PORTSMOUTH — Powhatan senior Collin Gerardi is usually a fierce but reserved competitor.
However, Gerardi hadn’t been one opponent away from winning his fourth consecutive state championship before.
After three rounds of dominating Kyle Budd of Fauquier, Gerardi saw the clock hit all zeroes, securing the Class 4 state championship, and let all his energy and emotion show in a mat celebration after the 9-1 win Saturday at Churchland High School.
“I just felt all my energy, and I just had to let it all out,” he said. “I probably exerted more energy there than I did during my match. It was incredible. I freaked out. … My hands were in the air. … It was amazing.”
Gerardi was in control of Budd from the first whistle.
He scored on a takedown in Round 1 to make it a 2-0 match.
Then, he chose the down position to start Round 2 and escaped for a 3-0 lead. He followed that up with a reversal for another 2 points.
He scored twice more in the third round, with Budd earning an escape, for the final 9-1 score.
“It’s indescribable,” he said. “It’s been so much fun. It’s been a great ride with my team supporting me. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
The win cemented Gerardi’s place in Powhatan wrestling history as its only four-time state champion. He is the 21st wrestler in Virginia High School League history to achieve the feat, according to the record book.
While Indians coach Jonathan Tanaka said that he was “a ball of nerves” during Powhatan’s two other state title bouts, he said it’s different with Gerardi on the mat.
“You feel pretty good going into every match,” Tanaka said. “I’m going to miss him. He’s really special. This group of kids and this year’s Powhatan wrestling team was really special.”
New Kent’s Trent Ragland also won a state title in Class 3 in the 220-pound class.
“It feels great,” Ragland said. “All the hard work that I put in has finally paid off. It’s amazing.”
He faced Andy Smith of Christiansburg, a match that went past overtime and then two tiebreakers into the ultimate tiebreaker.
“When overtime hit, I was like, ‘Oh crap, I might lose this,’” Ragland said. “But, I just remembered that I’ve been in positions like this before, and I’ve worked my tail off. … I told myself that I was gonna get mine.”
The Indians led the Richmond area with three state finalists, with Sean Hall (106) and JD McMillin (113) finishing as runners-up.
The Richmond area had two other state finalists in the Class 3 and 4 competitions.
At 160 pounds, Jacen Fowlkes of Colonial Heights faced off against Malik Sallah of Cave Springs and fell in a 9-4 decision.
Dinwiddie’s Craig Lewis was a finalist at 170 and fell by pin in the second round of his match against Fauqier’s Sam Fisher in 3:36.
Class 2: Joe Paul of Maggie Walker GS claimed the state title at 145 pounds, defeating Jack Felgar of George Mason 4-1 in the final round. David Jones (195) of King William finished runner-up to Mason Fiscella of Poquoson. Fiscella pinned Jones in 3:15 in the championship bout. Also reaching the final round was King William’s Shane Shannon (160), who lost 7-2 to William Heath of Clarke County in the final.
Class 4 team scores
1. Eastern View 189.5; 2. Fauquier 173; 3. Liberty-Bealeton 129.5; 4. Great Bridge 118; 5. Powhatan 104.5; 6. Dinwiddie 67.5; 7. Amherst County 64; 8. Deep Creek 62.5; 9. Liberty Christian 61.5; 10. Smithfield 58.
Class 4, first place
106: Creamer (Dominion) d. Hall (Powhatan) 5-2; 113: Werth (Eastern View) d. McMillan (Powhatan) 9-3; 120: Steckline (Great Bridge) by forfeit Parker (Smithfield); 126: Morales (Great Bridge) d. Jordon (Fauquier) 4-2; 132: Gerardi (Powhatan) md. Budd (Fauquier) 9-1; 138: Allred (Great Bridge) d. Gorham (Eastern View) 8-1; 145: Ryan (Liberty-Bealeton) d. Del Gallo (Fauquier) 7-6; 152: Phillips (Liberty Christian) p. Shaffer (Eastern View) 1:55; 160: Florence (Liberty-Bealeton) p. Indseth (King George) 3:18; 170: Fisher (Fauquier) p. Lewis (Dinwiddie) 3:36; 182: Camarca (Fauquier) d. Chumley (Kettle Run) 9-3; 195: Brown (Eastern View) d. Murphy (Liberty Christian) 9-2; 220: Whitehead (King’s Fork) d. Wheeler (Amherst County) 3-2; 285: Blowe (Millbrook) p. Sams (Liberty-Bealeton) 5:25.
Class 4, third place
106: Barrett (Liberty-Bealeton) d. Sheads (Eastern View) 5-0; 113: Sennott (Liberty-Bealeton) d. Johnson (King George) 9-4; 120: O’Conner (Kettle Run) d. Gaugler (Hanover) 4-2; 126: Morris (Louisa) d. Laird (Eastern View) 6-1; 132: Dieter (Sherando) d. Kolikas (Eastern View), 9-4; 138: Bentley (John Handley) d. Blatt (Smithfield) 3-0; 145: Alvarado (Great Bridge) p. Mills (Louisa) 3:25; 152: Carpenter (Monacan) md. Feliciano (Smithfield) 17-8; 160: Taylor (Eastern View) p. Tomlinson (Powhatan) 4:24; 170: Kreider (Chancellor) p. Gardner (Deep Creek) 1:18; 182: David (Loudoun Valley) md. Miller (Dinwiddie) 15-5; 195: Wimbush (Bassett) p. Perry (Amherst) 2:35; 220: Tyson (Dinwiddie) d. Raymond (Fauquier) 3-2; 285: Day (Wilson) p. Harris (Dinwiddie) 1:07.