Banner Year for Wrestling at Thomas Jefferson High School
February 23rd, 2009
Districts: The TJ wrestling team placed 2nd at the 2009 Liberty District Championships, with eight medalists: The three District champions were Matt Becker (285 lb weight class), Mike Howard (140) and Alex Shmorhun (145). The two District finalists were Joe Latta (215) and Kevin Zigadlo (160). Also continuing on to the Regional Championships are third place finishers Matt Lamb (125) and Stuart Maier (103) and fourth place finisher Devan Samant (112) and District Alternates Myles Cook (119), Ashley Miller (135) and Sam Zhang (130).
Regions: Mike Howard took 1st place at the Northern Regional Wrestling Championship in the 140 lb weight class. This is the first time TJ has had a regional winner since 1989 and only the second time in the school's history. Senior Matt Becker (285 lb), who only began wrestling as a sophomore, placed 2nd in the Region losing a 1-point match to Chantilly's Chris Cabe in the finals. Junior Alex Shmorhun placed 4th in a tough 145 lb weight class. TJ placed 9th among all teams in the region, and for the first time in school history, TJ sent three wrestlers to the State Championships.
States: Senior Mike Howard (123-20) took 5th place at the 2009 Virginia AAA State Wrestling Championships. The only wrestler from the Northern Region to place among the top eight at the state tournament in the 140 weight class, Howard is a three-time Liberty District Champion, two-time Northern Region finalist and was Northern Region Champion in 2009.
Matt Becker (Herndon) Mike Howard (McLean) Alex Shmorhun (McLean) Joe Latta (Alexandria) Kevin Zigadlo (South Riding) Matt Lamb (Springfield) Stuart Maier (Centreville) Devan Samant (McLean) Myles Cook (McLean) Ashley Miller (Fairfax) Sam Zhang (Herndon)