WINSTON-SALEM — Over-achievement is an attribute that is highly desirable in both individuals and groups. The Buckin’ Elk grapplers, with only seven participating wrestlers, continued to exceed expectations at the R.J. Reynolds Invitational on Thursday.
One Most Outstanding Wrestler, two individual champions, one runner-up and three third-place finishers propelled Elkin into a second-place position in the 15-team field. This was the Elks’ highest finish in a tournament this season.
Jude Lloyd captured his fifth individual tournament championship of the season in the 138-pound weight class by pinning McMichael’s Braxton Perry, Garrett Lowe of West Stokes and Mt. Tabor’s Jeremiah Jackson. Lloyd also was honored for the third time this season with the Most Outstanding award.
Ethan Chipman also claimed his fifth individual tournament title of the season in the 152-pound class. He posted a 9-0 major decision over Northwest Guilford’s Alexander Krause and a 7-3 decision over Chris Butera of Mount Airy to capture the championship.
Mikey Grubb reached the finals in the 145-pound class with a 16-1 technical fall over Carver’s Nate Cambell and a pin of Xavier Searcy of McMichael. In the championship match, he was defeated by East Montgomery’s Keyon Ellis 16-10.
Marcus Orta pinned McMichael’s Aidan Mahaffey at 132 pounds before falling to Matthew Heras of Northwest Guilford in the semifinals. He reached the podium with a third-place finish for a second time this season by pinning Magna Vista’s Donyay Martin and Zach Watts of West Stokes.
Jerry Neese pinned Nicholas Lapre of Atkins at 170 pounds, but dropped into the consolation bracket after losing to Mt. Tabor’s Jarvis Blanding by pin fall. He also claimed a third-place finish for a second time this season by pinning Andy Becker of Magna Vista and East Montgomery’s Alex Smith.
Zach Tilley finished third in his first tournament this season. After falling to the eventual 220-pound champion Thomas Martin of Carver in the semifinals, he battled back by pinning McMichael’s Holden Alcorn and Tyrell Walker of R.J. Reynolds.
Heavyweight C.J. Henderson reached the semifinals by pinning Mount Airy’s Nate Kiebler. He was eliminated from competition following losses to Corey Moses of East Forsyth and McMichael’s Jeffrey Duncan.
Elkin will be back in action Tuesday in a tri-match with South Iredell and West Rowan. Results were not available by press deadline.