Reigning New England wrestling champion Brent Waterman of Belfast showed himself to be in top early season form last weekend with a dominant performance at the annual Spartan Wrestling Tournament hosted by Sanford High School.
Waterman pinned three of his four opponents in the first round en route to capturing the 138-pound individual title and earning recognition as the outstanding wrestler in a meet that included the perennial New England team champions from Timberlane High School of Plaistow, N.H., the top-ranked team in Connecticut in Danbury High School, and defending Maine Class A Class A champion Marshwood High School of South Berwick.
Waterman pinned a Timberlane wrestler, Josh Burnham, at 59 seconds of the first round of his championship match.
Waterman will be seeking to win his fourth consecutive individual state championship in February, and if successful he would join current Belfast assistant coach Travis Spencer as the only Lions to win four individual titles.
Waterman won the Class B 119-pound title in 2010, the 125-pound crown in 2011 and the 132-pound state championship in 2012. He went on to win the New England title at 132 pounds last March as well as earn All-America honors in his weight class at the NHSCA High School National Wrestling Championships held last spring.
Waterman helped Belfast finish eighth at the Spartan Wrestling Tournament, just edging Midcoast rival Camden Hills of Rockport, which finished ninth overall. Belfast placed third among Maine schools behind Marshwood and Class A Massabesic of Waterboro with 74 points, while Camden Hills was next with 72.5 points.
Other top finishers for Belfast at the Spartan meet were Peter Kelley, fourth at 220 pounds; Wyatt Roberts, fifth at 195; and Dagan Berenyi, sixth at 132.
Top finishers for Camden Hills were James Archer, fifth at 113; Chris Weiss, fifth at 126; Connor Winchenbach, fifth at 138; Jared Gilbert, fifth at 170; and Eli Smith, sixth at 152.