Highlanders have 4 region champions

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Glenvar’s Blake Custer eyes his opponent in a 220 pound regional match at James River.
Christian Smith is in control at
160. PHOTOS BY ROWEN MILLER

The Glenvar wrestling team qualified five for the state championship tournament this weekend, which will be held at the Salem Civic Center. Glenvar will send four regional champions to the civic center mats.

The state tournament will be held Friday and Saturday, with wrestling scheduled to begin at 9 am both days. Consolation finals begin Saturday at 11 am and championship finals will be at 3 pm as this year only the Class 1A and 2A tournaments will be held here. In past years the civic center was host for 3A and 4A state tournaments as well, but those events will be in Portsmouth this year.

James River hosted the Class 2A, Region C wrestling tournament in Buchanan last Saturday and Glenvar finished third behind champion Appomattox and runnerup Dan River. Appomattox won the regional with 158.5 points, with Dan River taking second with 148 and Glenvar was third with 110 points, followed by host James River in fourth with 105.

Glenvar’s team score was hurt by a lack of bodies, but the ones who did wrestle did well. Champions were Tanner Speight (106), Christian Smith (160), Brandon Saunders (195) and Maxx Philpott (285) while Terence Maloney was the runner-up at 170. Philpott is the defending 285 pound state champ and he’ll be looking to repeat as a junior this weekend.

Blake Custer (220) finished 4th in the regional but 2A is the only classification running a 12 man state bracket instead of 16, so he was unable to qualify. Blake will be an alternate if a spot comes available.

“Regionals were the same scenerio as districts and we had just as many champions as the top team, but not being able to fill six weight classes leaves a lot of points on the table,” said Glenvar coach Stan Malek. “ The state tournament will be exciting. My guys have some tough brackets and are looking forward to the challenge ahead.”