Chesapeake's Brian Eveleth and Old Mill's Brent Layman finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in last weekend's second annual NationalHigh School Wrestling Championships at Duquesne (Pa.) University.
The tournament featured approximately 300 past and former state champions from across the nation with Eveleth, who won this year's 125-pound state title, wrestling at 119, and Layman, the 135-pound state champion, going at 130. Each was honored as an All-American for finishing in the top eight of his weight class.
Eveleth, a two-time county champion, brought a two-year, 59-1 record into the tournament but dropped his opening-round bout, 7-5, to Massachusetts' two-time state champion Jim Gallagher.
"I was a little timid at the start because there were so many college scouts there," said Eveleth. "My conditioning wasn't that great because it's beenover a month since I've really wrestled. I just couldn't get into the groove."
Eveleth rebounded, however, to steamroll two straightstate champs -- Missouri's Jason Sloop (10-3) and Kentucky's Pat Martz (13-3) -- before earning a pair of tough decisions over Georgia's Todd Miller, 6-2, and Pennsylvania's Fred Fabbrini, 4-2, to reach the fifth-place consolation bout with Colorado's Jonah Olguin.
Eveleth had a takedown five seconds into that bout, but he was in for a bumpy ride for the rest of the match, despite building leads of 5-0 and 8-1on his way to an 8-2 decision victory.
"My biggest complaint is that the kid was giving me cheap shots," said Eveleth. "He gave me a couple of elbows to the throat and he was going for my eyes."
Layman, a two-time county and regional champion, dropped a 9-4 decision toKansas' two-time state champion Clint Lopez in the first round. He then managed a 7-5 victory over Wyoming's Shane Schaffner before allowing Iowa's Matt Ironside to overcome an early 3-0 lead for a 5-4 victory.
Layman easily decisioned Wyoming's Jody Church of Powell High, 7-5, for seventh place, but would have liked nothing better than tohave the Ironside match back.
"I just didn't have it in theend ofthat match," said Layman, who was known for his endurance throughoutthis year's 37-1-1 regular-season campaign. "I haven't done any (wrestling) since the season. I've been playing tennis but that doesn't keep you in wrestling shape."
Ironside escaped two seconds into thesecond period to cut the lead to 3-1. Then, as a fading Layman went for the kill with a cradle move in the last few seconds of the period, Ironside squirmed free on the mat and slipped behind for a takedownthat pulled the bout even at 3-3.
In the third period, Layman escaped with 43 seconds left for a4-3 lead. But with 15 seconds left, the shorter, stockier Ironside used a leg sweep for the takedown.
Layman's seventh-place finish was an improvement over that of former teammate Gary Baker, who was eighth last year.