Lakeland senior finishes fourth in state

Published 11:03 pm Monday, February 22, 2010

Lakeland senior Justin Howell finished fourth in the state in his 215-pound division Saturday at the VHSL (Virginia High School League) Group AAA State Wrestling Championships in Fairfax.

Earlier this season, Howell was the first Cavalier wrestler since Lakeland moved into Group AAA in 1996 to win a Southeastern District championship. Howell finished third in the Eastern Region Championships to make it to states. Howell was the only wrestler from a Suffolk school to make the state tournament.

Howell advanced through the first two rounds Friday at Robinson Secondary School. Howell pinned Steven Lucynski of Lee in 1:34 and won 9-5 over Calvin Davis of Lee-Davis.

In the semifinals on Saturday, Demitri Cox of Colonial Forge defeated Howell 16-7.

In the consolation bracket, Howell defeated Mark Howard of Midlothian 8-3 to reach the third-place match. Andrew Embree of John Marshall beat Howell 3-2. For the season, Howell was 41-4 with 34 pins.

Virginia Beach’s Cox won the state championship with Robinson, Westfield, Kellam and Hopewell making up the rest of the top five.