The year was 2002, the last time Christiansburg High School lost a regional wrestling match. Since then, the Blue Demons have reeled off 16 straight regional and state crowns. Make it 17 straight as on Saturday they picked up another regional title on their home mat. The question remains: will it be 17 straight state championships for the Blue Demons? The team is sending 13 wrestlers to the tournament, which is slated this year for Portsmouth.
For the past, few years Christiansburg has gotten the chance to spend the night before in their own beds and then travel to Salem to defend their state crown. Now with the longer trip it will be harder to repeat, but nine Christiansburg wrestlers will make the ride with a regional title under their arms.
On Saturday, Christiansburg got individual wins from Marshall Keller, Garrett Kuchan, Nathan Warden, Brandon Crowder, Xander Whitehurst, Nick Giantonio, Erik Eva, Ty Kwak and Andy Smith.
Keller’s might be the most memorable as he downed unbeaten Dakota Wilson from Tunstall at 138 pounds. He was named the region’s wrestler of the year.
Coach Cliff Warden said the 13 qualifiers were one shy of what the team was after, but winning nine out of nine in the finals was a solid performance.
“In several places through the tournament I feel like we could have scored more points. But we will work on it the next couple of days going into the state tournament. I feel confident in our work and preparation for the state tournament as a team,” the Christiansburg coach said.
In the 2C regional match, Appomattox took first with 158.5 points and Dan River second at 148. Glenvar finished third with 110 points and Radford was sixth with 61. Radford’s Tayzon Nicholson claimed top honors with a decision in 120 pounds.
Grundy won the 1C regional with 291 points with Rural Retreat second with 194 and host-George Wythe third at 163.5. Auburn was 11th with 58 points.