Arturo Castillejos

Arturo Castillejos

Six Burke County wrestlers placed at Patton’s annual Big Cat Invitational tournament on Saturday, led by East Burke’s Arturo Castillejos, who won the 126-pound weight class.

Castillejos started off with a first-round bye and then earned a pinfall victory in 55 seconds before winning a 5-3 overtime decision over a Clover, South Carolina, opponent in the championship semifinals. The championship final resulted in a 10-5 decision in Castillejos’ favor to bring his overall record to 16-1.

His Cavaliers teammate Dakota Munger finished runner-up in the 145-pound bracket.

Patton’s Troy Gragg placed third in the 182-pound class with a pinfall in 3:00 in the consolation final. Austin Morales (220) added a fourth-place finish for the Panthers.

Draughn’s Tucker Sisk was the highest finisher for the Wildcats, placing fourth in the 106-pound bracket. He won by pinfall twice in the consolation bracket, including a semifinal win over Patton’s Edgar Tomas.

Clover won the 17-team tournament, outscoring Avery County 189-176.

The Panthers finished in sixth place with 85 points, followed by East Burke (11th, 53) and Draughn (16th, 15).

Four Patriots win at Hibriten tournament

Jeris Hall (120), Colby Miller (138), Jaxon McMahan (145) and Spencer Leonhardt (152) each claimed gold at Hibriten’s Hampton Tuttle Invitational on Saturday in Lenoir.

After a quarterfinals bye, Hall won by pinfall in 1:04 in the semis before repeating the feat in 2:48 over his Alleghany opponent in the title match.

Miller took a first-round bye before 16-1 technical fall in 2:19 in the quarterfinals, a 15-1 major decision in the semis and a 7-4 decision win over an Elkin wrestler in the finals.

McMahan won by pinfall in 52 seconds in the quarterfinals and again in 1:53 in the semis before an 11-3 major decision championship win over an Ashe County foe in the title bout.

And Leonhardt by fall in 1:41 in the quarterfinals and 3:32 in the semis, leading to a 13-2 major decision title-match win over an East Rutherford opponent.

Clay Beach (132) and Wolf Wheeler (285) dropped title matches for runner-up results and Davion Lowdermilk (113) won a third-place bout for the Patriots. Fernando Soto Luna (106) picked up a consolation win for Freedom.

Jason Baker can be reached at

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