By Nick Cammuso
Times West Virginian
As first days of the state wrestling tournament go, this one went mostly as planned for Marion County.
East Fairmont, Fairmont Senior and North Marion got their first-round matches in during Thursday’s opening day of Class AA-A competition at Huntington’s Big Sandy Superstore Arena and are still in the thick of things.
North Marion leads the local contingent in fourth place after day one, tied with Greenbrier West at 24 points, while East Fairmont is sixth (22) and Fairmont Senior 12th (15.50).
Wirt County tops the team standings going into day two with 28 points, followed by Clay County and Independence at 24.50.
Individually, 17 county wrestlers have a shot at a berth in the state finals after winning first-round matches on Thursday.
A Class AAA runner-up last season, East Fairmont’s Jesse Roman had little trouble with his first roadblock in the way of a state championship — the Bees’ senior pinned Fayetteville’s River Pullens in 29 seconds to move to 51-0.
The area’s other unbeaten wrestler, North Marion junior Ryan Elliott, got off to a fast start. The 120-pounder needed just 56 seconds to win his opener and his now 46-0.
Roman’s fall, though, was only the fifth-fastest of the day in AA-A. At 170, Keyser’s Cody Rodeheaver downed his opponent in nine seconds.
Locally, North Marion’s Austin Stanley notched a pin in 27 seconds at 132 on Thursday, and Fairmont Senior’s Vincent Delligatti pinned his first-round foe in only 23 seconds at 220.