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Albemarle, North Stanly wrestlers win regional titles

At the 1A Eastern Regionals for wrestling last Tuesday at Rosewood, wrestlers from Albemarle and North Stanly both earned regional titles.

North Stanly’s representative for this Saturday’s 1A state finals will be Meliek Bryant, who claimed the 195-pound title at the East Regionals.

The Comet junior opened with a bye and a second-round win by pinfall in 1:07 against Stephen Faulkner. In the semifinals, Bryant pinned Jordan Mitchell in 1:30 to reach the finals.

Bryant’s matchup in the finals with Bishop McGuinness’ Daniel Cancro was stopped at 1:51 when Cancro, wrestling with a back injury, could not continue, giving Bryant the title.

For Albemarle, senior Naqian Carpenter earned a championship in the heavyweight division. After a first-round bye, Carpenter reached the semifinals with a pinfall in 1:08 versus Southside’s Xavier Ham. The Bulldogs senior earned a berth in the finals with a pinfall in 4:56 over Bishop McGuinness’ Gideon Hope.

In the finals, Carpenter (16-1) claimed the regional title with a 1:01 pinfall versus Joseph Smith of Pender County.

Albemarle also had two wrestlers qualify for the state finals Saturday at Glenn High School in Kernersville.

At 120 pounds, Ricardo Bustos finished in second place overall. He had a bye in the first round and won in 34 seconds by pinfall in the next round versus Nathan Grogan. A 46-second pinfall over Uwharrie Charter’s James Boling lifted Bustos into the finals.

Bustos lost in the finals to undefeated wrestler Logan Tortual of Rosewood by technical fall, 16-0, in a time of 4:16.

At 113 pounds, Horveli Rodriguez finished fourth for the Bulldogs. Rodriguez advanced to the semifinals with a bye and a 14-4 majority decision over Isaac Nelson. He lost to South Davidson’s Tristan Hale, another undefeated wrestler, in 3:13 in the semifinals.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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