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Walt Whitman: Undefeated Class 4A State Champs

Walt Whitman seniors Jacob Gaum (126) and Jon Aron (190) played major roles in assuring their Vikings and coach Derek Manon become their program's first-ever unbeaten Class 4A state dual championship team on Saturday at North Point High in Charles County.

The 24th-ranked Vikings handled Montgomery County rival Springbrook, 36-33, in the semifinals, before winning their title match, 33-31 over 34th-ranked Broadneck of Anne Arundel County to earn their program’s second state dual meet crown.

Gaum scored a 16-1 technical fall, and 13-6 decision over Broadneck's county runner-up and regional champion, junior Cam Williams, and Aron pinned twice to help the Vikings to clinch both victories.

Aron's 26-second fall against Springbrook gave the Vikings an insurmountable lead of 36-21 with two bouts remaining. Against Broadneck, Aron's pin in 1:59 was followed by that of sophomore Andy Boshnick (215) in the second period for an insurmountable lead of 33-19 with two matches left.

As a result, the Vikings (19-0) are unbeaten for the first time in school history under 17th-year coach Derek Manon. Manon's assistant, Will Sharbaugh, was a Class 4A-3A state champion with a 37-0 record in 2006, this a year after leading the Vikings to the Class 4A-3A state duals and tournament crowns in 2005 all under coach Andy Wetzel.

“We absolutely do not have the success we had this year or the last 14 years without the tireless efforts and hard work of Coach Sharbaugh. This is a dream come true. I’m just so happy for our team and our seniors, who all performed so well all season long," said Manon, whose Vikings were state tournament runners-up in 2009.

"After coming up short at the state duals three years in a row back in the early 2010s, I knew how hard it was to get back there. Our team has come together in such an amazing way this year that it is very special. They’ve had a belief and a confidence among them all season that has been special to watch. They are truly an amazing group of young men and women to coach."

Gaum improved to 28-6, and Aron is 30-6. They were among just four double-winners for the Vikings along with junior Justin Rommel (138) and senior Meran Elakel (144). Elakel improved to 32-4 with a first- and second-period pin, while Rommel rose to 16-3 on a pair of decisions.

"It means so much to see all the hard work that we put in day after day finally pay off," said Guam, who has placed second and fifth at the past two state tournaments. "After not being able to make it out of the region the past two years, I knew that this year would be different. We have a special group of guys within this team."

Also wrestling for the Vikings this season were 12th-ranked, third-place state finishing sophomore Solomon Randall (120), freshman Jabasie Trice (113), sophomore Chris Lindstrom (132), junior Laird Ostien (165) and senior Levi Merenstein (215). Randall has a record of 33-1, Trice is 30-5, Lindstrom is 30-7, Ostien is 27-7, Boshnick is 27-8, and Merenstein is 26-9.

Double-winners for the Bruins were junior Anne Arundel County runners-up Brandon Whyte-Taylor (120) and Peyton Miller (150) along with Linx Lawless (144), Austin Combs (165) and Cameron Zachari (175).

A third-place regional finisher, Whyte-Taylor scored major decisions over each of his opponents by a score of 22-5, including a 10-2 rout of the previously unbeaten Randall right before Gaum's victory over Williams.

"Jacob winning at that moment was important. If one of our leaders or captains lost a tough match, then they knew somebody else would have to step up," Manon said. "And Jacob did exactly that during his whole week. In the region and state duals, Jacob was focused and committed and wrestled with the pride of a senior captain."

A fourth-place regional finisher, Miller had a 32-second fall and a decision. Combs had a 47-second fall and a forfeit, and both Lawless and Zachari had two decisions. Manon spent a year as an assistant to former coach Andy Wetzel, who guided the Vikings from 1996 through 2007.

"Andy Wetzel and the coaches before him built the foundation of an always hard-working, tough and respectable program. I’m just so happy that I can continue that tradition. It has been 19 years since Wetzel won the team’s first state title. I'm so happy to continue a winning tradition at Whitman high school," Manon said. "As a program, I think it shows our younger wrestlers that hard work truly does pay off. It is something that we preach every day and every season and the young pups in the room see it every day from our seniors and leaders on the team. The kids truly have worked extremely hard, and it is just so gratifying to see that hard work pay off in such an amazing and special way.”

