The highly regarded Chapin wrestling team opened the 2010-11 season with an impressive win at the Palmetto State Classic tournament last weekend at Irmo.
The Eagles, ranked No. 2 in Class 3A by scmat.com, nipped inveterate 4A power Rock Hill 108.5-106. The winning margin came at the very end when Adam Taylor beat Columbia’s DaVonte Graham in the heavyweight consolation finale.
Taylor was one of 12 Chapin entries that came away with a place finishes in the 13 weight classes. It was a nice way for Eric Kubik to ease into his role as Chapin’s new head coach.
Two-time state champion Stuart Hope (119), Scott Swindell (160) and Seth Stevens (171) were the Eagles individual champions, while Chandler Owens (103), Russell Smigelski (112), Chase Owens (140), Nate Polly (145) and Cody Brundage (152) all made it to the finals, but had to settle for runner-up honors.
Taylor and Nick Wohlers (215) were Chapin’s third-place men, while Dustin Brown (130) and Spencer Lauber (125) also help the cause with fourth-place finishes.
Hope, Polly, Chase Owens, Brundage and Swindell all placed at the state tournament last year. Hope was the 112 champion and striking gold at 103 in 2009. Polly picked up his first state title at 130 and placed at state for the third time – the first coming as a freshman in 2008 when he was at Lexington. Owens, Brundage and Swindell all placed fourth in their respective first state appearances.
In others area news, Dutch Fork was the next-best Midlands finisher – fourth place, 78 points. Otherwise, Irmo was sixth with 62 points, Columbia finished ninth with 36 points and Richland Northeast was 10th with 26 points.
In solo matters, Irmo fell in behind Chapin with wins by Blane Bryant (145) and Tim Dudley (189). Colin Studemeyer (140) of Dutch Fork and Columbia’s Randy Medina (125) were the other Midlands winners.
Dudley was the 171 state champion in 4A last season. Studemeyer finish fourth at 130 a year ago.