DURANT - Behind the strength of three individual champions and the placement of 10 others in the top six, Riverview won the 8th annual Cougar Invitational with 227 points. Durant was second with 206.5, and Jesuit was third with 169.
"This is the best performance the Riverview wrestling team has had and it was a total team effort," Riverview coach Willie Sargable said. "We had 13 of our 14 guys place in the top three, and that is pretty good, since this tournament had some very tough competition."
Alex Enriquez (160) and Alex Virgadamo (215), both tournament champions from Jesuit, topped the pin battle with four pins each. Virgadamo took only three minutes, 42 seconds to pin all four of his opponents. Enriquez took 7:28.
One of the most hotly contested matches of the tournament was between Riverview's Bob Rinker and Durant's Matt Caraballo at 119 pounds. Going into the final period they were tied at five, but Rinker managed an escape and a takedown for three points near the buzzer to score an 8-5 decision.
"It is always a battle between Matt and I and has been for a couple of years," Rinker said. "He is good ... and I learn something every time we wrestle. He is very quick and precise with all his moves. He just never stops coming at you."
Another tense match was at 125 pounds, when Alonso sophomore Chris Allen upset Nick Randall from Lake Gibson. Allen, in his second year wrestling, attacked Randall's legs for a takedown. He won the 7-1 decision.
Other Hillsborough County wrestlers winning individual championships were Justin Bechtold (112) and Hamilton Jordan (130) of Durant, Alex Penabade (135) of Sickles, Raphael Iglesias (140) and Brian Johnson (189) of Riverview, Jason Perez (171) of Alonso and Patrick Scicchitan (275) of Jesuit.