JUPITER — Looking just at the standings, a seventh-place finish might not be all that special, even for a team like Columbia — mindful of the things the Tigers have done in the recent past — that has struggled with numbers and, too, some team highlights in 2021-22.
But a look at Track reveals more. Sure, the Tigers were seventh in last weekend’s John Raich Memorial, scoring 104 points, well back of the leaders.
But the Tigers were the top team among groups in the 31-team field with less than 10 kids, seven ahead of a very good Ft Pierce Central team that made 3A state duals. They finished ahead of the host, which had 2 1/2 times Columbia’s seven kids, and eight other teams that brought double digits to the two-day event.
Columbia was the only local team in the field. Jensen Beach won the event with 320 points, with Columbus (268), Mater Lakes Academy (260.5), Treasure Coast (200) and Riverdale (176.5) the top five teams.
Below follows a summary of Columbia placers in the event, where applicable —
132: Jayden Thomas was a quarterfinalist and placed sixth, with a front-side pin over Dwyer (2:52) before falling in the quarters (pin in 3:18) to the eventual runnerup from Mater Lakes Academy. Thomas then took bonus-point wins over another Mater Lakes Academy wrestler (pin in 4:11) and Jupiter (16-2 major) to make podium, with losses by decision to the eventual 3rd from Columbus (8-2) and in the fifth-place match to Treasure Coast (9-7).
170: Joseph Rice made a run to the final, where he took a 10-3 loss, giving up five takedowns, to 2021 3A defending state champion Dominic Rodriguez of Riverdale. Rice got to the final Saturday with a 4-2 win over Treasure Coast in the semis. After giving up first takedown, Rice rode out Brown in the second period and then reversed out from bottom in the third, grabbing a quick 2-point turn a few seconds later. On Friday, Rice had pins over Palm Beach Gardens (1:40, rd of 32), Columbus (2:21, rd of 16) and Mater Lakes Academy (3:34, quarters).
182: After a round-of-32 loss by fall to the eventual 4th from Columbus, Jayden Drew fought all the way through the consis to earn a podium finish, with four pins to clinch that over wrestlers from Columbus (2:01), Jupiter (:42), Key West (:34) and Coral Springs (1:37). After losing by fall (2:21) in the consi semis to Jensen Beach, the eventual 3rd, Drew pinned Dwyer in 26 seconds for fifth.
195: Shawn Raggins joined Rice as a finalist, where he took a loss by fall (2 minutes) in the finals to Key West’s Zach Lewicki, who was 3rd at the Clay Rotary the previous weekend (competing at 220). Raggins fought off his back earlier in the first period to get a reversal, only to have Lewicki get the fall as time expired. Raggins opened Saturday with a fall over Jupiter (3:43), with three scoring moves and a 3-point NF prior to the turn and pin, with Friday pins over Port St Lucie (1:23, rd of 16) and Treasure Coast (1:04, quarters).
Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.