XV Potomac Valley Challenge Cup

Hayfield HS, Virginia
June 12, 1999

1999 Team Champions - Maryland

As usual, the fifteenth edition of the Potomac Valley Challenge Cup, held June 12th at Virginia's Hayfield HS, was a big success. Very strong teams from Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, plus representatives from Delaware, Georgia, and Pennsylvania went head to head in what has become the Mid-Atlantic Region's toughest freestyle team type event.

The freestyle festival began in 1984 as a local end of season competition between the best Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC wrestlers. The "Cup" has since become this areas oldest and most prestigious annual freestyle club team competition, regularly drawing both college coaches and top regional wrestlers. Since clubs rather than state associations select team members, the teams often feature many high school state champions who don't compete in other post season competitions. This year's Cup was no exception.

Fighting beach week, senior graduations, a few no-shows, and many last minute weight-class changes, 23 high school state finalists still entered the competition, plus a large number of other state place finishers. Some weight classes where so loaded that a pool winner needed to defeat at least four state champs to win.

Team Maryland wrestlers, composed primarily of Southern Maryland WC and Hammond WC, came loaded with big guns. Team Virginia, lead by Gunston WC, was equally loaded. Pennsylvania featured primarily Maverick WC wrestlers, while Delaware was lead by Free State WC. North Carolina, lead by 71st Street WC was new to the competition, and was an unknown factor. Georgia only had a few wrestlers, but one of those was their state and National Prep Champ Chris Rodrigues.

While Maryland's junior team was both deep and strong, Maryland had two critical no-shows early on and had to make some moves to remain in high school team contention. Moving state runner-up Kevin Gabrielson from 154 to 165 and Steve Gioffre from 175 to 192 for pool wrestling was a gamble that backfired. Steve was injured his first match while Kevin was subsequently injured in his second match (left above) and forced to withdraw.

Prospects for Maryland looked bleak to win but a few key upsets, plus some outstanding wrestling, gave them the high school team victory. Big high school winners for Maryland were Matt Evelith at 106, Vamon Dennis at 132, Ryan Herwig at 143, Tom Boettcher at 154, Omari Patterson at 175, and National Prep Champ Mike Faust (right against Floyd Wright) at heavyweight.

Matt Evelith (left against Luke Palumbo) had a very tough weight class loaded with highly touted state champs and other place finishers including Max Meltzer who had won the NE Regionals the previous week. Matt, who placed third in Maryland's public school states, was undaunted defeating all he met with the same effective power and technique.

Ryan Herwig (right against Garrett Black) also looked very strong in a tough weight class. Ryan, who wasn't able to compete at the Maryland Private School states this year, had little trouble scoring several technical falls in his pool.

Tom Boettcher was a surprise pool winner. He lost one close match in the pool to Virginia State Champ Paul Bjorlo, but finished the pool in first based on point scoring against all other opponents each wrestled.

Team Runner-up Virginia had two big high school pool winners. USAW All-American Jose Martinez was absolutely dominant at 115. He over hammered Maryland State Champ Darian Kess, then put away NC State Champ Tyrone Hodge in an exciting 7-0 finals decision. Teammate and Virginia State Champ Kevin Collier likewise looked tough defeating a large 7 man pool at 192 lbs.

Although they had several talented wrestlers, North Carolina suffered some real upsets with several wrestlers getting pinned while leading in their matches. They had the 165 lb. class wrapped up however with their loan pool winner and State Champ Joe Runkle.

In a class loaded with state champs, Georgia State and National Prep Champion Chris Rodrigues blew through the competition scoring all falls and tech falls. Some matches were so intense that large crowds gathered to watch Chris work. Chris (below) was given the OW award in the high school weight classes for his efforts.

OW - Georgia's Chris Rodrigues

The junior weight classes were also heavy with junior league state champs, Eastern National Champs, and USAW Regional champs. Absolutely the toughest weight class was 85 pounds with virtually every wrestler a winner of some big event. Virginia's Christian Smith rose to the occasion, fighting his way through the pack to win both his pool and the OW for the junior weight classes.

American University Assistant Coach Temoer Terry, commenting on the day's competitions, remarked that "This was a very tough freestyle event with some real battles going on." Everyone there would probably agree.