Class 4A state semifinals

Whitman 36, Springbrook 33

106 Jayden Rivera (Springbrook) over Kelani Ramos (Walt Whitman) Dec 6-5

113 Sean Torrez (Springbrook) over Jabasie Trice (Walt Whitman) Dec 5-1

120 Solomon Randall (Walt Whitman) over Ricky Dixon (Springbrook) Fall 0:22

126 Jacob Gaum (Walt Whitman) over Tinsu Mulagata (Springbrook) TF 16-1

132 Adam Mathew (Springbrook) over Chris Lindstrom (Walt Whitman) Dec 10-3

138 Justin Rommel (Walt Whitman) over Chris Mendoza (Springbrook) Dec 2-1

144 Meran Elakel (Walt Whitman) over Silas Montgomery (Springbrook) Fall 1:56

150 Naol Demisse (Springbrook) over Tristan Ramos (Walt Whitman) Fall 1:12

157 Leo Smith (Walt Whitman) over Donald Hewagama (Springbrook) Maj 11-3

165 Lincoln Wendel (Springbrook) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

175 Laird Ostien (Walt Whitman) over David Bob Manuel (Springbrook) Fall 0:34

190 Jon Aron (Walt Whitman) over Greg McCalla (Springbrook) Fall 0:26

215 Dylan Castro (Springbrook) over Levi Merenstein (Walt Whitman) Fall 3:46

285 Dominick Jamison (Springbrook) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

Broadneck 34, Bethesda-Chevy Chase 33

106 Kanik Deschene (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) over Jack Joseph (Broadneck) Dec 6-3

113 Miguel Cabon (Broadneck) over Ethan Makle (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) Fall 0:23

120 Brandon Whyte-Taylor (Broadneck) over Felipe Jacome (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) Maj 12-3

126 Cam Williams (Broadneck) over Zach Cannistra (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) Dec 5-0

132 T.J. Hicks (Broadneck) over Ronen Israel (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) SV-1 3-2

138 Nana Blankson (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) over Long Bui (Broadneck) Fall 1:45

144 Linx Lawless (Broadneck) over Nizhoni Deschene (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) Dec 9-4

150 Peyton Miller (Broadneck) over Izak Safir (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) Fall 0:32

157 Seth Weaver (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

165 Austin Combs (Broadneck) over Adin Eisler (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) Fall 0:47

175 Cameron Zachari (Broadneck) over John Wrede (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) Dec 8-2

190 Ben Carter (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

215 Dajorn Smith (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

285 Luke Smith (Bethesda-Chevy Chase) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

Class 4A State Final

Whitman 33, Broadneck 31

113 Jabasie Trice (Walt Whitman) over Miguel Cabon (Broadneck) Dec 7-1

120 Brandon Whyte-Taylor (Broadneck) over Solomon Randall (Walt Whitman) Maj 10-2

126 Jacob Gaum (Walt Whitman) over Cam Williams (Broadneck) Dec 13-6

132 Chris Lindstrom (Walt Whitman) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

138 Justin Rommel (Walt Whitman) over T.J. Hicks (Broadneck) Dec 9-3

144 Meran Elakel (Walt Whitman) over Long Bui (Broadneck) Fall 2:42

150 Linx Lawless (Broadneck) over Tristan Ramos (Walt Whitman) Dec 4-2

157 Peyton Miller (Broadneck) over Leo Smith (Walt Whitman) Dec 8-1

165 Austin Combs (Broadneck) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

175 Cameron Zachari (Broadneck) over Laird Ostien (Walt Whitman) Dec 8-3

190 Jon Aron (Walt Whitman) over Dom Ascione (Broadneck) Fall 1:59

215 Andy Boshnick (Walt Whitman) over Jeremy Abate (Broadneck) Fall 2:22

285 Peter Seabrook (Broadneck) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

106 Jack Joseph (Broadneck) over Unknown (Unattached) Forf

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