South Mecklenburg’s Chris Moungle didn’t appear nervous when he stepped on the wrestling mat in the NCHSAA state championship in Greensboro Coliseum Saturday night.
His performance reflected that when he edged out Cary’s Kollin Wade, the reigning state champion, 5-4 in a nail-biting match to capture the 4A 145-pound crown. Out of five Mecklenburg County wrestlers to reach the finals, Moungle was the only one to emerge victorious.
Other wrestlers who won state championships in the Observer’s coverage area were Hickory Ridge’s Cole Cooper (3A, 145) and Tyler Gregor (3A, 113), Mooresville’s Mitch Jacobs (4A, 195) and North Gaston’s Lathan Bumgarner (3A, 220).
Moungle (43-1) started the match aggressively, taking down Wade in the first period, making the score 2-0. Wade then reversed him, tying the score 2-2. After two escapes by both wrestlers in the second period, Moungle again escaped from Wade near the end of the third period. The upset resulted in Moungle’s first state championship.
Eight local wrestlers captured second place at the tournament. The most notable was Hough’s Caleb Kreitter (51-0), a 120-pounder who was favored to win the entire tournament. The junior was leading 6-4 near the end of the third period against McDowell’s Tony McGee. But after a 2-point reversal and giving up 3-nearfall points in the closing seconds, Kreitter was upset 9-8 by the sophomore. This is the second consecutive year Kreitter lost in the finals.
Other second-place finishers were Lake Norman’s Zak Rainess (4A, 132), A.L. Brown’s Nicholas Sexton (4A, 138) and Isaiah Johnson (4A, 160), Central Cabarrus’ Chris Berg (3A, 195), and Tanner Gleaton (3A, 106) North Lincoln’s Jimmy Scott (3A, 285), and Cox Mill’s Cade Davis (3A, 113).