After dominating the wrestling scene in Vermont for more than two decades, one might think competitors would have had enough of Mount Anthony (Bennington, Vt.)
. Not so.
"I'm excited to have a Mount Anthony in the state of Vermont," St. Johnsbury Academy head coach Mike Verge told the Burlington Free Press
. "What they have done is something that all programs can strive for."
What Mount Anthony did Saturday was win its 24th consecutive state title, which pulls the Patriots one step closer to the all-time national mark. A championship next season would tie Mount Anthony with Paulsboro (N.J.)
, which won 25 in a row from 1983-2007, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations record book
Mount Anthony crowned 10 state champions, which included Rachel Hale. According to the newspaper, Hale, a sophomore, became the first girl nationally to win consecutive titles against male competitors. She won the 106-pound title.
"Each year brings a new challenge and a new group of kids," Mount Anthony coach Scott Legacy told the newspaper. "This group wasn't even born when we won our first championship, but people come back from over the years to support the program in any way they can."In other wrestling news, Long Beach (N.Y.)
senior Dylan Palacio won his first state title, while drawing motivation from his uncle, Al Palacio. The elder Palacio won three state wrestling titles, and Al watched Saturday as his nephew donned the singlet he wore while winning No. 3 in 1982.
According to Newsday
, Al wrestled at 112 pounds in 1982, while Dylan won the 160-pound championship. "I was surprised that he fit into it," Al told the newspaper. "But he looked good."Also, West Springfield (Mass.) senior
Mizam Tamaradze, a Russian student who recently became a U.S. citizen, won the 132-pound title in Massachusetts. In order to get to the championship, too, Tamaradze had to beat his brother Hassan Tamaradze in the semifinals. Hassan, a junior, wrestles for Hampden Charter School of Science (Chicopee, Mass.)
"It was not an easy thing to do," Mizam told the Boston Herald
about wrestling his brother. "It was tough for the coaches, tough for my family and tough for me. I just had to go out there and do what I had to do to win the match."