Warriors’ Borst wins 170-pound wrestling title

Sherando sophomore John Borst, right, stuffs a takedown attempt by Glen Allen's Chip Sturek during the Group 4A 170-pound state wrestling championship Friday at Salem Civic Center. Borst won the match, 6-4. Brad Fauber/Daily

SALEM – Midway through the wrestling season, Sherando sophomore John Borst reflected back on one of his early-season losses, a defeat at the hands of Glen Allen junior Chip Sturek during a tournament at Turner Ashby High School. Borst said he wanted a rematch with Sturek, which could only come in the Group 4A state wrestling tournament.

Borst got his wish. And redemption.

Borst and Sturek met for the second time this season during Friday’s state tournament at Salem Civic Center, and Borst handed the Glen Allen junior a 6-4 overtime defeat – Sturek’s first of the season – to claim the 170-pound state title.

“I knew coming into that match that I have everybody on my back right now, I have to carry through,” Borst said. “And I went out and delivered.”

Borst, the area leader in pins (49), became the first sophomore in Sherando history to win a state wrestling title with the victory and capped a stellar run that saw him pin his way through the postseason up to the 4A state final.

Sherando's John Borst, left, embraces Warriors assistant coach Joel Elmquist, center, and head coach Pepper Martin after winning the Group 4A 170-pound state wrestling championship Friday at Salem Civic Center. Brad Fauber/Daily

During Friday’s tournament, which was condensed to a one-day, single-elimination format due to Saturday’s snowy weather forecast, Borst (57-2 this season) used two pins to reach the championship round, including a second-period pin in the semifinals over Woodgrove’s Jake David, who was responsible for Borst’s only other loss this season.

Warriors coach Pepper Martin said Borst was wrestling with “total confidence in his ability and his skills.”

“He pinned through the conference tournament, he pinned through the regional tournament and he pinned up to the state finals. So he wasn’t just winning, he was winning handily,” Martin said. “This culminates all the hard work and dedication that he’s put into the sport.”

Martin said Borst and the Warriors’ coaching staff were confident in the sophomore’s ability to compete with Sturek when both wrestlers were on their feet, a mentality backed up by Borst’s three takedowns in the 170-pound final.

Sturek knotted the score at 4-all in the third period with a reversal, and Borst opted to ride out the rest of the time in the final frame and take the match to the sudden-death overtime period.

Sherando's Ben Avery, left, faces off with Dominion's Adeeb Atariwa during the Group 4A state wrestling tournament heavyweight championship last season in Salem. Avery, the state runner-up last year, is seeking his first state title as a senior this winter. Brad Fauber/Daily

Borst stuffed Sturek’s takedown attempt early in the extra frame and the two grappled on the ground as Borst fought to gain control of Sturek’s ankle. Borst finally secured the lock in the final ten seconds of overtime to earn the winning two points for the takedown.

“Calls were going either way. My lock was not complete so I didn’t get two points, but as soon as I hooked the ankle I had a really deep lock like I was trying to get before,” Borst said. “As soon as he called two it was just like all the stress … was just gone. Everything was gone.”

Borst was one of two Sherando wrestlers to reach the championship round of the 4A tournament on Friday, as senior Ben Avery advanced to the 285-pound final. Avery’s late-season run – which included a Region 4A North title – came to an end with a loss via second-period pin to Dominion’s Adeeb Atariwa.

“They’ve wrestled like five times now the last two years. They’re evenly matched,” Martin said. “When the Dominion kid got the escape [early in the second period] and came to his feet we locked up a bear hug, and then we came out the bear hug to an over and under and we had an opportunity to throw him. [Avery] hesitated and he threw us. Sometimes, particularly heavyweights, you lock up upper body and you’ve got to pull the trigger and he beat us to the punch.”

Sherando, which sent four wrestlers to Salem, finished fifth in the team standings with 40 points. Warriors freshman Jeremiah Platts (106 pounds) and junior Curtis Guthridge (126) both fell victim to the single-elimination format with first-round losses.

Fauquier (129 points) topped Hanover (105) for the 4A team championship.

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com