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Feb. 27, 2012

Blair wrestler qualifies for States

by Emma Bergman, Print Editor-in-Chief
POOLESVILLE, Feb. 24-25 —

This story was based on post-game interviews only and not on a first-hand account.

Varsity wrestling placed 19th out of 22 schools at the regional tournament held at Poolesville last weekend. Senior co-captain Chris Wells (132) is the only wrestler set to continue to the state tournament, which will take place next weekend at the University of Maryland.

Wells placed third in his weight class, becoming one of the four wrestlers from each weight class to advance to States. In his last match, Wells won 7-1 against a wrestler from Blake. At one point during the match, Wells cradled his opponent, gaining the bulk of his points. He says that while he was disappointed not to be wrestling in the finals, he is excited to represent Blair at the State level.

Junior Lansana Sylla (285) lost his pigtail match on Friday and was disqualified from the rest of the tournament. Sophomore Minu Bidzimou (106), sophomore Oumarou Bitang (120) and senior co-captain David Chow (195) all continued to wrestle past their pigtail matches.

After winning his pigtail match against a wrestler from Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Bidzimou lost a match against Damascus and was eliminated from the tournament. Bitang placed sixth in his weight class, only two places away from qualifying for States.

In a particularly exciting part of the competition, Chow wrestled the top ranked wrestler in the tournament in a consolation match. For most of the match Chow was winning and when he eventually was pinned, he was up 4-3.

Bidzimou said that watching Chow’s match helped unite the team. "Everyone was together watching him and supporting him and he just did great," he said. Wells agreed and added that the match was probably Chow’s strongest all year.

Wells also said that the tournament as a whole helped bring together Blair’s newer wrestlers with the more experienced wrestlers. He said that between the younger wrestlers and the captains, the Blair team at Regionals was diverse in terms of experience. "To have [Bitang, Sylla, and Bidzimou] there wrestling at regionals was like passing on the torch," he said.

Senior Chris Wells goes on to wrestle at the state tournament on Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3 at University of Maryland College Park's Cole Field House.



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