Friday, 21 February 2020 22:59

Gallops advances at 4A state championship, Nicholson's run ends

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Senior Austin Gallops (yellow) wrestles Jack Britt's Isaiah McCain-Mercado during Friday's 4A state championship. Senior Austin Gallops (yellow) wrestles Jack Britt's Isaiah McCain-Mercado during Friday's 4A state championship. Contributed photo.

GREENSBORO — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4A state wrestling championship got started Friday, a day later than expected due to inclement weather across the state.

Richmond Senior High School was represented by seniors Austin Gallops and Joey Nicholson. The pair of Raiders each wrestled two matches on the first day of the event, with one advancing and the other seeing his run come to an end.

Gallops, who competed in the 160-pound weight class, went 1-1 on the day. Unfortunately for Nicholson, a 120-pounder, he lost both of his matches, effectively ending his high school wrestling career.

To begin, both Gallops and Nicholson lost in the championship bracket opening round. Gallops was pinned by Will Lowery (32-8) of Myers Park High School in the third round (5:59), and was the second time this season he lost to the Mustang.

Nicholson was also pinned in the first round, losing to Lake Norman High School’s Kaiden Fisher (51-10) in 1:42. 

The losses sent both Raiders to the consolation round, where Nicholson was paired with Middle Creek High School’s Darius McKenzie (43-17). After three hard-fought rounds, McKenzie would earn a 3-1 decision and advance to the third round.

Nicholson, who is Richmond’s all-time wins leader, finished his season with a 33-12 record.

“Joey wrestled two really tough matches,” head coach Earl Nicholson commented. “He was able to get to their legs, but was not able to finish either match.

“Joey should be proud of himself,” he added of his son. “He had a great season and a great career.”

In Gallops’ consolation bracket match, he wrestled a familiar face in Jack Britt High School’s Isaiah McCain-Mercado (34-16). The two Sandhills Athletic Conference foes met several times this season, and Gallops pinned the Buccaneer in 2:08, sending McCain-Mercado home from the tournament.

“Austin had a great match against one of the top seeds in the tournament,” Coach Nicholson said of his bout against Lowery. “He just came up short in the first round.

“In his second match, Austin pinned a familiar opponent,” he continued. “If Austin keeps wrestling like this, he has a good chance at placing.”

Gallops (32-13) will look to place on Saturday, as the 4A state championship will conclude at the Greensboro Coliseum.


Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

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