HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — George Washington's Jensen Lorea has one more shot and he isn't about to waste it.
The senior captured his first individual championship at the 37th-annual WSAZ Invitational, defeating Independence's Colton Ward 5-4 in the 138-pound weight class Saturday night at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
Winfield's Bryce Humphreys and Noah Julian also brought titles to the Kanawha Valley.
Humphreys earned a 4-2 decision over Williamstown's Dalton George at 132 and Julian edged out Logan Dilliner of Parkersburg South 3-2 at 2:20.
"I'm excited,'' said Lorea, whose best finish at the WSAZ Invitational was runner-up during his sophomore season. "I've got four weeks left in the season and I'm ready to make it count. [The title] is definitely good motivation.
"It gives me an idea of where I'm at and what I need to do. There's some things I need to work on before the state tournament. Every time I go out there, it's the last time. Last time at WSAZs and last time I'll be at states. Being a senior gives you a different perspective on a lot of things.''
Huntington, the defending Class AAA state champion and top-ranked team in the West Virginia Coaches poll, held a comfortable lead after 12 of the 14 finals Saturday night. The Highlanders amassed 245 points with one more wrestler in a title match while Independence, No. 1 in Class AA-A, was second with 215 points. (Final results were not available at press time).
Parkersburg South, second in AAA and an 18-time state title winner, was third with 204 points followed by GW (1721/2) and Greenbrier West (1621/2), the defending state champion in AA-A. Winfield finished eighth with 1301/2 points.
The 32-team WSAZ Invitational, one of the biggest regular-season events, tosses the state's top AAA and AA-A grapplers into the same bracket, which doesn't happen too often during the regular season. (See Page 2D for results.)
Independence's Ward, who was runner-up at 132 in last year's Class AA-A state meet, is ranked No. 1 in the state at 138.