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PREP WRESTLING: Darlington's Woods earns place at nationals after winning top spot at state

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Colton Woods

Colton Woods, a two-time GHSA state champion wrestler at Darlington, won the 2017 Georgia Freestyle state championship last weekend in Lawrenceville. (Contributed photo)

Darlington wrestler Colton Woods has done plenty with the Tigers in his two short years on the varsity squad.

But next month he’ll represent the entire state of Georgia when he competes in the USA Wrestling Junior National Duals on June 20-24 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Woods qualified for the national tournament last weekend when the rising junior won the 2017 Georgia Freestyle State Championship at Mountain View High School in Lawrenceville.

His win in the national qualifier earned him the opportunity to represent Georgia in the 132-pound weight class.

The Olympic-style competition is a bit different from the style seen during the high school season, with scoring being a major difference, but Woods has stacked up victories all the same.

It has not been the easiest season for Woods, who competed with a knee injury for the entire high school season.

He worked with Darlington coach Kelly McDurmon on managing the injury so he could still compete.

He ran through the gauntlet of area and state for the second year in a row, going on to win the Class A Private 126-pound state championship in February with a 1-0 victory against Commerce’s Kole Burchett.

It was his second individual state title in a row.

Immediately after the win, he got surgery for the knee so he could prepare to compete in the latter part of the Freestyle season. Woods returned to the mat in late April and he won a tournament just prior to the state tournament as preparation.