By the time it was Walt Whitman High School senior Harriet Symington's turn to wrestle Saturday afternoon in her team's season opener against Thomas S. Wootton, the Vikings already had racked up 13 bonus points.
But the fiery 106-pounder — who spent a week this summer in Serbia representing the United States in the Cadet World Wrestling Championships — apparently wasn't content with that amount. She pinned Wootton's Tony Hesselhoff in 1 minute, 43 seconds to contribute one of Whitman's six falls on the day as the Vikings began the year with an impressive 46-24 victory against the Patriots.
It was Whitman's first win against Wootton in three seasons and, the Vikings hope, the start of what will be a big year for the Bethesda school.
“It was really exciting,” Symington said. “All week our coach has been telling us that they beat us the last three years and we needed payback. We really wanted to come out and get revenge. We've been working hard all week and it just paid off.”
Symington, a four-year starter for Whitman coach Derek Manon, has been wrestling since she was 6-years-old. She said enjoyed her first experience competing overseas and is still considering whether she wants to continue wrestling in college.
“I expect nothing less from her,” Manon said of Symington's win. “She's as aggressive as they come and she's been working hard the last couple of offseasons with Team Maryland. She went out and she was aggressive in stringing moves together and got the job done.”
An intense offseason training regimen prepared the senior-laden team well for its first dual meet. In all, the Vikings won nine of the day's 14 matches, with defending 4A West Region champions Jack Calder and Mitch Fenton — as well as Will Baker, Matthew McClanahan and Max Sessions — all recording pins.
“We've got some guys who, that's what they look for are bonus points,” Manon said. “That's the goal in wrestling. Three out of our four captains got bonus points in their wins and hopefully the younger guys see that and know what to shoot for.”
The Vikings started strong as they amassed a 22-9 lead after six matches, bolstered by impressive season-opening matches by Calder and Fenton. Of Wootton's five wins, three came via fall as Logan Tritto (120), Garrett Ruderman (152) and Pat Bernardo (285) all wrestled well for Kevin O'Neill's young squad.
“We like the group we've got this year, they're a bunch of scrappy guys,” O'Neill said. “But I knew there were going to be some growing pains to start the season. Hopefully by midseason those guys that are new in the lineup will hit their stride and wrestle a little bit better than they did today.”
In the closest match of the afternoon, Whitman 195-pounder Jonah Brain edged Joey Castelli, 4-2, thanks to a third period takedown. Castelli managed two escapes to score both his points, but couldn't score from a neutral position.
“To get the first one under our belt feels good,” Manon said. “Wootton's beaten us the last couple of years, so to get a few pins with our seniors carrying the load, was nice.”
Walt Whitman 46, Thomas S. Wootton 24
106: Harriet Symington (WW) f. Tony Hesselhoff (TSW), 1:43
113: Stephen Sharbaugh (WW) d. Jack Cohen (TSW), 9-4
120: Logan Tritto (TSW) fall James Bamberger (WW), 1:36
126: Will Baker (WW) f. Timmy Lee (TSW), 2:27
132: Spencer Parsons (TSW) d. Braedon McKee (WW), 15-8
138: Jacob Cutler (WW) m.d. Riley Smart (TSW), 12-3
145: Mitch Fenton (WW) f. Sina Dayanzadeh (TSW), 1:36
152: Garrett Ruderman (TSW) f. Evan Smith (WW), 5:02
160: Jack Calder (WW) f. Jay Carroll (TSW), 1:02
170: Josh Hollmann (TSW) d. Kevin Baker (WW), 7-1
182: Matthew McClanahan (WW) f. John Griffin (TSW), 1:44
195: Jonah Brain (WW) d. Joey Castelli (TSW), 4-2
220: Max Sessions (WW) f. Ricky Lay (TSW), 0:28
285: Pat Bernardo (TSW) f. Gabe Garcia (WW), 0:54