Three Maine high school wrestling standouts, including Brent Waterman of Belfast, earned All-American status with their performances at the NHSCA High School National Wrestling Championships held at the Virginia Beach (Va.) Convention Center over the weekend.
Waterman, a three-time Class B individual state champion for Belfast Area High School, finished seventh in the junior 126-pound division, while Cody Hughes of Marshwood of South Berwick was fourth in the freshman 138-pound class and Michael Curtis of Wells finished fifth in the freshman 160-pound division.
The top eight finishers in each weight division from each academic class earn NHSCA All-American honors.
Nearly 2,700 wrestlers participated in this year’s nationals, with the junior division the largest individual classification with 745 competitors.
Waterman, who dropped down a weight class for the nationals from the 132-pound division he competed in while winning both the state and New England championships this winter, went 4-2 overall at the nationals.
He decisioned Austin Loos of Wisconsin 9-2 and major decisioned Scott Lopez of Pennsylvania 11-3 in his first two matches before dropping an 11-3 decision to Iowa’s Kyle Springer to drop into the consolation bracket.
Waterman then defeated Dyon Santiago of New Mexico 5-1 before falling to Blake Bosch of North Dakota 4-2.
That sent him to the seventh-place match, where Waterman defeated Geovanni Medina 8-4.
Hughes went 5-2 to finish fourth in his weight class, dropping his third match of the competition and then coming through the consolation bracket with three straight victories before losing in the third-place match by pin to the same wrestler who had defeated him earlier in the tournament, Thomas Dutton of New York.
Curtis finished 3-2 in the 160-pound freshman division, winning his first two matches before losing his semifinal by pin in 5:27 to Pennsylvania’s Jake Young. He then lost his next match before decisioning Taquan Long of South Carolina 8-1 in the fifth-place bout.
Eighteen Maine wrestlers competed in the national championships, with Josh Andrews of Massabesic of Waterboro finishing 3-2 in the 220-pound junior class to finish just short of earning All-American status.
Three wrestlers — Brooks Law of Foxcroft Academy in the 120-pound freshman division, Dan Del Gallo of Gardiner in the 132-pound junior division, and Rhett Chase of Camden Hills of Rockport in the 220-pound senior division — each finished with a 2-2 record.
Chris Weiss of Washington Academy of East Machias, a 132-pound freshman, Zac Richard of Massabesic, a 138-pound freshman, and Neal Harrison-Billiat of Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport, a 152-pound senior, each won one match in national competition.
Also representing Maine at the nationals were Brandon Graffam, Anthony Batty, and Ryan Graffam of Camden Hills and Zac Ragot of Washington Academy in the senior division, Forrest Law of Foxcroft Academy and Anthony Soto of Washington Academy in the junior division, Colin Sevigny of Wells in the sophomore division, and Tanner Andrews of Massabesic in the freshman division.