The dissipation of the Peninsula District's best wrestlers from the state's ranks continued in earnest at the Group AAA tournament at Oscar Smith High School on Friday.
Of the 56 PD grapplers who entered the same gym last week for the Eastern Region tournament, just two — Gloucester 171-pounder Colin Lenhardt and Warwick heavyweight Randon Key — advanced to today's semifinals, which begin at 11 a.m.
Lenhardt pinned Fairfax's Jordan Yost 1 minute, 33 seconds into their quarterfinal bout. Virginiawrestling.com's third-ranked 171-pounder worked an early takedown into an around-the-neck cradle that Yost couldn't overcome. Lenhardt faces Kempsville's Bryce Barnes, whom he's never wrestled, in today's semifinals.
"I know he's quick on his feet," Lenhardt said of Barnes. "He does low singles, so I have to counter those with a low stance and watch my ankles."
Key dominated both of his opening bouts, running up six-point advantages in both as he defeated Brooke Point's Nick Martin 7-1, followed by an 8-2 decision over Fairfax's Josh Patterson in the quarterfinals.
The Raider said he takes pride in being one of the last PD wrestlers in title contention.
"Next year, I won't be here and (Lenhardt) won't be here, but we're making a legacy," said Key, who faces fellow Eastern Region wrestler Vicquan Arrington from Nansemond River in the semis. "The Peninsula will come back stronger next year."
Hampton 135-pounder Sterling Perry was forced into the consolation bracket by James River's Jared Anongos, the Central Region's top seed, who won their quarterfinal bout 9-2.
Lenhardt's teammate Jarrett Larrimore fell in the 215 quarterfinals to Annandale's Victor Njomo in a 14-6 major decision.
The remaining three Peninsula wrestlers were eliminated before the quarterfinals.
Phoebus 125-pounder Ronald Butler fell to Central Region first seed Gabe LaVey of Hanover 9-2 in the opening round before being shut out by Riverbend's Gary Woods 3-0 in first-round consolation eliminations.
The same fate befell teammate Eric Hercules at 135, who fell 7-5 to Westfield's Kyle Arnold and suffered a technical fall at the hands of Colonial Forge's Drew Squires.
Hampton 152-pounder Nick Sapp fell to Lake Braddock's Ryan Renzi in a 5-3 overtime decision before Midlothian's Kyle Seay ran up a 7-4 decision to oust him.
The Dukes' Lenhardt and Larrimore knocked off a pair of wrestlers from defending team champion and tournament front-runner Colonial Forge — James Barr and Demetri Cox, respectively — to advance to the quarterfinals.
GROUP AAA STATE WRESTLING TOURNAMENT (through quarterfinals)Team scores — Colonial Forge 48, Fauquier 39.5, Kellam 39.5, Cox 38.5, Grassfield 36.5, Robinson 36, Westfield 35, James River 28, Great Bridge 22.5, Kempsville 22.5, Mountain View 20, Hanover 18, Mills Godwin 17.5, Battlefield 15, Hopewell 15, Gloucester 13, Hermitage 12.5, Hayfield 12.5, Annandale 12, Indian River 12, Deep Run 12, Lake Braddock 12, Nansemond River 12, Franklin County 11, Langley 11, First Colonial 10, Matoaca 10, Thomas Dale 9, Jefferson of Alexandria 9, Stone Bridge 9, Liberty 9, Chantilly 8, Norview 8, Western Branch 7, Warwick 7, Brooke Point 6, Fairfax 5, North Stafford 5, Massaponax 5, Midlothian 5, Granby 4, Bayside 4, Henrico 4, Forest Park 4, Ocean Lakes 4, Centreville 4, Dinwiddie 4, Riverbend 3, Atlee 2.5, Woodbridge 2.5, W.T. Woodson 2, Osbourn Park 2, Oakton 2, Tallwood 2, Landstown 2, Cosby 2, Hampton 2, Stonewall Jackson of Manassas 2, William Fleming 2, Freedom 2, Deep Creek 2, Edison 2, Marshall 2, Varina 1, Oscar Smith 1, Salem 1, South County 1, Lee-Davis 1, Clover Hill 1, Colonial Heights 1, Maury 1, Highland Springs 1.
FIRST ROUND (Peninsula District results only)125 – LaVey, Hanover, d. Butler, Phoebus, 9-2. 135 – Perry, Hampton, d. Arnold, Westfield, 7-5; Perryman, Robinson, d. Hercules, Phoebus, 10-5. 152 – Renzi, Lake Braddock, d. Sapp, Hampton, 5-3 OT. 171 – Lenhardt, Gloucester, p. Barr, Colonial Forge, 3:04. 215 – Larrimore, Gloucester, d. Cox, Colonial Forge, 4-3. 285 – Key, Warwick, d. Martin, Brooke Point, 7-0.
QUARTERFINALS (Peninsula District results only)135 – Anongos, James River, d. Perry, Hampton, 9-2. 171 – Lenhardt, Gloucester, p. Yost, Fairfax, 1:33. 215 – Njomo, Annandale, md. Larrimore, Gloucester, 14-6. 285 – Key, Warwick, d. Patterson, Fairfax, 8-2.