Polk County’s contingent at Saturday’s 1A West Regional included, from left: Satchel McCoy, Gage McSwain, Collier Foster, head coach Adam Dedmon, Trey Thompson, Preston Burnett and assistant coach Mark Emory (photo courtesy Amber Thompson)

Polk County delivered its best regional wrestling showing in more than a decade on Saturday, qualifying five wrestlers for next week’s state 1A championship in Greensboro.

Preston Burnett’s runner-up finish paced the Wolverines, whose five state qualifiers are just one short of the school record of six set in 2009.

Polk’s Gage McSwain and Collier Foster each finished third in their weight classes while Trey Thompson and Satchel McCoy placed fourth to earn a spot in the state 1A championship meet, set to begin Friday at Greensboro Coliseum.

Polk County placed sixth overall in the team standings. Western Highlands Conference rival Avery won the regional title with 222 points, well ahead of Swain’s 147. Robbinsville, Mount Airy and Cherryville rounded out the top five.

Burnett won his first three matches at 132 pounds with ease, scoring two pins and a major decision, including a pin of Mount Airy’s Aidan Horton in the semifinals.

But the Polk County senior ran into a familiar foe in the championship Avery’s two-time state champion River Griffith. Griffith pinned Burnett late in the first period of the championship match to claim the regional crown.

With his three victories, Burnett matched the school record of 42 wins in a season set in 2009-2010 by James Maxwell.

Foster broke a school record in reaching the third-place match, his 54 matches for the season topping the previous mark of 53 set in 1989-90 by Derrick Pack, Ricky Miller and Keith Painter. The sophomore suffered a 10-7 decision loss to Cherryville’s Brady Buchanan in the semifinals, but rebounded with two consolation wins, including a pin of Swain’s John Parton in the consolation final.

McSwain fell to Swain’s Cody Long in the semifinals, but capped his day with an 8-4 decision over Andrews’ Samuel Wood in the third-place match.

Thompson dropped an 11-3 decision to Robbinsville’s Kyle Fink in the semifinals, then reached the third-place match before falling to Thomas Jefferson’s Wade Turner.

McCoy had the longest path to the state meet of any Wolverine, winning three straight consolation matches before a thrilling 3-2 loss to Alleghany’s Bryson Church in the third-place match. Church also defeated McCoy by decision in the quarterfinals.

Polk’s Jacob Knighton reached the second round of the consolation bracket before dropping a tough 6-4 decision to East Wilkes’ Chandler Luffman.

Other Wolverine wrestlers who competed in the regional included Tori Strickland, Bryson McCraw and Deacon Nodine.

106
Champ. Round 1 – Alan Lopez (East Wilkes) won by major decision over Tori Strickland (PC), 12-3
Cons. Round 2 – Scott Stroupe (Cherryville) won by decision over Tori Strickland (PC), 7-0

113
Quarterfinal – Collier Foster (PC) won by fall over John Parton (Swain County) 23-20 (Fall 5:58)
Semifinal – Brady Buchanan (Cherryville) won by decision over Collier Foster (PC), 10-7
Cons. Semi – Collier Foster (PC) won by major decision over Ryker Charles (Bradford Prep), 10-0
3rd Place Match – Collier Foster (PC) won by fall over John Parton (Swain County) (Fall 3:27)

120
Quarterfinal – Bryson Church (Alleghany) won by decision over Satchel McCoy (PC), 6-2
Cons. Round 2 – Satchel McCoy (PC) won by fall over Mac Beard (Thomas Jefferson) (Fall 2:30)
Cons. Round 3 – Satchel McCoy (PC) won by fall over Cameron Phillips (Swain County) (Fall 4:14)
Cons. Semi – Satchel McCoy (PC) won by fall over Mason Cook (Hayesville) (Fall 2:03)
3rd Place Match – Bryson Church (Alleghany) won by decision over Satchel McCoy (PC), 3-2

132
Champ. Round 1 – Preston Burnett (PC) won by fall over Marcus Kephart (Murphy) (Fall 0:59)
Quarterfinal – Preston Burnett (PC) won by major decision over Ryan Riffle (Cherryville), 14-3
Semifinal – Preston Burnett (PC) won by fall over Aidan Horton (Mount Airy) (Fall 3:14)
1st Place Match – River Griffith (Avery County) won by fall over Preston Burnett (PC) (Fall 0:33)

138
Champ. Round 1 – Connor Medvar (Mount Airy) won by fall over Deacon Nodine (PC) (Fall 0:53)
Cons. Round 1 – Jacob Beare (Union Academy) won by fall over Deacon Nodine (PC) (Fall 1:48)

145
Champ. Round 1 – Levi Collins (North Stokes) won by fall over Bryson McCraw (PC) (Fall 2:34)
Cons. Round 1 – Adrian Morales (Mitchell) won by fall over Bryson McCraw (PC) (Fall 2:23)

152
Champ. Round 1 – Jacob Knighton (PC) won by fall over Kamron McGuire (Robbinsville) (Fall 4:56)
Quarterfinal – Bradley Parker (Avery County) won by tech fall over Jacob Knighton (PC), 17-2
Cons. Round 2 – Chandler Luffman (East Wilkes) won by decision over Jacob Knighton (PC), 6-4

182
Champ. Round 1 – Gage Mcswain (PC) won by decision over Charles Collins (East Wilkes), 9-7
Quarterfinal – Gage Mcswain (PC) won by fall over Ian Crowe (Cherokee) (Fall 3:21)
Semifinal – Cody Long (Swain County) won by fall over Gage Mcswain (PC) (Fall 3:32)
Cons. Semi – Gage Mcswain (PC) won by fall over Jayden Blanton (Cherryville) (Fall 2:51)
3rd Place Match – Gage Mcswain (PC) won by decision over Samuel Wood (Andrews), 8-4

195
Champ. Round 1 – Trey Thompson (PC) won by fall over Domenico Coppola (East Surry) (Fall 1:14)
Quarterfinal – Trey Thompson (PC) won by fall over Jimmy Miller (Andrews) (Fall 2:29)
Semifinal – Kyle Fink (Robbinsville) won by major decision over Trey Thompson (PC), 11-3
Cons. Semi – Trey Thompson (PC) won by tech fall over Xander Gardner (Mitchell), 16-0
3rd Place Match – Wade Turner (Thomas Jefferson) won by fall over Trey Thompson (PC) (Fall 1:30)

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