Team pictures and individual place finishers are listed below

1999 PV Challenge Cup Team Runner-up
Team Virginia

Team North Carolina

Team Pennsylvania

Team Delaware

Team Georgia

Team Championship Round
WT Maryland Virginia MD VA 55 Adam Palumbo WBF Howard 6 0 60 Morice Fleming WBF :38 Jimmy Dempsey 6 0 65 Eric Robenson LBF 2:37 Walker Faison 0 6 70 Mike Long FFT 6 0 75 Jeff Plasse 6-5 Jordan Frishkorn 3 1 80 Eric Vinores FFT 6 0 85 David Jacovsky LBF Christian Smith 0 6 90 Mike Cooper 1-11 Micah Amrozewicz 0 6 95 Eli Black 0-6 Dan Vucci 0 3 100 Kevin Artis WBF 3:42 Musa Bashard 6 0 33 22 High School 106 Matt Evelith WBF Kyle Graham 6 0 115 Darian Kess 0-7 Jose Martinez 0 3 123 Jeff Evelith 1-3 Jaun Sanchez 1 3 132 Vamon Dennis 15-5 Jason Jurek 5 1 143 Ryan Herwig WBF :21 Reed Carpenter 6 0 154 Tom Boettcher 4-8 Paul Bjorlo 1 3 165 Matt Charvat 0-11 Jerome Villanvueva 0 5 178 Omari Patterson 4-1 Joey Patterson 3 1 192 Steve Gioffre LBINJ Justin Johnson 1 6 Hwt Mike Faust WBF 2:35 Chris Ward 6 0 29 22 Team Scores (Pre-HS) MD def VA 29 22 MD def DE 44 7 VA def DE 41 12 Team Scores (HS) MD def VA 29 22 MD def NC 40 16 MD def PA 40 10 VA def NC 36 13 VA def PA 48 9 NC def PA 43 9 Individual Champions OW Christain Smith VA OW Chris Rodrigues GA

55 Conner McDonald DE WBF :26 Adam Palumbo MD Howard VA 60 Morice Fleming MD 10-0 Ryan Buff MD Jimmy Dempsey VA 65 Walker Faison VA WBF2:37 Eric Robinson MD Jeremy Carter VA 70 Mike Long MD 14-3 Marc Saylor DE Colton Palmer NC 75 Keff Plasse MD 6-5 Jordan Frishkorn VA Lucus Black MD 80 Robbie Cooper MD 4-0 Eric Vinores MD 85 Christian Smith VA 8-4 Corey Schwerin PA David Jacovsky MD 90 Micah Amrozewicz VA 11-1 Mike Cooper MD Will Saylor DE 95 Dan Vucci VA 5-2 John Erickson VA Eli Black MD 100 Kevin Artis MD WBF 3:42 Musa Rashad VA Mike Rock MD 106 Matt Evelith MD 2-1 Max Meltzer MD Kyle Graham VA WBF 1:40 Danial Fishkorn VA 115 Jose Martinez VA 7-0 Tyrone Hodge NC Darian Kess MD FFT Willaim McKinney MD 123 Chris Rodrigues GA 14-3 Juan Sanchez VA Jeff Evelith MD WBF 3:50 Jermain Hodge NC 132 Vamon Dennis MD 5-4 Jason Gribshaw PA Jason Jurak VA 5-4 Harry Keltner DE 143 Ryan Herwig MD 10-0 Chris Franklin VA Reed Carpenter VA 10-0 Garrett Black MD 154 Paul Bjorlo VA 8-4 Tom Boettcher* MD Marvin Albright PA WBF Ben Rogers VA 165 Joe Runkle NC FFT Jeremiah Pilarski NC Jerome Villanueva VA 4-1 Thomas O'Valle VA 178 Omari Patterson MD 4-1 Joey Patterson VA Steve Gioffre MD 192 Kevin Collier VA FFT Justin Johnson VA Jason Stewart NC WBF 1:22 Steve Ball GA 275 Mike Faust MD WBF 2:35 Chris Ward VA Akil Patterson MD 8-5 Floyd Wright VA *Note: Boettcher lost match but wins pool due to point scoring Maryland's Championship Team 55 Adam Palumbo 60 Morice Fleming/Ryan Buff 65 Eric Robenson 70 Mike Long 75 Jeff Plasse/Grady Gamble/Lucus Black 80 Robbie Cooper/Eric Vinores/Jamal Lawrence 85 David Jacovsky/Danny April 90 Mike Cooper 95 Eli Black 100 Kevin Artis/Mike Rock 106 Max Meltzer/Matt Evelith 115 Darian Kess/William McKinney 123 Jeff Evelith 132 Vamon Dennis 143 Ryan Herwig/Garrett Black 154 Bryan McDermott/Tom Boettcher 165 Kevin Gabrielson/Matt Charvat 178 Steve Gioffre 192 Omari Patterson Hwt Mike Faust/Akil Patterson