BATH — Camden Hills relied on its depth to capture its third consecutive Class B wrestling championship Saturday.
The Windjammers won 11 of 14 matches in the final two rounds of the consolation bracket to hold off Mountain Valley.
“The coaching staff has always ridden the backs of these young men and women, and today was no different,” Camden Hills Coach Patrick Kelly said. “As coaches you want their success as individuals and as a team, and it was so nice to be able to come to this meet and let these guys show what they’re capable of doing when it counted the most.”
The top five team scores were: Camden Hills 124, Mountain Valley 113, Ellsworth 100, Foxcroft Academy 89.5, York 79.
For a time it looked like Mountain Valley was going to dethrone the Windjammers.
Five Mountain Valley wrestlers were seeded first in their brackets, and each advanced to the championship round. The Falcons did especially well in their head-to-head matches against the Windjammers.
Caleb Austin, who was seeded second in his bracket, pinned top-seeded Zac Annis of Camden Hills in the 113-pound division. Ethan Boucher registered a 5-3 decision over James Archer in the semifinals of the 120-pound division, and Brandon Gill pinned John Underhill in the 132 semifinals.
The Falcons also got some help when Josh Smith, a third seed from York, eked out a 6-4 decision over Camden’s Eli Smith, who was seeded first in the 145-pound division.
But the Windjammers turned it around in the last two consolation rounds.
“We started off in the consolation semis and we won six out of seven matches. In the consolation finals, we won five out of six,” Kelly said. “We made up a deficit of about 50 points after the first three rounds. I didn’t have a doubt, but I was worried.”
Connor Winchenbach nailed down the championship by rolling to a 10-2 decision over Connor Petros in the finals of the 152-pound division. He was the only individual champion for Camden Hills.
Earlier, Annis, Underhill and Smith earned important points for the Windjammers by finishing third in their respective classes. Following Winchester’s victory, the Windjammers also received third-place finishes from Elvis Bowan at 160 and Jared Gilbert at 195.
Aaron Lint, a senior from Winslow, was named the meet’s outstanding wrestler after he won his third consecutive state championship at 285 by pinning all three of his opponents.
Peter Del Gallo, a sophomore from Gardiner who went unbeaten while winning state and New England titles in the 106-pound division last season, ran his career record in New England to 96-0 by rolling to a 7-0 win against Caleb Austin in the 113 final.
It was the first appearance in the Class B state meet for Foxcroft Academy, which moved into the higher class after winning three straight Class C state championships.
“It was a four-team race coming in here,” Foxcroft Academy Coach Luis Ayala said. “Nobody knew who was going to win when we got here. In every match, people are cheering and you’re counting every point. It was real competitive.”