Webb finishes runner-up at Senior Nationals


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Mount Anthony Union High School senior wrestler Jesse Webb officially ended his scholastic career with a 3-2 loss and a runner-up finish in the 285-pound weight class at the Senior Nationals on Sunday night.

Facing Seaford, N.Y.'s James O'Hagen, neither wrestler could score in the first period and O'Hagen won the coin flip to choose position in the second.

O'Hagen immediately escaped, putting Webb down 1-0 early in the second period. Each wrestler fought for control, with neither getting a full advantage and Webb trailed 1-0 heading into the third.

A fast switch gave Webb the separation he needed to escape and tie the match at 1-1, but even after a restart with 18 seconds left, neither could score and the match went to overtime.

In the sudden victory, neither wrestler could score, so they went to tiebreaker No. 1. O'Hagen had the choice of position, but deferred, so Webb went down and escaped to make it 2-1. In tiebreaker No. 2, O'Hagen was down, but Webb had trouble keeping him there, tying the match yet again, at 2-2.

O'Hagen was warned for stalling as the match headed into the ultimate tie-breaker, and by scoring the first point, he had his choice of position. On top, Webb grabbed a single-leg, but O'Hagen slipped away for the winning escape and the 3-2 win.

Webb saw O'Hagen at the Nanuet Duals this season. Both wrestlers are ranked nationally, with Webb picking up the earlier win over the New York state Division I champion.

Webb won the 285-pound class as a freshman and sophomore, while taking fifth last year as a junior.

The Ohio University commit was named as the Jeff Blatnick national sportsmanship award winner before the Senior finals. The award is named for Niskayuna, N.Y.'s Blatnick, a gold medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling in 1984.

Webb had an amazing tournament, topping Georgia's Shakeem Lassiter in the second round, then pinning Wyatt Morris in the first period to reach the round of 8. On Saturday, he beat California's Gary Miltenberger, 3-2, to advance to the semifinal, where he scored another 3-2 decision -- this time against Florida state champ Daniel Leon to reach the final.


At 120 pounds in the junior tournament, Troy Gassaway became an All-American after a sixth-place finish. After losing his second match of the tournament, Gassaway came down into the consolation and won six straight matches, including a matchup against James Szymanski, who had beaten Gassaway earlier, that he won 3-0.

In the fifth-place match, Gassaway was pinned, but he becomes an All-American for the first time.

In the middle school division, Tyson Sauer placed in the 85-pound class. He won his first match, 7-0, then lost to Luke Bokina, the eventual runner-up. In the consolation bracket, Sauer won his first match, then fell in the placement round. He then lost a 6-5 match in the 7th-place bout.


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