Chapin had something of an up-and-down season, and the same was true last weekend at the season-ending Class 3A traditional state tournament in Anderson.
The Eagles a large contingent of qualifiers, 11 in all, but the results were mixed. Overall, Chapin’s combined individual record at state was 17-17. Devin Lawrence, a silver medallist last year, made god in his last chance at gold, winning the 170-pound title. On the other hand, Scott Swindell placed for the third year in a row, but failed to scored back-to-back championships. Five of the 11 qualifiers place, but Chase Owens did not win his first title or even place for the third year in a row.
It was a mixed bag of results, to be sure, for the senior-dominated squad. Chapin finished fourth in the team standings, well behind first-place Eastside.
Good showings by Lawrence and Cody Brunson were the feel-good stories for the Eagles. Lawrence opened with an 8-2 win over Darius Newman of Greer, pinned K.J. Dixon of Chester in the semifinals and nipped Gregg Johnsen of St. James 6-4 in the finale to earned his first gold medal and finish with a 47-6 season record. Brundage advanced to the 182 final with an 11-0 win over Isaiah Withers of Belton-Honea Path and a semifinal pin of North Myrtle Beach’s Hampton Harmon. The title showdown with top-ranked Fort Mill’s Nick Sinicrope was a classic, a 1-0 thriller won by Sinicrope that netted him a second straight championship. He was the 189 winner a year ago. Brundage, who went 56-3 as a senior, retired with three state visits and two place finishes, plus school records for pins in a season and a career.
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Swindell’s dream of finished with two gold medals came to an end in the 160 semifinals and a 5-4 loss to Markevis Duncan, who was the state runner-up at 160 last year but ranked third by scmat.com behind Swindell and Matt Westbury of West-Oak who wrestled at lighter weights last season. Swindell did bounced back with two wins in the consolation bracket to salvage third place and pick up a bronze medal to give him three state place finishes in his career. He closed with a 54-2 senior mark.
Otherwise, seniors Forest Touchberry and Brandon Owens placed for the first time. Touchberry was 2-2 and finished fourth at 138 in his first state tournament. Owens went 3-0 to finish third at 220.
Chapin’s Chris Bloch was the only other Midlands 3A qualifier to place. The Blue Devils junior capped a 43-6 season with a 3-1 effort at 145 pounds, good for consolation honors and a bronze medal.