George Mason’s David Ray and Barratt Kennett captured individual championships at the Bull Run District wrestling tournament this past weekend. Ray, wrestling at 140 lbs., pinned Strasburg’s Darren Neff in the third period for the title and Kennett pulled out a 1-0 squeaker against Strasburg’s Jonathan Wilson at 171 lbs. Both will enter the Group A, Region B tournament next weekend as No. 1 seeds. Joining Ray and Kennett at the Regional tournament will be Steve Parks, Jake Schwind, Tim Hillegass and Manny Veiga-Diaz. Parks (189 lbs.) and Schwind (152 lbs.) took second place, Hillegass (145 lbs.) came in third and Veiga-Diaz (215 lbs.) finished fourth.
Ray began his finals match by scoring a quick takedown for a 2-0 lead. Shortly after gaining the takedown, Ray turned Neff to his back. Ray was unable to score the pin, but was awarded a three-point near fall and had a 5-0 lead as the first period ended. In the second period, Neff began in the down position and was able to eventually escape, but not before Ray again turned him to his back for a two-point near fall. Once on their feet, Ray quickly took down Neff and rode him for the remainder of the period for a 9-1 lead as the period ended. Ray took down him down again to start the third, and after a few seconds to position himself, reversed Neff straight to his back and was awarded the fall 37 seconds into the period.
Kennett’s match at 171 lbs. was the nail biter of the evening, as he and Strasburg’s Jonathan Wilson battled through a scoreless first period in which each wrestler fended off take-down attempts by the other. Kennett began the second period on top and was able to ride Wilson for the entire period. The third period began tied at 0-0 with Kennett on bottom. For over a minute it looked as if Wilson would be able to ride Kennett and force overtime, but with just under 30 seconds remaining in regulation Kennett wriggled free and was able to hold off Wilson’s attempts for the 1-0 Victory.
The Region B Tournament begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Buffalo Gap High School, which is about 10 miles southwest of Staunton, Va. Those who place in the top four at the Region B Tournament will qualify for the state tournament, which will be held in Salem, Va. on March 7 and 8.