked number four at 195, will be going for his third state championship in Class 4A. Noah Bushman of Cave Springs, also ranked at 195, will be going for the trifecta in Class 3A. Jeffrey Allen of Amherst County will also be going for his third state title in Class 4A at 220. Allen lost in the state finals as a sophomore to future Virginia Tech teammate T.J. Allen.

Christiansburg and Warren County with The Most State Qualifiers

Christiansburg High won the VHSL 3A West Region and advanced 13 wrestlers to the Virginia state tournament. Winning region titles for the Blue Devils were Xander Whitehurst (120), Marshall Keller (132), Hunter Bolen (160), and Gage Levine (170). 2017 VHSL 3A East Region champions Warren County also advanced 13 wrestlers to the state tournament despite having zero individual champions.

Tyress Wade Looks to End Fleming’s Long Dry Spell atop Podium

How long has it been since Fleming High had an individual state champion? Exactly 29 years have passed since Chris Fleming won a state title in 1988. The junior is the favorite to win the 106-weight division in the 4A state tournament. Wade’s 2016-17 resume includes a 53-1 overall record and five tournament championships. After third-place finishes as a freshman and a sophomore, Wade is primed to take the top spot on the podium this time.

16 is the Magic Number

With eight returning state medalists and three state champions that include Marshall Keller (132), Nick Giantonio (152), and Hunter Bolen (160), the Blue Devils are on pace to win their 16th straight state team championship. A legacy that coach Darryl Weber is keeping alive after taking over the program from current Virginia Tech coach Kevin Dresser.