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Charlotte Latin claims another CISAA wrestling tournament title

This year’s Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association wrestling tournament once again became a battle between Charlotte Latin and Providence Day.

And like the past five years, Charlotte Latin once again emerged on top, taking a majority of the individual titles and their sixth consecutive CISAA team championship Thursday at Providence Day School’s Ridenhour Gym.

Charlotte Latin sent wrestlers into the finals in 12 of 14 weight classes, and emerged with eight individual champions. That was enough to give the Hawks a 55.5-point advantage over the Chargers (185-129.5). Charlotte Country Day edged Charlotte Christian for third place by two points (70-68).

And with the N.C. Independent Schools state championship meet next week at Latin, Thursday’s performance is a good tuneup as Charlotte Latin goes for its fourth straight state title.

“The guys wrestled extremely well tonight,” Charlotte Latin coach Richard Fletcher said. “But we’ve got to get in there and start working harder for the states.

“Still, (the CISAA tournament is) good preparation, especially the kids who didn’t do as well as they wanted. They’ve got a week to polish some things, and get their minds right.”

Hawks wrestlers Billy McClelland and Toby Okwara, both defending state champions, repeated their CISAA weight-class titles at 132 and 285 pounds, respectively.

Also winning for Latin were Michael McClelland (106 pounds), Ryan Schellpfeffer (113 pounds), Foard Naumann (126 pounds), Ken Koch (138 pounds), Bentley Dalton (152 pounds), and Clayton Parnell (182 pounds).

Providence Day, which has never won the CISAA tournament, had eight wrestlers advance to the final round, but only three emerged with weight-class titles.

Chargers wrestler Gil Gerber, last year’s champion at 126 pounds, added the 145-pound title to his resume. Also winning for Providence Day were Jake Cohen at 170 pounds and Bryston Spivock at 195 pounds.

“We’re two of the better programs in the area, and Charlotte Latin’s always run a great program,” Providence Day coach Paul Burnam said. “We like going head to head, and all four schools are going to be well-prepared for next week’s state tournament.”

Charlotte Christian won two weight-class titles, from Charlie Rand at 160 pounds and Connor Maitland at 220 pounds. Charlotte Country Day’s Max Spada won the 120-pound title.