|David Norris and Zachary Van Alst at the State Championships in Huntsville. (Photo by Teresa Norris)|
Last season, Zachary Van Alst became the first wrestler at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School to claim a state title in the sport; on Saturday, he became the first wrestler at the school to win back-to-back state titles as he claimed the 106-pound weight class championship.
Van Alst, an eighth-grader, entered the tournament with only one loss on the year and breezed through his first two matches to reach the championship match. Van Alst made quick work of Weaver’s Nick Souder, pinning his opponent just 28 seconds into the match in the quarterfinals. Later in the day, he defeated Dylan Trice of Fultondale, 12-2 to advance to the championship round.
In the championship round, Van Alst improved to 49-1 as he claimed his second consecutive title by defeating Matt King of Walter Wellborn – the opponent he defeated in the section title match just one week ago.
Van Alst was joined in Huntsville by senior David Norris for the second consecutive year.
Norris won his first match of the tournament, defeating Mario Heard of Butler with a pin just 2:37 into the match. That set Norris up in the championship semifinals with Josh Hardin of St. Clair County who had lost just one match during the season. Norris pushed Hardin to the brink before falling 7-5 to fall into the consolation bracket.
From there, Norris defeated Charlie Nelson 10-6 to reach the consolation finals match against his first round opponent. Norris defeated Heard once again, this time pinning his opponent 4:01 into the match.
Norris finished the year with a record 31-10 and third in his weight class at the State Championship.