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Middle Weight Wrestler of the Year Spotlight: Victor

Perry Hall’s Victor Marks-Jenkins ends his sophomore season as one of Legacy Wrestling’s Middle Weight Wrestlers of the Year. Marks-Jenkins put a 47-0 record in the books this year on the way to winning his first 4A/3A State Gold, completing a wire-to-wire run as the state’s Top-Dog at 157lbs.

At the state tournament, VMJ continued a season long trend that saw him pin or tech most of his opponents, picking up falls in all four of his matches, the quickest being in 46 seconds over Olu Fashina (Charles H Flowers). His three other victims are all ranked in the state by Legacy Wrestling. VMJ won 45 of his matches by fall, forfeit, or tech fall.

No. 20 Tavon Williams of Digital Harbor fell in the middle of the second period, 2:59. No. 19 Devin Brown (Meade) was put to sleep in the semis in a similar time frame, 2:54. In the finals, No. 5 Seth Weaver (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) almost went the distance but was decked in the back half of the third period, 5:30.

A second 4A/3A North Region crown came at the expense of No. 16 Braden Vacca (Westminster), who lasted until the middle of the second frame before succumbing to Marks-Jenkins’ pinning ways, 2:49.

His second Baltimore County crown was earned over a Sparrows Point foe as was last year’s. This edition was earned during one of the few matches the Gator saw go the distance this year with a 4-0 decision of No. 11 Tanner Cooper, who would go on to place fourth in the 2A/1A states.

Last year, Marks-Jenkins defeated the Point’s Russell Fary, 8-1. Fary won a 150lb 2A/1A state crown this year and is ranked No. 2 in MD. A Hub Cup championship was won with a first period pin of Will Brooks of Stone Bridge, Virginia, 1:12. Brooks was fourth in Virginia’s Class 5 state tournament.

A 50-1 freshman year saw Marks-Jenkins wait until the state tournament for his first taste of defeat when he fell to North Point’s eventual state runner-up Aiden Rivenburg, 5-1. The Gator won two straight in the consolation bracket to place third.

Last spring, Marks-Jenkins traveled the country, competing at numerous USA Wrestling events. In fact, there are too many to name them all here. So, we will give you the highlights.

The 15U US Open was a stage that was not too grand for Marks-Jenkins as he placed second in Greco-Roman and third in Freestyle at 68KGs (roughly 150lbs). The silver came after a 9-2 loss to New Jersey’s Gabriel Logan (Delbarton), who finished the year in the National Rankings as an honorable mention at 150lbs. The bronze was achieved with a tech-fall of Fargo All-American, Zack Aquila (Ohio), 13-2.

Aquila avenged that loss at the 16U Central Region at 152lbs where Marks-Jenkins would also lose to Illinois’ Rodrigo Salinas and place fourth in FS. A Greco-Roman gold was earned at this function by teching Michigan’s David Granger, 8-0. In GR, Marks-Jenkins beat Salinas.

A stop at the Southeast Region was next for the traveling Gator. In the 16U division, he again was a GR champ with a 9-0 tech fall of Georgia’s David Jewell and secured a silver in FS with a loss to Oklahoma’s Joseph Jeter (No. 21 at 150 in the nation). A Folkstyle gold was also accrued at this regional with a win over Georgia’s Brock Weaver.

At the Pan Am Trials, Marks-Jenkins was second in both disciplines. Dropping both finals matches to Minnesota’s Cooper Rowe (HM at 150 in the country).

Shortly ahead of the season’s beginning, Marks-Jenkins decided to enter the East Stroudsburg Open, an event mostly populated by collegiate wrestlers. The sophomore turned many heads by placing third.

After securing that state gold, Marks-Jenkins started to relive last year's travels and voyaged out to Iowa for the USA Folkstyle Nationals where he earned a bronze in the 16U Division at 157lbs. His loss was to the eventual champion Brody Sendele from Illinois, and it was the closest match Sendele had on his title run.

The pinning ways followed Marks-Jenkins to this affair as all his wins, except one, came by fall. Utah’s Gage Brady was flattened in 2:48 in the third-place match. South Dakota’s Zhoel Irion’s time on the mat ended in the third period, 4:45.

Wisconsin’s Markus Fletcher was his second quickest victim with a 2:06 fall, the fastest was Tennessee’s Jonah Little, who was sent packing in 1:02. Idaho’s third place 5A state placer, Ryan Lewis, went the distance but was dropped a major decision, 10-1.

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