(March 6, 2020) While members of the Stephen Decatur varsity wrestling team were preparing for this weekend’s state championship on Monday, eighth grader Gavin Solito was working on his skills in their practice room, hoping to one day be in the same position they are.
Solito is building his way up there, as he just won the 15U 114-pound division of the Maryland State Wrestling Association youth state tournament, held last weekend at The Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.
“It was a lot of kids – a 16-man bracket – and I came in as the third seed and I had to wrestle four matches,” Solito said. “My last match I took the kid down in the last few seconds to win.”
Solito won his first match, 17-2. He then outscored his second opponent, 3-0.
Solito scored a takedown late in his semifinals match to pull out a 6-4 victory. He won his finals match, 3-1.
“Overall, I think I was very successful. I beat some kids that I shouldn’t have beat, so overall it was good,” he said. “It was really exciting.”
Solito is a member of the Junior Seahawks Wrestling Club. He has been wrestling for five years.
Winning a state championship is a big improvement from last year, he said, when Solito came in sixth place in the 14U 100-pound division.
Solito said he may compete in a tournament at the end of March in Virginia Beach, which was why he was in the varsity wrestling team’s practice room training earlier this week.
Getting in extra time on the mat will also help him prepare for the Decatur wrestling season next winter, where as a ninth grader his goal is to be a part of the school’s successful program.