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By David Allen
WAKE FOREST — The North Carolina State wrestling championships were held this past weekend. Three local 4A schools sent wrestlers to the tournament.
While only three wrestlers made it onto the podium, the weekend’s events showcased the talents of those participating.
Most exemplary is Nashid Barrow’s victory over Cole Plott to win the title of 4A State Champion in the 145-class.
After only having wrestled for three years, the success Barrow has achieved is remarkable. With coaches willing to work with him non-stop, and a determination to work in the off-season, he has improved exponentially with each year.
“I have a lot more to learn,” said Barrow.
In fact, the story of how he first got into wrestling is rather fantastic in itself.
“I was in a weight lifting class with Mitch [Goldbach],” continued Barrow, “I wanted something to do since I was just going home, I wanted to try out for the basketball team since I was pretty good. But Mitch said to join him wrestling, so we made a bet that if I failed basketball tryouts I would give wrestling a try, and here I am now.”
Next in rank is Cougar wrestler Brinson Allen in the 285-class, who defeated Wayne Walker to take fifth place.
Anthoney Brito, a Freshman from Heritage High in the 126-class, made his first appearance in the state tournament and placed sixth.
When asked about his success, Brito jokingly responded with, “If you’re in a front headlock keep your elbows in.” But he also spoke of what he learned. “I feel like with this experience I can come back hopefully next year, more mature and ready for each and every match.”
Both Wake Forest’s Nick Mutio and Wakefield’s Dedrick Harrington finished ninth 113-class and 152-class respectively. The Wolverine’s Billy Liptrot finished with an honorable mention in the 126-class.
While each wrestler not all win a title, the fact that these wrestlers made it to the championship speaks of their talent and determination.
Wrestling at this level demands that they practice nearly every day,
year round. Competing in off-season tournaments, and driving to far-off
team bouts with their clubs add to the demands.
The effort to train and keep their weight, to stay in their weight class throughout the year is monumental.
Many of these wrestlers will continue their competition after the regular season.