— By David Walsh
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Cabell Midland’s Chris Giompalo won a Class AAA state title a year ago with a bum knee. Giampolo is fully healthy this year and is one win away from repeating as state champion.
Giompalo pinned Brooke’s Tyler Wise in 43 seconds to complete a 2-0 Friday in the 76th WVSSAC State Wrestling High School Tournament at Mountain Health Arena.
“Pretty stoked about it,” said Giompalo, the Region IV champ and owner of a 44-2 record. “Satisfied with all the hard work I’ve put in. This means a lot. Go after it.”
Giompalo will face Robert Shockey of Parkersburg South in the title match Saturday. The championship round starts at 6:30 p.m. Consolation matches begin at 10:30 a.m.
“Wrestle my game. It’s all up to me,” Giompalo said.
In Class AAA, Parkersburg South enjoyed a strong Friday evening and leads with 166 points to 143 for University. Woodrow Wilson is third with 132.5. PSHS has five wrestlers in the finals and five more who’ll place.
Woodrow Wilson coach Matthew Osborne has enjoyed watching his team the first two days.
“The kids have handled themselves well,” Osborne said. “They don’t care about opponents. Wrestle to win is their goal.”
The Flying Eagles have four finalists Saturday.
Fairmont Senior gained some separation and leads in Class AA.
Fairmont Senior had 155.5 points, Independence 144.5 and Point Pleasant, seeking a fifth straight title, has 137.5.
“Got a long day tomorrow,” Fairmont Senior coach Michael Fortier said, “Had a good day today. We’re excited.”
Fairmont has four wrestlers in the finals and five more who will place.
Greenbrier West is in front in Class A with 58 points, while No. 2 Cameron has 57.
St. Albans has also enjoyed a strong showing and has three in the finals: Matthew McAfee at 132, Moses Eads at 144 and Elijah Edge at 165.
“The kids did a good job,” Red Dragons coach Daren Gilfilen said. “They know what they’re after.”
“Making the finals is pretty big,” McAfee said after a 3-1 win over Hurricane’s Saige Walls. “Finally got a move at the end.”
Hurricane’s Lucas Talley ended Huntington High’s charge by Joe Riggs with a 12-10 win in overtime at 138.
“When the whistle blew, I knew I had it in me,” Talley said. “This is huge for our program. The past two to three years we’ve grown as a team.”
Among other matches, Liam Garcia of Buckhannon-Upshur pinned Huntington High’s Ben Barrett at 120 and Bridgeport’s unbeaten Kamar Summers pinned Connor McCann of Spring Valley.
Early in the round, George Washington’s Ben McCann beat Parkersburg’s C.J. Carrodus, 10-8. Following the match, he spent an extended period in the medical area after his coaches helped him from the mat.
“Unfortunate and we’re pulling for him,” Patriots coach Alex Neal said. “He’s got to make weight. He’s got the match he wants.”
McCann is scheduled to face Spring Valley’s Matthew Dolan in the finals.
In Class AA, Herbert Hoover and Sissonville went 0-2 each in the semifinals and Nitro lost one. Going down for Hoover were Orion Taylor at 103 and Andrew Rollyson at 157.
For Sissonville, Triston Wills of Fairmont Senior edged Jo Jo High at 113 (8-7) and Riley Curran of Doddridge County topped Austin High. Noah Casto of Clay beat Nitro’s Scott Worstell at 215.
Complete results are available at wvmat.com.