VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Camden Hills of Rockport standout Jacob Powers of Appleton earned a top-10 finish over the weekend at the 22nd annual National Senior Wrestling Championships held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
After winning his first two matches Friday, the two-time Maine Class B champion at 160 pounds went 2-2 on Saturday — with two of the matches going into overtime and all four decided by two points or less — to finish tied for ninth in his weight class with an overall 4-2 record.
Powers narrowly missed earning All-American honors, which go to the top eight finishers in each class of the double-elimination tournament.
“It was good and bad,” said Powers, a first-time competitor at the nationals. “It went better than I originally thought it would, because I found out I could compete with these guys, but I was one point away from being an All-American.”
Powers fell from the championship bracket in his opening match Saturday, losing 3-1 in overtime to two-time Missouri state champion Patrick Rhoads.
The Windjammers’ standout then edged two-time Georgia state champion Jeffrey Holmes by an identical score in overtime, then continued to remain alive with a 5-3 victory over Bobby Sheivert of Pennsylvania.
That sent Powers to a match against Kyle Ryan of Ohio on Saturday evening, with the winner advancing to the top eight and earning the coveted All-American status.
“There was a little more pressure in this match because I wanted to get All-American,” said Powers, “but once the match starts you don’t think about that much.”
Ryan led 5-3 in the third period before Powers scored a match-tying takedown with less than a minute remaining in the 90-second round — championship bracket matches are 2 minutes, consolation bracket matches are 1:30.
Not wanting a third overtime match of the day, Powers then let Ryan escape to give the Ohioan a one-point edge before going on the offensive. Powers was able to grab one of Ryan’s legs, but as he was reaching for the other leg time expired.
Powers, who has been accepted at Division I Lock Haven (Pa.) University but has not yet firmed up his college plans, said he benefited in advance of the nationals from taking part in an invitation-only three-day mini-camp hosted by Virginia Tech University.
“It was a good tune-up for me,” said Powers, who planned to return to Maine on Monday after watching Sunday’s championship rounds. “I got to wrestle against the college guys, and it helped me get used to the style they had at the nationals, where they used college rules.”
Two other Mainers competed in the Senior Nationals, Calais teammates Scott Carpenter (130 pounds) and Spencer McCormick (145). Both lost their opening-round matches Friday, then were defeated by decision in their second bouts to be eliminated from the competition.
Another Eastern Mainer, Zac Ragot of Washington Academy of East Machias, competed in the Junior Nationals also held at Virginia Beach. Ragot, the reigning Class C state champion at 215 pounds, won his first match with a 3-1 decision over Dylan Devine of Maryland before dropping two decisions, 5-2 to fifth-place finisher Brian Waler of Alabama and 11-2 to Sylas Wells of Utah.