AUGUSTA — The Foxcroft Academy wrestling team had fairly high expectations for itself at Saturday’s state championship meet after posting the top score at the Class C qualifying meet a week earlier.
But even the Ponies’ expectations didn’t match what became reality — the program’s first Class C championship since 2005.
“I knew what we did last week was a different scenario from this week,” said Foxcroft coach Luis Ayala, whose club edged three-time defending champion Lisbon by six points. “I knew it was going to be close, but I had us finishing third.
“But I’ve got a young bunch of kids who worked hard and believed what we said, and hard work pays off.”
Noble of North Berwick continued its dominance of the Class A ranks, winning its third straight state title and 11th in the last 13 years during the daylong event at the Augusta Civic Center, while Mountain Valley of Rumford scored a comfortable victory over defending champion Camden Hills of Rockport in Class B.
Foxcroft crowned just two individual champions in Mark Smith (112) pounds and Wesley Stinson (152), but depth and success in early round matches enabled the Ponies to build a lead Lisbon couldn’t overcome despite winning five individual state championships.
Foxcroft finished with 128 points, with Lisbon (122), Dirigo of Dixfield (120), Dexter (94) and Fort Kent (86) rounding out the top five Class C schools.
Trevor Weymouth (125), Zac Smith (160) and Cory Bjornson-Weismore (171) each placed second for Foxcroft, while Alex Francis (130) and Forrest Law (135) picked up thirds and Todd Francis (145) added a fourth.
Lisbon dominated the lower weight classes, getting individual titles from Nick McNamara (103), Forrest Cornell (119), Josh Pomerleau (125), Mike McNamara (135) and Matt Nicholson (140). But when the Greyhounds, who trailed Foxcroft by 23 points entering the championship finals, could only get three pins in those five victories, the Ponies clinched the title by the time Nicholson’s 4-0 decision over Bucksport’s Jacob Stewart was complete.
Cornell, named the outstanding Class C wrestler of the meet, became Lisbon’s first four-time state champion by decisioning Dirigo’s Caleb Hall 3-0.
Other Class C champions were Scott Carpenter of Calais, who earned his third state title by winning at 130 pounds, Eric Coulombe of Monmouth Academy (145), D.J. Webber of Dirigo (160), Nathan Philbrook (171) and C.J. Stratton (285) of Penobscot Valley of Howland, Chris Powell of Bucksport (189) and Zac Ragot of Washington Academy of East Machias, who became the first wrestler in school history to score his 100th career victory by winning the 215-pound final.
In Class A, Noble crowned just one individual champion — Ben Valencia, who trailed previously unbeaten Kaleb Austin of Skowhegan until scoring a pin with just four seconds left in the 140-pound final — but the Knights’ still rolled to a 181.5-126 win over runnerup Marshwood of South Berwick.
Massabesic of Waterboro was third with 113 points, followed by Westbrook (75), Mount Ararat of Topsham (67.5) and Eastern Maine champion Mt. Blue of Farmington (60.5).
Noble’s Kayleigh Longley, bidding to become the first Maine schoolgirl to win an individual state title, reached the 103-pound championship final before losing a 9-1 major decision to top-ranked Tyler Everett of Marshwood. Shane Shibles (130), Tyler Beaudet (135) and Jonathan Badger (160) also placed second for the Knights, who also won all six of their third-place matches.
Joining Valencia and Everett as Class A individual winners were Tyler Davidson (112), Jake Rasque (119) and Josh Perschy (285) of Marshwood, Ethan Gilman (125) and Andrew Tripp (171) of Massabesic, Jared Jensen of Brunswick (130), William Lundquist of Cony of Augusta (135), Jake Oh (145) and Malcolm Marshall (152) of Mount Ararat, Brandon Corson of Skowhegan (160), Stephen Sawyer of Westbrook (189) and Michael Cyr of Scarborough (215).
In Class B, Ryan Burgess’ 150th career victory, over Colin Sevigney of Wells in the 112-pound final, clinched the title for Mountain Valley.
The Falcons finished with 168.5 points, compared to 141 for Camden Hills and 105 for third-place Belfast. Fryeburg Academy (94) and Morse of Bath (71) rounded out the top five teams.
Mountain Valley qualified a meet-leading seven wrestlers for the championship finals, with Burgess, Josh Thornton (145), Josh Allen (189), Christian Durland (215) and Ryan Glover (285) all claiming individual titles — Durland earning a 6-4 decision over Camden Hills’ Rhett Chase on a takedown with one second left in the match.
Cody Magoon (125) and Taylor Carey (171) each finished second for the Falcons, while Joe Provencher placed third at 135 and Nicole Burgess was fourth at 103.
Camden Hills crowned three individual champions in Tom Cassidy (130), Brandon Rich (140) and Jacob Powers, who capped off an undefeated season by winning the 160-pound title.
Belfast was led by sophomore Brent Waterman, named the outstanding Class B wrestler of the meet after winning the 125-pound title. Jordan Young (119) and Kornealius Wood (171) also won individual titles for the Lions, while Evan Drinkwater placed second at 103.
Other Class B champions were Dan DelGallo of Gardiner (135) and Stefan Emery of Fryeburg Academy (152).