The Foxcroft Academy Ponies used three first-place finishes and considerable depth to capture their third consecutive Class B North wrestling championship Saturday at Mount View High School in Thorndike.
Coach Luis Ayala’s squad totaled 191.5 points, well ahead of second-place Dexter (109) in the 21-school field. Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln (107) was third while Medomak Valley of Waldoboro and Mount View tied for fourth place with 102 points each.
Individual champions R.J. Nelson (132 pounds), Jacob Diamond (145) and Elijah Ames (170) were among 11 Foxcroft wrestlers who finished among the top four in their respective weight classes to qualify for next Saturday’s state championship meet at Wells High School.
Wells, the defending state champion, won Saturday’s Class B South title.
Foxcroft will be vying for its second Class B state championship in three years, having won it all in 2016 before placing fifth at states last winter.
Other qualifiers for Foxcroft were second-place finishers Rico Ayala (113 pounds) and Dustin Simmons (160), third-place performers Grady Reardon (126) and A.J. Atkinson (152) and fourth-place finishers Austin Jackson (106), Brandon Weston (120), Jacob Ireland (138) and Joshua Whittemore (195).
Dexter crowned two individual champions in Caleb Weeks (120) and Tyler Beem (160) and also received a third-place finish from Dongjoon Kim at 195 and fourths from Justin Wing (126), Gage Stone (132) and Isaiah Hesseltine (145).
Second-place finishes by Daegan Eastman at 126 pounds and Ben Fiske at 285 led Mattanawcook to its third-place finish. The Lynx also got a second-place effort from Dominic Libbey (152) and thirds from Travis Mushero (132) and Dakota Page (220).
Elias Miller’s victory in the 152-pound final sparked Medomak Valley, which a week earlier won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B title. Mount View was led by first-place finishes from Mark Ward at 138 pounds and Nathaniel Fuller at 285.
Other Class B North weight-class champions were Travis Hutchinson of Bucksport at 106 pounds, Codi Sirois of Penobscot Valley in Howland (113), ZyAnthony Moss of Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield (126), Ryan Fredette of Winslow (182), Christopher Barnes of Ellsworth (195) and Joseph Tuulima of Penobscot Valley (220).
One major storyline took place before the meet began when Ellsworth standouts Peyton Cole and Logan Lord both were found to be overweight and did not compete.
Cole, a senior competing at 145 pounds, was bidding this season to win his fourth consecutive individual state championship and had been undefeated against in-state competition this winter.
Because he was unable to earn a top-four finish at regionals, he will not be able to compete in this year’s state and New England championships. Cole placed fourth at last year’s New Englands in the 152-pound division.
Lord, a junior who finished third at the Class B states as both a freshman and a sophomore, also will not advance to states after not making weight at 138 pounds.