Hill’s quest continues

Published 11:20 am Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pam Pack wrestler wins regional title

The domination continued for Washington’s Marquin Hill as the heavyweight wrestler powered his way to his second straight NCHSAA 3-A East regional crown Saturday at South Central High School.

Hill, along with his Pam Pack senior teammates Matt Williamitus and Michael Gardner, will all be making the trip to the Greensboro Sports Coliseum next weekend for the state meet. To qualify for the state meet, wrestlers had to place in the top four in the regional meet.

“I was pretty pleased with how we did, compared to the regular season our guys really stepped up,” said Washington wrestling coach Daniel Riggs, whose team finished 10th in the region. “I wish we would have been able to get five or more going to the states but the guys came out gave it everything they got. We are brining three, that’s more than I though we would take.”

En route to his regional championship Hill, the No. 1 ranked 3-A wrestler in the state, had to go through D.H. Conley’s Nathaniel Stevenson, the No. 2 ranked wrestler in the state, for the third time this season.

“It’s pretty tough to beat a kid three times in one season,” Riggs said. “But Marquin keeps coming in and working hard in practice with the coaches and Jack Rodman and it has been paying off.”

With the win, Hill has upped his record to 45-0 on the year. Hill was on schedule to pass Justin ‘Weasel’ Moore’s all-time Washington wins record set last season, but canceled meets have derailed his chance to pass Moore.

“He is five away from Weasel’s all-time win record, which even if he goes to state and wins them all he will be one short,” Riggs said.

“We missed a tournament earlier in the season because of snow. But we have talked to him and he tells us that his main focus is not the record, his main goal is to become a two-time state champion.”

Hoping to join Hill in the state champion club are Washington’s Williamitus and Gardner.

“Gardner wrestled at 135 pounds was actually ranked No. 5 in the regional tournament and he really stepped it up,” Riggs said. “We have been telling him all season that this is his last shot at trying to make it to the states. The last couple of weeks has been difficult for him but came out this weekend and realized that even though he was ranked fifth that the records don’t count anymore. It’s all about who wants it more and you could tell he wanted it.”

Williamitus also played the upset role en route to making it to the state meet.

“Matt wrestled at 140 pounds and was ranked sixth,” Riggs said. “He wrestled real well. He was one of the guys we expected to win a lot this season and he did. Like Mike, he went out there and wrestled with everything he had and gave it his best shot and finally got it.”

Falling just short were a pair of Pam Pack freshmen rising stars in Jason Gardner and Devon VanCura.

“VanCura and Jason Gardner were both ranked 10th or 11th in our region and they were only one match away from making it as freshmen,” Riggs said. “Even though they didn’t make it I told them they had a great season and it was nothing to be disappointed about.”

Gardner finished the season with a 32-14 record while VanCura stands at 30-14, which ranks up there with Hill’s fantastic freshman year where he went 30-15.