Boehler, Spencer repeat as Yokota takes title
Stars and Stripes February 5, 2011
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – Marcus Boehler picked the perfect time to take the season series lead on Kelly Langley – the 122-pound gold-medal bout in Saturday’s Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools Wrestling Tournament.
Boehler, the Nile C. Kinnick junior and two-time Far East gold medalist, survived a three-period decision, his second straight victory over his St. Mary’s International senior rival in three bouts. It was Boehler’s second straight Kanto gold medal.
“When I work hard, it pays off,” Boehler said, adding that losing the first period to Langley made him think of last year’s Far East, when he fell behind Kubasaki’s Nick Barker in the gold-medal bout. “When I was down 4-0, I had to come back.”
“I kind of lost my focus and I was tired,” Langley said. “I couldn’t finish my moves right.”
The two will likely meet again later this month in the Far East Tournament at Camp Humphreys, South Korea.
“It’s going to give me a heart attack. I about had a heart attack just on that one,” Kinnick coach Richard Huffer said. “I can’t wait until the Far East. I think it’s going to be one of the biggest matches of the year.”
The other reigning two-time Far East champion, Zama American’s Michael Spencer, made quicker work of his Kanto final foe, using an underhook into a reverse cradle to pin St. Mary’s Jeffrey Koo at 168 pounds.
“It feels great to go out with a win,” Spencer, a senior, said of his last bout in Japan. Of aiming for his third straight Far East gold, he said: “That’s my next goal. That’s what I’m working for.”
Langley and Koo were two of seven finalists for St. Mary’s, which scored 51 points and finished second behind Yokota, which had 54 points and five gold medalists.
Among them was 215-pound sophomore Jake Jackson, who worked a half nelson into a chest press on St. Mary’s Kevin Miller for a 34-second pin – which clinched the team title for Yokota.
“Wow. That does a lot to lift my spirits,” Jackson said. “One of our goals was to take Kanto. Now that we’ve done that, I think Far East is more attainable.”
Yokota’s other champions were Yuki Sorci (129), two-time Kanto champion Devin Day (135), Mike Litman (141) and Stanley Speed. St. Mary’s got gold medals from Soma Yoshida (115) and Chidi Agbo (heavyweight).
Fourth-place Christian Academy Japan put Jon Bartsch (141) on the gold-medal podium. Besides Spencer, Eric Otero (101) and Mitchell Harrison (180) won gold for Zama, as did Callan Murphy (108) for ASIJ.