HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — In returning to Mountain Health Arena, the Big Blacks also returned to the top of the mountain.
The Point Pleasant wrestling team captured its third team title in four years this past weekend at the 2022 WSAZ Invitational held at Mountain Health Arena in Cabell County.
The Big Blacks — who placed second a year ago at Huntington High School, when the event was downsized due to the coronavirus outbreak — matched their efforts of 2019 and 2020 by securing a 7-point victory over the 74 other programs that scored in the 2-day tournament.
PPHS ended the weekend with seven podium finishes and a pair of individual champions in Conner Blessing and Derek Raike. Blessing went 5-0 at 120 pounds, while Raike — an Ohio University signee — also went unbeaten in five matches at 152 pounds.
Gunner Andrick reached the 126-pound final and ultimately finished second with a 4-1 mark. Mackandle Freeman (138), Justin Bartee (145) and Josh Woyan (160) all placed fourth in their respective weight classes, while Kolten Weaver placed seventh in the heavyweight division.
Parkersburg South — who ended up as the Class AAA champion at the event — was the overall runner-up with 193.5 points. The Patriots were also the defending champions headed into the weekend.
Wahama did not have a competitor finish in the top eight spots, but the White Falcons ended up placing sixth in Class A and 40th overall with 30.5 points.
Locals compete at Wood Invite
NEW LEXINGTON, Ohio — River Valley placed ninth and Gallia Academy ended up 23rd out of 28 scoring teams on Saturday at the 2022 Jimmy Wood Invitational hosted by New Lexington High School in Perry County.
The Raiders had five different placers and came away with 132 points as a team, while the Blue Devils landed one grappler in the top-6 en route to 22 points.
Lancaster won the team championship with 296 points and Columbus St. Francis DeSales was the overall runner-up with 268 points.
Both Andrew Huck (144) and Will Hash (190) recorded runner-up finishes in their respective divisions for RVHS. Nathan Brown (175), Justin Stump (157) and Aiden Greene (215) respectively placed fourth, fifth and sixth in their weight classes as well.
Cole Hines was the lone Blue Devil to secure a podium finish after placing sixth at 165 pounds.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.