Mayer, other locals excel at state wrestling meet

ESSEX — Mount Abraham Union High School senior Roman Mayer won his second state championship and was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the Vermont championship meet for the second time to highlight area wrestlers’ efforts this past weekend at host Essex High School.
Mayer cruised to the 126-pound title with two pins, including one over St. Johnsbury’s Zack Hebert in the final, and a technical fall. In 2017 he won the 120-pound title and his first Outstanding Wrestler nod as a sophomore. The only other Mount Abe wrestler to earn the top honor at a state meet was Carl Boss in 1971.
Mayer finished his senior season with a 45-3 record, with the losses coming in top out-of-state tournaments, and set a new Mount Abe mark for career wins at 182-27. He and the meet’s other top-three finishers — Eagle senior Kevin Pearsall and Otter Valley’s David Williams and Josh Beayon among them — can add to their career totals at the New England meet in Providence, R.I., this weekend.
Mayer’s coach, and father, Nick Mayer, summed up his son’s weekend.
“It was a pretty spectacular finish to his high school career,” Coach Mayer said.
Mayer also helped the Eagles to a fifth-place team finish, behind winner Mount Anthony (286.5 points) and three other Division I schools. Wrestling does not recognized divisions, but the Eagles (102.5) were the top D-II school at the meet, with five wrestlers reaching the podium with top-six finishes.
VUHS SENIOR BRADY Gebo tries unsuccessfully to fight off a pin against Mount Abraham senior Kevin Pearsall in their 220-pound third-place match at Saturday’s state championship wrestling meet in Essex.
Photo courtesy of Josh Kaufmann/St. Albans Messenger
Essex (196.5), Spaulding (133.5) and St. Johnsbury (132) ran 2-3-4. Otter Valley (74) tied for sixth, Vergennes (58) was ninth, and Middlebury (11, with just three wrestlers participating) was 20th.
Also reaching the podium for the Eagles were 100-win wrestler Pearsall, third at 220 pounds; senior 100-win wrestler Gary Conant, fourth at 138; junior John Bent, fourth at 145; and sophomore Nate Lavoie, fourth at 152. Lavoie lost an 8-7 semifinal decision to winner Gage McLaughlin of Mt. Anthony.
Pearsall was seeded second, but lost a tough semifinal match before bouncing back to defeat VUHS senior Brady Gebo in the third-place match. He finished a season that was curtailed by injuries at 27-4.
Williams, a sophomore, led the Otters by taking second at 138 pounds; he lost to Mount Anthony powerhouse Keenan Taylor in his final while Beayon (a 100-win wrestler who was 50-7 this season) finished third at 182. OV junior Jake Jones took fifth at 220, and OV junior Charlie Noble was sixth at 285.
Gebo’s fourth-place effort led VUHS, while several of his younger teammates also reached the podium: Freshman Aiden Gebo was fifth at 126, freshman Gabriel Payne-Vinick took fifth at 195, and sophomore Zach Botala earned fifth at 145.
EAGLE SENIOR KEVIN Pearsall, top, works to control VUHS senior Brady Gebo in their 220-pound match for third place in Saturday’s state championship meet in Essex. Pearsall, one of five Eagles to reach the podium, eventually pinned Gebo.
Photo courtesy of Josh Kaufmann/St. Albans Messenger
None of the three Tigers reached the podium, but each won a match, senior Justin Jackson at 132, freshman Tucker Kennett at 138, and freshman Calvin Kennett at 145.
Other athletes competing and their records were:
•  At 113 pounds OV freshman Austin Cormany (0-2).
•  At 132 Eagle sophomore Parker Gero (2-2) and VUHS sophomore Jeremiah Moulton (0-2).
•  At 145 OV sophomore Parker Swain (2-2).
•  At 160 VUHS senior Kael Dobson (0-2).
•  At 182 VUHS sophomore Barret Barrows (0-2).
•  At 195 OV freshman Sam Martin (0-2).
•  At 285 VUHS senior Brandon Tierney (1-2) and Eagle junior Matt Cleaves (0-2).
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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