Warriors place second, Rams third at Mayhem

John Borst

WINCHESTER – It’s a goal for Sherando’s John Borst every time he steps on the wrestling mat against an opponent – get a pin, and get it quickly.

Borst, who shattered the Warriors’ single-season pins record as a sophomore last winter, made good on that goal Saturday during the Mayhem at Millbrook tournament. He won all five of his matches via pin – including four in the first period – en route to earning the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler award.

Borst beat familiar rival Gabe Neaverth of Millbrook in the 182-pound final, pinning the junior in one minute, 50 seconds to win a Mayhem championship for the second straight season.

“If I can’t get 6 points, I’m looking for a tech (fall),” said Borst, who added that he’s beginning to peak to where he needs to be when postseason matches begin next month. “I’m trying to get the highest points I can get for the team. … Five pins was the goal today and I followed through.”

Borst, last season’s Group 4A 170-pound state champion, was one of six local wrestlers to win individual titles at Mayhem on Saturday, and one of four Warriors to accomplish the feat. Sherando’s Mike Duffy (126), Curtis Guthridge (145) and Ben Avery (285) won championships, as did Strasburg’s Dylan Campbell (138) and Skyline’s Keith Sanker (160).

Sherando as a team finished with 236 points to finish as the runner-up behind runaway winner and Group 6A member Robinson (334.5). Strasburg, the lone 2A school in the 12-team field, finished third with 167.5 points, and Skyline (116.5), which is dealing with various injuries and health issues, head coach Matt Keel said, was sixth.

The tournament began with pool play in the morning before switching to a bracket format in the afternoon.

“We’re pleased with our overall effort, particularly in the finals, the championship finals,” Sherando coach Pepper Martin said. “We had four wrestlers in the finals, all four of them had tough opponents and we wrestled extremely well. … We need to build on that. That’s what those guys need to continue to provide us in tournament situations. But those other guys are the ones we’ve really got to bring along and improve because they’re the ones that are gonna help you pull off the postseason tournaments by getting extra points and placement points and pin points.”

Strasburg sent three wrestlers – Kyle Sisk (113), Campbell and Josh Pritchett (220) – into the championship round, with Campbell walking away with the 138-pound championship after beating Robinson’s James Smith by tech fall, 18-3.

Campbell said shortly after his final victory of the day that the Mayhem championship medal gave him some special bragging rights.

“It’s something my brother never did, so I got that over him,” Campbell said with a grin, referring to his older brother, Nic, who became the only wrestler in Strasburg history to win four Virginia High School League state wrestling championships before graduating last spring.

Campbell, who placed fourth in the Mayhem tournament as a sophomore last year, staked an early lead against Smith on Saturday, gaining a 5-0 advantage in the first period after earning three points on a near-fall late in the frame. He extended his lead to 12-1 in the second period before finally ending the match with his fifth takedown with 31 seconds remaining.

“I dominated on my feet, which won me the match,” said Campbell, last year’s state runner-up at 126 pounds.

In the 160-pound championship, Sanker pinned Robinson’s Inwoo Yi in 2:48 to claim the title. It was Sanker’s fourth pin in as many matches on Saturday.

Sanker, wrestling just his second tournament at 160 pounds after bouncing between 195 and 220 last season, trailed 3-1 early in the second period after Yi escaped from the bottom position at the start of the frame. Sanker changed the momentum with a timely throw that put Yi on his back 20 seconds into the second period before Sanker was awarded the fall 28 seconds later.

“Just threw him. Felt like it was there and it was there,” Sanker said. “He kept pushing into me and he pushed into me a little more. I was like here comes the throw, did the throw and he went on his back.”

Duffy won the first of Sherando’s four Mayhem championships with a tight 12-11 win over Robinson’s Nik Gerard in the 126-pound final. Duffy led 11-6 entering the third period before needing to hold off a late push by Gerard. After earning an escape point that gave him a 12-9 lead when Gerard let him up with 30 seconds remaining, Duffy got taken down for the second time in the period with five seconds remaining but was able to flatten himself out on his stomach to wait out the final few seconds.

“At the worst if he takes a shot I cannot give up back points, so that’s why I tried to match head levels,” said Duffy, who had three pins in five matches Saturday. “He got on my leg and took me down, I bellied out real quick so he couldn’t get the back points.”

Guthridge won his second straight Mayhem championship with an 8-2 decision over Millbrook’s Trae Sine in the 145-pound title match. It was Guthridge’s first win over Sine in a handful of meetings, he said.

Guthridge, who pinned his first three opponents and was on his way to pinning a fourth in the semifinals match before it was stopped due to injury, held a 2-0 lead over Sine after the first period before Sine countered with a reverse 25 seconds into the second period. Guthridge said the turning point of the match was when he earned an escape point with 25 seconds left in the frame, then scored a takedown 14 seconds later to give him a 5-2 lead heading into the final period.

“I just went out there and gave it my best. I was wrestling really good today, even on bottom,” Guthridge said.

“It felt pretty good,” he added of winning the championship medal, “because in the James Wood tournament (two weeks ago) I ended up like hurting my chest in the third and fourth-place match and it’s still been bugging me, my shoulder and neck.”

Avery capped the day with a second-period pin of Loudoun Valley’s Doug Steele in the 285 final. The two heavyweights kept the bout standing for the entire first period before Avery deferred his choice of position to start the second period to Steele, who chose bottom. Avery immediately flattened out Steele at the whistle, and after nearly 50 seconds of grappling on the mat, Avery slowly began turning Steele onto his back before ending the match with a pin with 56 seconds left in the second period.

“We were kind of struggling in neutral, trying to set up a shot and stuff like that,” said Avery, last year’s 4A state runner-up. “Usually when I don’t get something done in neutral I’m pretty confident about my top and bottom. … It was my choice (of position) and I chose to defer because either one I feel like I could’ve beat him. And he chose bottom and I was like, ‘Alright, I’ve just gotta turn him and pin him.’ And I did it.”

Strasburg’s Sisk lost by first-period pin to Northside’s Josiah Robinson in the 113-pound championship, while Pritchett lost a close 7-4 decision to Robinson’s Thomas Mukai in the 220 final.

Skyline’s Curt Boswell lost by tech fall to Robinson’s Sam Book in the 120 final.

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