MERRITT ISLAND — Every Flagler Palm Coast wrestler that competed in Saturday’s William Nutter Memorial finished in the top six in their weight class.
And, with eight individual champions and seven more Bulldogs finishing top-four or better, the team race was a foregone conclusion, as Flagler Palm Coast had no issues outdistancing host Merritt Island, 176-115, for the championship.
TJ McLean (106), Kole Hannant (120), John Hald (132), Felipe Costa (145), Timothy King (152), Blane DeFord (170), Garrick Schwartz (195) and Dalton Schell (220) each were victorious for FPCHS.
McLean bonus-pointed through the 106 field, going through a roundrobin field with pins over Eau Gallie, Sebastian River, Satellite and a 14-6 major in the final over the hosts’ Kaden Barrial in what was effectively the championship match.
Hannant pinned his way through at 120, with four pins in 7:45, including falls over Eau Gallie, Viera and Sebastian River. A third-period pin (4:18) in Round 4 (Hannant’s third match of the day) over Satellite’s Alex McMiller determined the eventual champion.
At 132, Hald won Pool B with pins over Sebastian River and Merritt Island, plus an 18-10 major over Viera. In the final against Pool A champ Eddie Sears of Merritt Island, Hald gave up the first takedown, but reversed it, with takedowns of his own in the second and third periods to secure a 7-6 win.
Costa caught the top 3 competitors in the first three rounds at 145, taking decisions over Boone (4-1) and Sebastian River (7-4) and a 16-4 major over Boone. Later in the rounds, Costa added a fall and forfeit to go 5-0 on the day, with his 7-4 win in round 3 over Sebastian River’s Trevor Welsh good for the title.
King pinned his way through Pool A (3 falls over Sebastian River, Merritt Island and Liberty, in 7:09, roaring out to an early 5-0 lead in the final over Satellite’s Ryan Beirne behind a takedown and turn. King added another takedown in the second and reversal in the third for a 10-5 win and a 4-0 day.
At 170, DeFord had the cycle of wrestling wins (pin, tech, major and decision), teching 4th-place teammate Kelton Howard, pinning Viera and majoring Sebastian River (21-7), with his Round 4 (DeFord’s third match) 6-2 win over the hosts’ Nick Lesch the difference. DeFord put that match away with a third-period reversal and takedown.
In a three-man roundrobin, Schwartz pinned both of his opponents, with pins over Eau Gallie and Merritt Island’s Kaleb Ivie, in which Schwartz had built a 10-4 lead prior to falling Ivie in 5:58 for the title.
Schell pinned his way through Pool B at 220 (3 pins over Sebastian River, Liberty and Boone, in 6:48), then needed just 43 seconds to polish off Pool A champion James Rasberry of Boone in 43 seconds, after a takedown and earlier 3-point nearfall.
Matthew Shipp (113) and Marcelo Gonzalez (182) each were the runnerup at their respective weights. Shipp was 1-1, losing by fall (1:21) in Round 2 (his first match) to Boone’s Dillon Dorman, while Gonzalez won Pool B at 182 with three first-period falls (combined time 1:46) and a 14-4 major, but then lost by fall (:29) to Satellite’s Michael McCarthy.
Brendan Buckles (145) and Seth Davis (285) each added thirds for the Bulldogs, while Logan Salatin (160), Howard (170) and Ethaniel Laupepa (220) were fourth to round out FPC’s list of top-four placers.
Flagler Palm Coast is now off until Friday, when the Bulldogs will compete in region rival Hagerty’s Johnny Rouse Duals, a two-day event.
You can see complete results for this roundrobin tournament HERE.