Wrestling pair leads Citrus' postseason hopes

Published January 20, 2006

Hard work paying off?

Citrus wrestling has been strong this season on the shoulders of senior Mike Musto (20-3) and sophomore Bryant Fisher (21-3). In the team's two biggest individual tournaments, Musto and Fisher raced through tough competition on their way to the championship matches.

At Hernando's Kiwanis Tournament in December, Musto ran into Chamberlain's Patrick Spano in the 152-pound final. Musto was blanked 6-0 despite going the distance. The results motivated Musto.

In the same event, Fisher began to prove he belonged in the company of elite area wrestlers. He took on Belleview's Dex Christmas, a perennial state contender, and fell 3-1 to the experienced competitor.

Last weekend at Springstead's Brijbag Invitational Tournament, it was the same story. In early rounds, the two 'Canes were even more dominant than at Kiwanis, but both fell short in their individual finals.

Musto, looking to qualify for state for the third time, fell to Spano again, 9-2. As Musto tried to implement more offense, he allowed more points to Spano.

Fisher was downed by Jesuit's Drew Cromer. The 112-pounder took a 2-1 defeat, but feels he has improved leaps and bounds over the past couple of months.

"I think I am closer than I was before," Fisher said. "I lost, but I was able to do some things against (Cromer) that I needed to do."

With the district tournament scheduled at Citrus in a few weeks, home mat advantage could prove a spark plug for the two top Citrus wrestlers.

GIRLS WEIGHTLIFTING: The season is brief for the girls during the winter, but in that short time Lecanto and Crystal River proved to be the cream of the area crop. After dualing throughout the schedule, the teams' attempts to qualify for state began last week at South Sumter. Success was expected, and the participants did not disappoint.

Lecanto's Jen Corriveau (110) and Danielle Whitelaw (169) walked away as the leaders entering next week's final qualifier at Belleview.

Corriveau, who has made no secret of her desire to take home a state title, finished with a 265 (135 bench, 130 clean and jerk). Whitelaw, who won an individual crown earlier this season at the Crystal River Invitational, went for 255 (120 bench, 135 clean and jerk).

Lecanto also had one second-place and two third-place finishes. Despite top to bottom competitive results, coach Bob LeCours was not completely satisfied.

"My job is to get these girls to states," LeCours said. "These totals are a little short where we need to be. How we do at (Belleview) will be important."

Crystal River surpassed its county rivals with four weight class leaders. Beca Branch (101), Jacqulyn Seffern (129), Quincy Wilson (183) and Keri Standford (199) outlifted competitors from 10 other schools. Seffern may have had the best Pirate performance, lifting 270 (120 bench, 150 clean and jerk).

Citrus had one top finish in an attempt to keep pace. Jen Wilburn, who contended at 119, totaled a 245, but will need to improve to be competitive at the next level.