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WIESBADEN ARMY AIRFIELD, Germany — The road to a European high school wrestling championship keeps getting tougher.

When the 2009 DODDS-Europe championships open Friday, hopefuls in three weight classes — 125, 145 and 152 pounds — will find not merely a defending champion barring the road. For the first time in school system history, three returning champs — Chris Campos of Naples and Chris and Matt Lyon of St. John’s — each will have won 100 or more high school matches.

"To do that, you have to wrestle all four years," Lakenheath coach Daryl Brock said Saturday by telephone, "and you have to be in a weight class where you get a lot of matches."

In the case of the triple-digit trio, however, make that a lot of mismatches. Reigning European 135-pound titlist Chris Lyon posted victory No. 110 last Saturday in the 145-pound championship match of the Northern Sectional qualifying meet at Alconbury with a fall over AFNORTH’s Tizhuan Carroll. It was his 21st fall in 24 bouts this season.

Lyon’s brother Matt, who won at 145 last year, chalked up his 100th victory Saturday in a 152-pound match at Alconbury with a 20-5 technical fall over AFNORTH’s, Kyle Higgins.

And two-time European champion Campos, whose lone career loss came by a single point in the 119-pound title bout in the 2007 European championships, hit the century mark Saturday in Aviano with a 17-2 technical fall over Sigonella’s Brad Gilbert in the 130-pound title match at the Southern Sectionals. The victory made him 23-0 for the season.

Campos and the Lyon brothers are a combined 68-0 this season, but they’re not the only unbeaten returning champs in this year’s championships. Junior E.J. Ruiz of AFNORTH is 12-0 this season and 39-0 over the past two seasons and back to defend his 140-pound crown. Edgar Acosta of Baumholder, last year’s 125-pound king, is unbeaten this season at 135, and Ansbach’s two-time king, Dominic Barrale, wrestling 171 this year, posted his second consecutive unbeaten season.

Others who have yet to taste defeat this season include Vincent Alonzo of Brussels and A.J. Remo of Kaiserslautern. Both are unbeaten at 103 pounds and looking to fill the crown vacated by Garret Ventrice of Ramstein. Ventrice placed second at 119 to K-town’s Allin Pangiliman (19-1) at Saturday’s Western Sectional at Ramstein.

Also entering the Europeans undefeated for the year are: Naples’ Neal Navarra at 112; Baumholder’s Ethan Montag and Wisbaden’s Tahji Peebles at 130; Patch’s Robert Davis at 135 and Matt Seely at 145; Sigonella’s Alec Herb at 152; Heidelberg’s William Domko and Brussels’ Hunter Baudoindajoiux at 160; AFNORTH’s Brock Blankenship, whom Wiesbaden coach Steve Jewell calls "probably unbeatable" at 189; and Ramstein’s Sam Gaytan at 285.

For all of them, it’s now just a matter of staying that way for two more days.

European wrestling championshipsWhen: Friday and Saturday; bouts begin at 9 a.m. each day

Where: Wiesbaden Army Airfield gym

What’s at stake: Four team, 14 individual titles

Admission charges: Adults — $5 per day; $8 for two-day pass; Students — $3 per day or $5 for two-day pass


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