Wrestling: Airline’s Walden, Jones win titles in Brother Martin’s Trey Culotta Invitational


Airline’s Christian Walden and Javarious “JuJu” Jones won titles in the prestigious Trey Culotta wrestling tournament Wednesday in New Orleans.

The two-day event was hosted by four-time defending Division I state champion Brother Martin.

Walden won the 160-pound class and Jones won the 126-pound class. Airline’s Keegan Gilligan was runner-up in the 182-pound class. Joshua Partin finished fifth in the 132-pound class.

Each weight class consisted of a 12-man scramble. Wrestlers were divided into two pools of six each. After a five-match round robin, the top eight were placed in a championship bracket.

Walden went 5-0 in his pool. He pinned Joseph Dawson of Houston, Tenn., in one minute, 31 seconds in the quarterfinals and defeated Sam Dufour of St. Paul’s 5-3 in the semifinals.

In the finals, Walden pinned Hayden Hill of Vestavia Hills, Ala., in 2:00.

Jones also went 5-0 in his pool. He defeated Josh Hebert of Teurlings Catholic 12-4 in the quarterfinals and Shane Ulfers of St. Paul’s 14-5 in the semifinals.

In the finals, Jones pinned Stephen Rumney of Brother Martin in 4:40. Rumney was the state runner-up in the 120-pound class last season.

Gilligan went 4-1 in his pool, losing only to Josh Ramirez of Archbishop Rummel by fall in 53 seconds. The two met again in the title match. Gilligan fared better, losing by an 18-7 majority decision.

In bracket matches, Gilligan defeated Hunter Dempster of Hahnville 6-4 in the quarterfinals and Chris Reaux of East Ascension 9-4 in the semifinals.

Brother Martin won the team title with 456 points. St. Paul’s was runner-up with 416. Airline finished ninth with 176.

The LHSAA state championships will be held at the CenturyLink Center Feb. 12-13.