MILLWOOD, W.Va. — You can’t stay 16 forever.
After three straight years of sending 16 grapplers to the state meet, Mason County will have a total of 18 wrestlers moving on to Mountain Health Arena in early March following the completion of the 2022 Class AA-A Region IV Championships held Saturday at the Jackson County Armory.
Point Pleasant had all 14 of its weight class competitors advance, with all but five coming away with divisional titles. The Big Blacks also secured three runner-up efforts and a pair of third place finishes as well.
Wahama had four grapplers advance to the state tournament after sending half as many in each of the previous three years. The White Falcons also came away with regional champion, as well as a third and two fourth place finishers.
PPHS — the top-ranked Class AA program and 3-time defending state champion — almost doubled up the field with a winning tally of 324 points. Winfield was the overall runner-up out of 16 scoring teams with 167 points.
Williamstown ended up fourth overall with 122 points, but also finished as the highest scoring Class A program in the field. Wahama ended up seventh overall and third in single-A with 90 points.
It will be the fifth time in program history that Point Pleasant will be sending competitors to state in all 14 weight classes, joining the 2012, 2019, 2020 and 2021 squads. Each of those PPHS teams went on to capture the Class AA-A state championship.
The Big Blacks also earned the program’s 12th regional championship in school history, joining the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 squads.
The Red and Black combined for a 36-5 overall record in their collective matches, and all but three PPHS grapplers reached the championship final within their respective divisions.
Gunner Andrick (126), Mackandle Freeman (138), Justin Bartee (145), Josh Woyan (152), Derek Raike (160), Ethan Marcum (170) and Kolton Weaver (285) all posted 3-0 records en route to coming away with weight class titles.
Nathan Wood (113) and Conner Blessing (120) each went 2-0 on their respective ways to divisional crowns.
Ciah Nutter (132) and Brayden Connolly (195) each went 2-1 en route to runner-up placements. Tanner Epling also went 1-1 while finishing second at 106 pounds.
Luke Moffitt (182) and Colby Price (220) both went 3-1 overall while ending up third in their respective weight classes.
Epling, Andrick, Nutter, Woyan, Marcum, Moffitt and Weaver will be appearing at the state tournament for the first time in their respective careers.
The White Falcons are sending four grapplers to state for the first time since 2018 and have both something old and something new headed to Huntington.
Trey Ohlinger won the Region IV title at 220 pounds with a perfect 3-0 mark, becoming the first regional title-winner since Antonio Serevicz won the 220-pound division back in 2019.
Kase Stewart qualified for his third straight state tournament after finishing fourth in the 138-pound division with a 2-2 mark.
Logan Roach was third at 152 pounds with a 3-1 record, while Blake Henry also placed fourth at 106 pounds.
Ohlinger, Roach and Henry will be appearing at the state tournament for the first time in their respective careers.
Dontae Stitt (132) and Antonio Perron (113) missed qualifying for state but still earned regional podium finishes by placing fifth and sixth, respectively.
Jojo High of Sissonville won the 106 title and teammate Tate Britton came away with the 195-pound crown. Braxton Smith of Nitro captured the 132-pound championship, while Logan Howell of Winfield won the 182-pound division.
The 2022 WVSSAC Wrestling Championships for Class AA-A will be held at Mountain Health Arena on Friday and Saturday, March 4-5, in downtown Huntington.
Visit wvmat.com for complete results of the 2022 Class AA-A Region IV Wrestling Championships held Friday at Point Pleasant High School.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.