Three Swain wrestlers reach podium at state
Five Swain County High School Maroon Devils wrestlers competed for a chance at individual state title this past Friday and Saturday in Greensboro, and three wrestlers ended the day on the podium with a medal around their necks.
Senior Craig Cutshaw (220) became the state runner-up, and seniors Corbin Wildcatt (285) and Chris Miller (152) earned third place finishes. For the tournament, Swain finished seventh overall in 1A and first among Smoky Mountain Conference teams.
“This was a big weekend for these guys,” said head coach Adam Jaimez. “They’re leaving a great legacy behind for the guys to build upon next year.”
Cutshaw’s road to the title match was not easy. In the quarterfinals, he upset the second seed with an 11-5 decision. With a trip to the first place match on the line, he had to face top seed Vincent Vielandi from Alleghany High School, who has prevented Cutshaw from a trip to state for the past two years. This time, Cutshaw won by a 5-2 decision for the upset win.
“He didn’t let [the past] come into play,” said Jaimez. “It was just a matter of getting into positions and competing, and he did just that.”
In the title match, he was pinned by Robert Alvarez from East Montgomery High School and took home the silver medal.
Miller and Wildcatt followed the same path for their third place finish. Miller won the opening round, but he fell to the top seed in the second round in a 10-6 decision. Miller bounced back with a 7-4 decision victory, and then took home the third place medal with a win over Blake Frye from Elkin High School.
“Any other time, he would’ve given up,” said Jaimez. “But he pushed through that moment and started to believe and wrestled an awesome tournament. It was nice to see him grow.”
Wildcatt won his first match by pin, but then he lost a 10-7 decision to the top seed in the second round. Like Miller, he bounced back with a victory and pinned his opponent and won the third place matchup with a 7-3 decision over Austin Hicks from Avery County High School.
“Corbin faced some adversity,” said Jaimez. “But he pushed through that adversity. I think he’s the best heavyweight in 1A, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. He wrestled tough, and I’m proud of him.”
Junior Will Paul (195) and freshman Nathan Brock (106) got their first taste of the state tournament, and they hope to take what they learned from the past weekend into next year’s run for a title.
Swain ended the season in the Top 40 overall among all 1A-4A schools in state.