By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian
The field is dwindling after day one of the Winner’s Choice wrestling tournament.
Out of 397 wrestlers from 30 schools, seven from Marion County have punched their ticket to the semifinals based on their undefeated showings Friday in the two-day bracket-style event at the Woody Williams Armory.
Host school Fairmont Senior, which is currently in 15th with 27 team points, will be sending 145-pounder Anthony Alvaro and 220-pounder Vincent Delligatti.
Seventh-place North Marion, which leads the county in the team standings with 70 points, has advanced 120-pounder Ryan Elliott and 138-pounder Austin Stanley to the round of four after both went 2-0.
And in 12th place, East Fairmont (61 team points) will have 132-pounder Brody Nesselrotte, 145-pounder Dalton Michael and 152-pounder Hayden Stewart also competing in the semis. Nesselrotte and Michael went 3-0, while Stewart was 2-0.
"All three of those guys have tough matches tomorrow,” East Fairmont coach John Geary said. “Brody has the No. 1. Dalton has the No. 2. And Hayden's got the No. 2. They're all going to be tough matches.”
Awards will be presented to the top eight wrestlers in each weight class, but it won’t be easy in the tournament that many consider to be one of the premier bracket-style events in West Virginia.
In many instances the tournament is a preview of what spectators will see in the state tournament.
“Coaches bring their teams here because they want to get that competition,” Fairmont Senior coach Mark Delligatti said. “The harder you compete with better competition, the greater the likelihood that when you get to the state tournament it’s not going to be as difficult.”
The county has plenty of athletes who will be fighting for one of the top eight places tomorrow.
Fairmont Senior’s Brent Wyne (2-1, 138 pounds), Tre Lewis (1-1, 170 pounds), Braden Mick (1-1, 182 pounds), Jaron Summers (1-1, 195 pounds) and Brent Barber (1-1, 285 pounds) are all in the mix and will wrestle through consolation matches tomorrow in hopes of making the podium.
They will be joined by East Fairmont’s Gianni Vandetta (0-1, 113 pounds), Matt Hopwood (2-1, 160 pounds), Cam Stewart (2-1, 170 pounds) and Daniel Hopkins (2-1, 182 pounds), as well as North Marion’s Joe Efaw (2-1, 106 pounds), Caleb Kuhn (2-1, 126 pounds), Kyle Elliott (2-1, 132 pounds), Ryan Arnett (2-1, 145 pounds), Justin Efaw (1-1, 152 pounds), Gavin Barker (2-1, 160 pounds), Roger Cummings (1-1, 220 pounds) and Justin O’Dell (2-1, 285 pounds).
“They need to pick it up in the consolations. They've got to try to score some points,” said Geary. “The goal for those guys is to place.”
The second and final day of the tournament begins today at 10 a.m. with consolation rounds three and four. Wrestling will continue throughout the day with the championship semifinals at 11:30 a.m., consolation quarterfinals at 12:30 p.m. and consolation semifinals at 2 p.m.
There will then be a short break before the championship and consolation finals begin at 5 p.m.
Email Mike DeFabo at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.