Landon’s Brendon Gallagher (145) won all five bouts, including a 16-0 technical fall in his semifinal and a pin for his title, to earn Outstanding Wrestler honors at the Melee On The Metro Tournament at Wilson High in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.
Gallagher decked Grady Hotz of St. Mary’s Ryken in 2:34 of his championship bout, being among the Bears’ (163 points) seven place-winners toward finishing third in the 20-team field behind champion St. Christopher’s of Virginia (326.5) and Germantown Academy of Pennsylvania (197).
Taking second was Lorenzo Lopez (126), with Axel Giron (120) being third, Luc Schermer (132), Matt Amitay (138) and Jonny Gherman (152) all fifth, and Terrance Bridgers (285), sixth.
“Getting OW was great, especially knowing how many good wrestlers were at the tournament,” said Gallagher, a senior returning private schools state runner-up and two-time Interstate Athletic Conference champion. “I wrestled well this weekend. I just wanted to try to score in every position and get to my offense. It was only my second time at 145, and I felt great.”
The Bears continued their banner year under 23rd-year coach Andy Katz, finishing far ahead of two-time former private schools state champion Good Counsel (fourth) as well as IAC rivals Bullis (sixth) and Georgetown Prep (seventh) and Washington Catholic Athletic Conference power DeMatha (10th)
It was also an effort that came a week after the Bears crowned Gallagher, Giron, Lopez, Gherman, Bridgers, Patrick Kielb (132), Jelani Machen (170) and Carter Johnson (182) to win their first IAC championship in Katz’s tenure.
The crown is the program’s first outright title since 1994, adding the tournament to their regular-season dual meet championship earned with a school-record mark of 16-5 overall and 6-0 in the IAC.
Lopez, Kielb, Gallagher and Johnson all earned their second straight IAC crowns, and Machen, his first after being a runner-up in last year’s event. Lopez was named Outstanding Wrestler at IAC’s.
The Bears’ improvement on last year’s 15-7 season is due in part to the transfer of Giron, a junior who went 31-2 at Parkdale of Prince George's County, where he was a Class 4A-3A state runner-up.
The Bears are gearing up for next weekend’s private schools state tournament at McDonogh School of Baltimore, where they finished 12th last year.
“I’m glad I got a tournament in at 145 before states, because it gives me the extra confidence that I can dominate good opponents,” said Gallagher, who was an IAC runner-up as a sophomore and finished eighth at National Preps last year.
“I’m so proud of how the team has wrestled this year, and I know we’re gonna continue getting better over the next few years. I’m also happy that we got third this weekend.”
Good Counsel crowned Avery Miller (160) among five place-winners, his championship victory coming by 16-0 technical fall.
The Falcons also had runners-up in Cord Richardson (132) and Cole Robilotto (152), with Conor Lozupone (113) and Brandon Roberts (285) being third, and Alwyn Taylor (182), sixth.
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