High School Sports

Swansea's run of state wrestling finalists comes to an end

Benjamin Willard and Kyle Livingston were the only Swansea qualifiers for the Class 3A state wrestling tournament this season, but both earned Top 4 finishes last weekend at Lexington.

That was not good enough, however, to keep alive the program’s impressive streak of producing at least one state finalist every season since 1988.

Willard, who placed at state for the third year in a row, claimed consolation honors at 119 pounds. He was the champ at 103 last season. His only mishap in four bouts came in an 11-4 loss to West-Oak’s Eric Rholetter in the semifinals. Willard then did the next best thing – winning out on the consolation bracket to secure third place. He defeated Seneca’s Josiah Conrad 7-0 in the consolation final.

Williard was a state champion at 103 last season, a a fourth-plave finisher at 103 in 2007.

Livingston went 2-2 at 112 to come away with a fourth-place finish. He lost 9-1 in the semifinals to eventual champion A.J. Irby of Greer.