By Lem Satterfield
BETHESDA – Bethesda Chevy Chase senior Eli Guttentag (132) earned a 3-2 decision over private schools’ state champion Lorenzo Lopez of Landon and pinned six of his eight opponents, to lead the host Barons to last weekend’s overall title in their dual-meet tournament.
Among Guttentag’s pins was one against regional champion Eric Smith of Queen Anne’s, who went 30-6 last season. During a 37-33 dual-meet victory over Poolesville on January 2, Guttentag ground out a 6-3 decision over freshman Kevin Fultz, winner of the Damascus Holiday Tournament.
Guttentag earned county and regional titles as a ninth-grader and has placed third at states as a high-school freshman and junior. During each occasion at states, Guttentag’s semifinal losses were to the eventual champions – Bel Air’s Brent Lorin in the first instance, and Linganore’s Earl Blake last March.
“It’s a lot of fun wrestling Lorenzo because we’ve wrestled throughout middle school and we know each other well,” said Guttentag, whose 18-3 record includes an earlier 1-0 loss to state runner-up Michael Emerick of Damascus. “We lost to Damascus, but we just had a huge win at Poolesville, and we won this tournament. We’ve got Clarksburg coming up, and I’m feeling really good about our team.”
Guttentag’s younger brother, Ike (106) had five pins and a pair of major decisions; he won a battle of freshmen, 5-3, over Tallion Elliot of Bullis, winner of the season-opening Mad Mats Invitational at Magruder High.
“That was awesome to beat [Elliot] after wrestling him all of my life in junior leagues. He had always been a tad bit better than me,” said Ike Guttentag, who improved to 20-1.“So to finally get him at our home gym for the team with a dual meet on the line was awesome. I got a lot of support from the crowd, which was great.”
Also going 8-0 with six pins was Barons’ junior Christian Simpson (113), who was a county runner-up and fourth-place regional finisher last season. Simpson improved his record to 11-2.
Simpson is known for nearly pulling the upset last year in an overtime regional semifinal bout against graduated county, region and state champion Yonas Harris (106) of Northwest.
“I wrestled [Harris] at regionals, and it was 7-7 and went into overtime,” said Simpson, who lost an earlier match this year by fall to Silas Patton of Damascus.
“That [Patton] was a tough match. I tried to do a changeover, and he caught me and stuck me. But I’m trying to get better in order to go farther this year and make it to states, if not, win it.”
Finishing at 7-1 were the Barons’ Aidan Moffett (126) and Fabio Martinez (138). Moffitt pinned four opponents with one technical fall, and Martinez, five with a major decision. Sophomore Drew Guttentag (145) went 6-2 with four pins and two major decisions, and is 18-3 on the year.
For fourth-place Bullis, juniors Autstin Brown (182) and Caleb Tomlin (220) went 8-0, with Elliot, junior Isaac Ruderman (138) and sophomore Terrell Jackson (285) all finishing at 7-1.
Brown, Ruderman and Tomlin are past Interstate Athletic Conference titlists for the Bulldogs, who overcame rival and defending IAC champion Landon, 45-33.
“It was a special moment for me to pin my opponent against Landon,” said Tomlin. “This tournament allowed me to work on different things against different types of opponents.”
Going undefeated for Landon were seniors Axel Giron (126) and Jelani Machen (170) at 8-0, and, 7-0, with Johnny Gherman (160) also going 8-0. Lopez was 7-1, and junior Patrick Kielb (145) went 6-2, including a fall against Drew Guttentag.
Wrestling well for Northwest was junior Siavash Sarvestani (126), loser of a tight bout to Giron but who edged Emerick, 3-1, in a dual meet with Damascus on January 2. Sarvestani has also lost at 132-pound decision to Blake, a defending state champion.
“That [Blake] as a close match at first, but I lost by seven. Against Axel, I just didn’t finish my shots and lost,” said Sarvestani, who went 43-6 and was second at counties and regions and fifth at states at 113 last year. “I’m in a tough weight class, but I’m just trying to push myself. [Former] coach [Joe Vukovich] has talked to me and said counties and regions are a means to reaching the podium at states.”
Sarvestani’s new coach is Ferris Bond, whose assistants are alumnus T.J. Patterson and Mauro Beteta, each of whom Bond has coached.
“Siavash works hard and comes to me and tries to face the best competition,” said Bond. “He’s really working hard in practice, striving to be the best that he can be. That’s what he’s aiming for and being a leader for the team and gunning to place real high on the [state championship] podium in March.”