There’s a new kid on the block in Class 3 state wrestling, and its no longer Christiansburg. The defending 17-consecutive state title holders turned over the championship belt to up-and-coming New Kent High School Saturday in Salem.
The Blue Demons fell behind early on Saturday and were never able to recover. New Kent tallied 200.5 points to Christiansburg’s 190. Brentsville finished third with 122.5 and Skyline fourth with 112.5 points. Cave Spring, who had finished runner up to CHS in the regional match, finished a distant 10th.
Four Blue Demons brought home individual titles. Nathan Warden, the son of coach Cliff Warden, claimed a state championship at 170 pounds. Andy Smith won the 220 final, while Brandon Crowder repeated as state champion in the 120-pound final.
Ty Kwak (195), Luke Robie (113) and Garrett Kuchan (126), all finished as runner ups.
The key was Kuchan and Robie’s matches, both losses to New Kent opponents. Former Christiansburg head coach Sonny Close is now an assistant at New Kent, who had three state individual winners.
Christiansburg Coach Cliff Warden said his guys wrestled really hard but at the end of the day, they were 10.5 points behind.
“New Kent has a good team and wrestled really well,” he said.
New Kent had beaten Christiansburg in a dual meet earlier this month. Going into Saturday’s action, Coach Warden knew New Kent would be tough as they sent nine wrestlers to the state meet.
Christiansburg had won 17-straight state titles until this weekend and had claimed another region one two weeks ago. The Blue Demons lose four seniors this year and will be looking to jumpstart the streak again next winter.
“Our true character and fight will be measured from now till next season. If we do it right, the streak will start over,” Warden concluded.