ST CLOUD — None of the other 12 teams in the field of Saturday’s Longhorn Rotary Classic at Harmony had the answer for overcoming the hosts’ 10 finalists and five champions.
But even after a rebuild into this season, New Smyrna Beach got a chance to show it could hang with the host Longhorns, taking third in the one-day IBT, with 202 points.
The Barracudas picked up three titles of their own, with two additional wrestlers reaching the final and three further competitors taking medals.
Evans was seventh on Saturday, with 81 points, one champion and two medalists, while Stanton was 12th, with 56 points and two placers.
The hidden MVP?: Sophomore Richard Crunkilton only had to win twice to take his title at 113 on Saturday.
That might not seem all that difficult to do, but Crunkilton’s still evolving in the sport, compared to his more-experienced champion teammates, and even if there’s only two opponents, there’s still two opponents to overcome.
Crunkilton had a bye into the semis, and from there, needed just 68 seconds to claim his championship, with a fall in the semis over Stanton and a 27-second pin in the title match over Harmony.
Back-to-back champs: At 182 and 195, the ‘Cudas overpowered the field, rolling up five pins and a tech fall en route to titles for Sawyer VanRider and Dylon York, respectively.
VanRider (6th at 2A-182) had a bye into the quarters, sandwiching a second-period tech (3:35) with pins over Osceola Fundamental in the quarters and a fall in the final (4:52) over St Cloud’s John Fernandez.
At 195, York (4th at 2A-195) pinned his way through the group, never having to go past the second period, including in the final over Tohopekaliga’s Chris Luyanda (2:31).
Hanging against hammers: NSB’s Jonathan Bruner (132) and Simjay Engberg (145) both reached the final, giving good fight against highly-ranked Harmony wrestlers in the finals.
Bruner (16th at 2A-126) reached the final behind a quarterfinal TF over St Cloud and then handed a previously-unbeaten Tohopekaliga wrestler his first loss of the year. In the final, against Harmony’s Rey Ortiz (2nd at 3A-132), Bruner kept things scoreless until midway through the third period, falling by a 3-1 count.
At 145, Engberg pinned his way into the final, and staved off one nearfall attempt by the Longhorns’ Carson Estrada (6th at 3A-145), but couldn’t overcome the second, as Estrada won by pin in 3:29.
Solo dolo: Evans’ Tyran Schanck (11th at 3A-145) picked up the area’s other championship with his victory at 152, in which he grabbed four pins, all in the first period.
Schanck had 4:13 of mat time, with pins over Citrus, Osceola Fundamental, Lake Nona and over Tohopekaliga’s Samir Murray in the final.
Rankings are per https://kabrawrestling.com/rankings
Complete results from Saturday’s tournament can be found HERE.