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Isaac Righter wins National Preps title, Mount Saint Joseph finishes third

Isaac Righter wins National Preps title, Mount Saint Joseph finishes third
Mount Saint Joseph junior heavyweight Isaac Righter, seen wrestling Loyola's Bennett Traurig in the MIAA finals on Feb. 9, won the National Preps title at Lehigh University on Saturday, February 23, 2019. (Jeffrey F. Bill / BSMG)

Mount Saint Joseph junior heavyweight Isaac Righter won a National Preps title Saturday afternoon at Lehigh University.

Righter, who was the No. 1 seed, pinned his first four opponents to reach the final, where he defeated Covenant School’s Rick Weaver via a 16-6 major decision. He’s the first Gael to win National Preps since Dan Hawkins won the 195-pound title in 2014 and the first Baltimore-area wrestler since McDonogh’s Myles Martin (182), Archbishop Curley’s Tyshawn Williams (145) and John Carroll’s Hunter Ritter (195) each won championships in 2015.

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Ritter’s victory, along with nine other placers, helped Mount Saint Joseph finish third in the team race with 168 points behind New Jersey’s Blair Academy (354 points) and Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Seminary (325). It’s the first time the Gaels finished in the top three since 2005 and are the first Baltimore-area team since McDonogh came in third in 2015.

McDonogh (96.5 points) had five place-winners and finished seventh, Archbishop Spalding (85) had five and came in ninth, and St. Paul’s (78.5) had four to finish 11th. Loyola Blakefield (33.5) came in 25th with one placer.

St. Paul’s senior Jack Parr (195) reached the finals as the No. 2 seed but dropped a 3-0 decision to Wyoming Seminary’s Austin Cooley in the championship match.

Four other local wrestlers won the consolation finals and placed third: McDonogh’s Cooper Flynn (113) and Garrett Kappes (220), Archbishop Spalding’s Garrett Fisk (152), and Mount Saint Joseph’s Chris Barnabae (120).

Flynn, who was a runner-up a year ago as a freshman, lost a one-point decision to the No. 1 seed in the semifinals before upending the No. 2 seed in the third-place match. Kappes, a fifth-place finisher last season, made the semifinal round but lost a four-point decision to the eventual champion. He shut out his next two opponents.

Fisk reached the semifinals as a No. 6 seed but dropped a 5-0 decision there. He bounced back to win a pair of two-point matches to improve on his fourth-place finish last season.

Barnabae earned the No. 1 seed but couldn’t get past No. 4 seed Lachlan McNeil of Wyoming Seminary and lost, 9-7, in the semifinals. Like Kappes, Barnabae shut out his next two opponents — 6-0 and 3-0 — to place third for the second consecutive year.

Mount Saint Joseph’s other placers were: Justin Henry (182, fourth), Connor Strong (145, fifth), Joe Couch (113, fifth), Ethan Stern (195, fifth), Nathan Porter (126, sixth), Zach Phillips (160, sixth), Parker Warner (220, eighth) and Jonathan Short (170, eighth).

In addition to Flynn and Kappes, Ray Kable (132, fourth), Dominic Solis (170, fifth) and Cody Williams (285, sixth) placed for McDonogh, while Joe Fisk (132, fifth), Dustin Radford (195, sixth), Brady Pruett (106, seventh) and Rick Couch (138, eighth) finished in the top eight for the Cavaliers.

St. Paul’s Nasir Wilkinson placed fourth after reaching the semifinals, and Dylan Blau (160, seventh) and Wil Guida (113, seventh) also reached the podium.

Loyola Blakefield’s Shawn Strand (120) finished sixth.

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