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Wrestling: Stonecheck finishes as runner-up in NAIA championships
Denver Stonecheck
Denver Stonecheck, left, who graduated from West Forsyth in 2016, finished second this weekend at the NAIA National Championships. Photo courtesy Life University Athletics

West Forsyth alum Denver Stonecheck finished as a runner-up Saturday in the NAIA National Championships, wrestling at 149 pounds for Life University.

Stonecheck, who graduated from West Forsyth in 2016, entered the tournament as a No. 10 seed but won four-straight matches to reach the championship bout, which came down to a 12-5 decision against Tres Leon of University of the Cumberlands (Ky.).

Stonecheck used a pair of escapes in the second period to pull within three points, but two takedowns, an escape and a point for riding time allowed Leon to keep his distance.

Stonecheck pinned his first-round opponent in the opening period, then topped seventh-seeded wrestler Joseph Dominguez 10-3 before a 13-8 decision in the quarterfinals. Stonecheck trailed 7-4 against second-seeded Shonn Roberts entering the third period, but Stonecheck rallied for nine points in the final period, using a reversal, takedown and nearfall to take control of the match.

Stonecheck then advanced to the championship match after scoring a takedown in the final minute of a 7-6 decision against No. 3 Tanner Abbas. Abbas took a brief 6-5 lead with an escape, but Stonecheck’s takedown with 58 seconds left in the match secured the win.

Stonecheck won a state championship for West Forsyth in 2016 in the 138-pound weight class.