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Owings Mills' Smith, McDonogh's Flynn, Dunbar's Pryor win national titles at NHSCA wrestling tournament

Tim Schwartz
Contact ReporterBaltimore Sun wrestling reporter

Owings Mills junior Phil Smith, McDonogh sophomore Cooper Flynn and Dunbar senior Jordan Pryor took home national titles at the National High School Coaches Association tournament in Virginia Beach, Va. on March 31.

McDonogh freshman Richard Fedalen (113) placed third, C. Milton Wright sophomore James Riveira (120) and McDonogh junior Jack Wimmer (195) took fourth, and McDonogh sophomore Harrison Trahan (160) finished in eighth place.

Smith, a two-time state champion and this past season’s 2A-1A 138-pound victor, went 6-0 as the No. 13 seed with three pins, two major decisions and two decisions to win the junior 132-pound national title over 129 other wrestlers. He beat No. 1 seed Charlie Pickell of Minnesota, 8-3, in the championship match.

Eagles coach Ryan Mackin said Smith trained several days a week for the tournament after winning a state title in early March, and his preparation was the difference.

“He was traveling some and working with different coaches, getting different training partners. He didn’t take his foot off the gas; he slammed down harder on the gas pedal and it showed in his results,” Mackin said. “Every match that went on he looked better and better. He became more and more focused the deeper into the bracket he got.”

Flynn, an MIAA champion and state runner-up this season, was the top seed in the 113-pound sophomore bracket and went 7-0 with four falls, a technical fall and two decisions, including a 5-1 victory over James Joplin of North Carolina in the finals. Flynn, ranked No. 11 in the country by FloWrestling and competing for his home state of Tennessee, won the 106-pound freshman national championship last year.

Pryor, a three-time state champion and a Maryland commit who is ranked No. 11 in the nation by InterMat, was awarded the senior heavyweight championship after his finals opponent, Yaraslau Slavikouski of Massachusetts, was disqualified after beating Pryor, 13-5, for being too old for the event, according to Dunbar coach Doug McClain. Pryor placed second in the sophomore nationals and third as a freshman, and this time he pinned his first five opponents — including New York’s Joey Slackman, FloWrestling’s No. 11 ranked heavyweight — in less than 3 minutes, 25 seconds to reach the finals.

McClain said that while the current brackets haven’t been changed yet, the NHSCA records would show Pryor as the tournament champion.

Fedalen, who missed the postseason due to injury, won his first four matches but lost in the semifinals before winning his last two bouts.

Riveira, who won his second state title this season, pinned his first five opponents and also lost in the semifinal round. He won by fall in the consolation semifinals and then lost his third-place bout.

Competing for Pennsylvania, Wimmer won his first four matches but was shutout in the semifinals. The MIAA and MIS tournament runner-up rallied for another win in the consolation semifinals.

An MIAA champion and MIS tournament finalist who also competed for Pennsylvania, Trahan went 5-3 and won a 13-11 decision in the blood round to earn All-American status.

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