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Haislip becomes JIT's first 4-time champ

January 07, 2007|by CHRIS CARTER/Staff Correspondent

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - Musselman senior Dustin Haislip became the first four-time champion in the 34-year history of the Jefferson Invitational Tournament on Saturday.

Haislip posted an 8-1 decision over Walkersville's Zach White in the 135-pound championship to become the only wrestler to win the JIT four times. Haislip won at 103 as a freshman, 112 as a sophomore and 125 as a junior.

"To start something back then and keep it going, it's pretty special," said Haislip, who was one of three champions for Musselman on Saturday. "This ranks right up there because Jefferson pulls a lot a tough teams to this tournament. It's always a good tournament."

Haislip got out to a 5-0 lead on White in the opening period and kept control throughout the second period. He upped his lead to 8-0 on a takedown with 18 seconds left in the last period, but freed White, costing him a major decision. Had Haislip maintained his eight-point advantage, Musselman (120 1/2 points) would have moved ahead of Sherando (121) for fourth place in the 16-team field.

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"I guess I shouldn't have let him up," Haislip said. "I figured I could get another takedown or try for a pin to get the points."

Musselman's Billy Barrett was named Most Outstanding Wrestler after sweeping through the 125-pound class with three first-period pins and a tech fall. Barrett pinned Fairmont Senior's Bubby Caputo in 30 seconds in the title bout.

"Hurt him," said Barrett, describing his strategy against Caputo. "I didn't see him wrestle, but I was confident. I knew I could beat him."

Barrett became a three-time JIT champion, with his only blemish coming last year when he finished second.

"From a coach's perspective, it's special to have two guys like that," said Musselman coach Mark Cagle. "It benefits the whole team and helps the entire program."

Jared Weatherholtz was the third Musselman wrestler to win an individual title, topping Hedgesville's Jordan Golden at 189. Weatherholtz got out to a 4-0 lead after two periods and held off Golden for a 5-2 decision.

"I knew it was going to be an aggressive match," Weatherholtz said. "I've always been taught to never give up. No matter if you're winning or losing, always come back because you never know what can happen."

Mercersburg Academy was the top area team, finishing third with 131 1/2 points. Shikellamy defended its title with 175 points and Walkersville was second with 164 1/2.

Mercersburg's undefeated heavyweight, Adam Barnette (11-0), capped the day with an overtime pin of Shikellamy's Travis Wilson.

"I wasn't really ready for (the pin)," Barnette said. "He was slippery and I was slippery, so it could have happened at any time."

Cody Barrick was the other champion for the Blue Storm after earning a 10-7 decision over Walkersville's Marc Nielson in a battle of freshmen at 152.

"(Nielson) shoots a lot off the whistle," Barrick said. "He'll try to play with you and then shoot and he likes to shoot at the last second, too. I know a lot of his moves because we wrestled in youth league together."

Also for Mercersburg, Bobby Wolford dropped a 12-9 decision to Shikellamy's Lukas Selleck in the championship final at 140.

"The whole team wrestled well after a two-week layoff," said Mercersburg coach Rick Hendrickson. "(Barnette) wrestled well and Barrick bumped up to 152 for this tournament and did well. We had seven kids that placed and to do that at this tournament is impressive."

Jefferson senior Colton Gustines won his second straight JIT title by manhandling Andrew Clark of Potomac Falls. Gustines nearly pinned Clark in the last minute of the second period, but instead had to settle for a 16-0 tech fall.

"I wanted to get a pin to get the team points because I thought we still might have a shot at fifth place," said Gustines, who improved to 16-0 this season. "And it probably would have been nicer to have my last tournament here end with a pin."

Also for Jefferson, Garrick Skubon fell 10-4 to undefeated Tyler White (19-0) of Walkersville in the final at 130. The Cougars finished sixth with 120 1/2 points.

Neither Hedgesville (11th, 88 points) nor Martinsburg (15th, 23 1/2 points) had any individual champions.

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