Columbia’s Nate Harper and Eau Claire’s Carlos Dubois were the Midlands headliners at the Class 2A-1A traditional state wrestling tournament in Anderson last weekend.
Harper, a senior three-time state qualifier, came away with the area’s only gold medal, going 3-0 on the way to the 145-pound championship. Making the accomplishment even sweeter was the fact that Harper avenged a loss to Bamberg-Ehrhardt’s Player Long in last season’s 140 title bout. This time, Harper prevailed 10-8 in an exciting match to finish the season 38-2 record and upped his school career win record total to 144 against 38 setbacks.
Harper pinned Swansea’s Ben Dawson in the first round and defeated Zac Stacy 13-8 in the semifinals.
Dubose set the bar for the nascent Shamrocks program by going 28-4 and earning a silver medal at 182 pounds as a first-year wrestler. The EC junior scored decisions over Di’Ontrey Gibbons of Marion in the first round and Jeremy Davis to get to the championship finals and a rematch with Indian Land’s Rondreas Truesdale, who beat Dubose in the final of the Upper State qualifier the week before. Truedale, who was a state runner-up at 160 a year ago, made the most of his last chance with a tough 3-1 win.
Columbia was the only Midlands team to crack the Top 10 in team points. The Capitals rang up 30.5 points, going for 10th place. Senior Randy Medina, a three-time qualifier, went 1-2 to finish out of the money again. Medina finished with a 128-35 career record. Junior Mikael Nelson failed to match his championship run of a year ago, going 2-2 to finish in fourth place at 126 pounds.
Gilbert’s Nathan Brazel and Chris Dyer both earned consolation championships with 3-1 records, but Madison Leitner, a state champion as a freshman last season at 103, went 0-2 at 113 this time around to close a 36-8 season on a disappointing note. Brazel (37-8) had his third place finish at 106 pounds, while Dyer’s bronze medal run at 170 capped a 38-6 campaign.
Swansea’s Anthony Lewis was the other Midlands state place winner. The Tiger senior’s 2-2 showing was good for fourth at 195.