Good Counsel’s Bailey Thomas (152) brought home a championship from the 82nd National Prep tournament at the Stabler Arena on the campus of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. The senior defeated Mason Reiniche (Baylor, TN), 8-6, in the finals. Reiniche picked off the No. 1 seed, Blair Academy’s Julian Ramirez, 3-2, in the quarterfinals. Thomas, who is a product of the same Warhawks junior league team that produced Kyle Snyder, was fifth at 152lbs last year.
“Winning a National Prep title was very exciting,” Thomas said. “It was a great way to end the season. I was satisfied with my performance, but I know there’s a lot that needs to be done to get to that next level.”
In addition to Thomas, Good Counsel had another finalist, Brady Daniel. Daniel, who earned his second prep placing, lost his finals match to the No. 1 220lber in the nation, Blair’s Chase Singletary, 10-0.
Mount St. Joseph’s Chris Barnabae, who was one of Maryland’s five finalists, came up short in his title quest, dropping a 15-6 major-decision to Drew Munch (Wyoming Seminary, PA). Barnabae’s showing helped propel St. Joe to a fourth-place team finish, behind Blair Academy (NJ), Wyoming Seminary and Malvern Prep (PA).
Shawn Orem (132) was fourth this year, after placing sixth as a junior. David Schultz landed in the fifth spot at 182 in his first trip to the Prep tournament. Placing sixth for the Gaels were, Zach Phillips (152), Neil Schuster (160), and Justin Henry (170). Schuster and Henry became two-time All-Americans. Phillips, ranked No. 8 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, edged Archbishop Curley’s No. 3 Josh Laubach in the consolation round. Laubach was fresh off a 9-2 win over Loyola’s Dominick Reyes (No. 2) in the blood round. St. Joe’s six place-winners were the most of any Maryland teams.
McDonogh was sixth with five award winners, including four-time placer Quinn Devaney (4th at 145). Devaney, who is headed to the University of Maryland next fall, adds this placing to an impressive senior campaign that saw him place at the nation’s two toughest tournaments, the Ironman and Beast of the East.
“I feel very fortunate being a four-time National Prep All-American,” Devaney continued. “It’s been one of my goals since freshman year. I give a lot of my credit to my coaches, Coach Bakewell, Coach Welch, and Coach Holmes. I’m going to miss McDonogh, but I’m excited for the next chapter in my life.”
Heavyweight PJ Mustipher, fresh off his first state championship, was also fourth for the Eagles. The junior was seventh last year. Caden Mareno (132) and Jack Wimmer (182) were sixth, and Garrett Kappes (170) was seventh.
St. Paul’s finished seventh and had four grapplers bring home hardware. At 170, Dale Tiongson, finished as a runner-up for the second straight year. Tiongson dropped a 9-5 decision to Khamari Whimper (Baylor, TN). The senior is headed to Princeton next year.
Imran Heard (138) was third, Jack Parr (182) placed fourth, and Noah Kalishman (195) was fifth for the Crusaders. Kalishman, who is ranked No. 2 by the MSWA, pinned St. John’s of D.C.’s Brian Hennessey in his fifth-place match. Hennessey was the No. 1 ranked guy at 195 in the MSWA’s MD/DC rankings.
Spalding had three wrestlers reach the podium, PJ Truntich (4th, 120), Rick Couch (7th, 126), and Nick Goray (7th, 145). Truntich became a two-time All-American after also finishing fourth last year. Couch evened up his rivalry, at two matches a piece, with St. Joe’s Nathan Porter in the blood round, 4-2.
Georgetown Prep’s Ethan Krause (145), who will be playing his trade at Duke in the fall, became a two-time placer with his 5-1 win over McDonogh’s Devaney in the consolation finals. It was Krause’s fifth win in five tries over Devaney. Joining Krause on the podium for prep was heavyweight Thomas Gates (fifth).
Curley’s Laubach (152) finished eighth to become a two-time placer. St. Mary’s Ryken’s King Sandoval, a three-time state champion, earned his third prep placing by reaching the finals where he fell to Wyoming Seminary’s Beau Bartlett, 6-2.
DeMatha’s Nathanil White was fourth at 126lbs. White is now a two-time prep All-American. Landon’s Brandon Gallagher (138, 8th) and Bullis’ Aryemis Brown (7th at 160) made their way to the awards stand for the first time.
Three Washington D.C. area wrestlers brought hardware back to the District, St. John’s Luke Kowalski (6th at 106) and Hennessey (6th at 195), as well as Gonzaga’s Nathan Thacker (138, 6th). Thacker, who was a prep runner-up as a freshman, is now a three-time award winner.