Morse’s Ben Brewer battles Skowhegan’s Hunter McEwen during the KVAC tournament Saturday in Augusta. (Joe Phelan / Kennebec Journal)

SOUTH PARIS — Mt. Ararat/Brunswick winning Saturday’s Class A North wrestling championship wouldn’t qualify as a surprise, especially given that the Eagles overwhelmed nearly the same competition to win the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference one week earlier.

But the route to winning the regional title at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School nevertheless had a few twists and turns along the way.

Mt. Ararat/Brunswick will try to defend its Class A state title next week with eight wrestlers qualifying, including regional champions Shea Farrell (132) Spencer LeClair (138), Caden Kowalsky (145) and Ben Laurence (170). Brett Raio (152 runner-up), Caleb Chamberland (fourth 106), Brycen Kowalsky (120 runner-up) and Alex Beal (fourth 220) also qualified.

The Eagles tallied 170 points to avenge last year’s loss to Camden Hills (156.50). Skowhegan (129), Cony (119) and Oxford Hills rounded out the top five.

Coach Erick Jensen liked his team’s progress from the week before, when the Eagles won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference title for the first time since 2008.

Mt. Ararat’s Caden Kowalsky, top, and Camden Hill’s Ian Henderson wrestling in 145 pound finals during KVAC wrestling tournament on Saturday February 1, 2020 at Cony High School in Augusta. (Joe Phelan / Kennebec Journal)

“Last week, we did well. Let’s improve this week and then hope it carries on to next week,” Jensen said. “That’s ultimately what our goal is. We’ve got a few things to work on, for sure. I was really pleased that we’re taking eight. My 220-pounder came through as an eighth seed today. So we’ll go right back at it and work hard this week.”

Caden Kowalsky had to work hard to study his championship match opponent, Griffin Carnell of Camden Hills, who he had never faced. Kowalsky pinned him 1:16 into the second period.

“He’d dropped down from 152 and I kind of just felt him out for the first little bit and once I knew I could take him, I just went after him,” Kowalsky said. “He was slow on his feet. He didn’t move too much and he was high, so I could just go right under.”

Farrell controlled his final with Nokomis’ Tyler Preble, 13-4. LeClair immediately followed him onto the championship mat and also dominated a Nokomis opponent, Isaiah Morin, 18-5.

The Eagles missed having two more champions by a total of four points. Raio dropped his final to Ian Henderson of Camden Hills, 5-3, Skowhegan’s Aiden Clark kept Brycen Kowalsky on the defensive for most of their final to pull out a 2-0 victory.

“It was a good day,” Jensen said. “Brycen losing was tough, but the Skowhegan kid, give him credit, he had a great match plan against him.”

Jensen said he is looking forward to seeing how his team builds off of the momentum of the last two weeks and the knowledge that everyone in Class A will be targeting them as the defending state champions.

“They feed off of last year. We’re returning state champs and a couple of kids on the team are (individual) state champs, so that confidence level is right there,” he said. “We’re gunning for something. It’s a lot harder to repeat, too, so we’ve got to work that much harder.”

Morse took 10th-place with 63 points. Mason Savary finished fourth at 152 pounds, while Ben Brewer was third at 160. Isaak Sinclair also claimed fourth in the 182-pound division.

Class B South

Lisbon/Oak Hill competed at Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro, claiming fourth place with 101 points.

Wells (211.50), Mountain Valley (123) and Medomak Valley (119) took the top three spots in the region.

For the Greyhounds, Jack Tibbetts scored a 4-2 decision in the 132-pound final over Josh Burgess of Wells, while Cameron Bourget captured the 182-title with a 10-2 decision over Fryeburg Academy’s Job Fox.

Christian St. Hilaire was third at 152, scoring an 11-0 decision over Owen MacIntosh of York in the consolation final.

Daniel Bolton, wrestling at 170, was the runner-up, falling by a 3-2 decision to Medomak Valley’s Tyler Cox.

And Isaac Potvin was third at 195, with a pin against Mountain Valley’s Jonah Byam in the consolation final.

Lisbon/Oak Hill heads to the State Class B Championship at Fryeburg Academy on Saturday.

Comments are not available on this story.