When Maine's most talented high school wrestlers stepped on the mat on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Nokomis, the goal for each was simple: find a way to win enough matches to finish among the top three and earn a coveted spot in the New England championships.

Two Midcoast student-athletes did much better than that as Camden Hills' Noah Lang and Mount View's Mark Ward proved, once again, they are incredibly talented mat monsters who routinely gobble up opponents, as the Windjammer and Mustang won their weight classes and earned New England spots.

Click for photos from this event.

Oceanside's Alex Fogarty also finished fourth in the topnotch, highly-skilled competition, known as the all-state tournament, but officially the Maine's New England qualifier.

On Saturday, Ward won at 138 pounds and Lang 145. Fogarty was fourth at 132. Lang won the state Class A title in that class, as Ward did in his weight class in Class B. Fogarty was second in Class B in his division, but is a former state champion.

Lang and Mark Ward have won numerous tournaments this season, including league, regional, state and all-state titles for Lang and all but the league crown for Mark Ward.

The New England competition, for the top three finishers in each weight class at Saturday's all-state event, will be Friday and Saturday, March 2-3 at the Providence Career and Technical Academy in Providence, R.I.

The top four finishers in the state Class A and B championship meets on Saturday, Feb. 17 earned spots in the all-state competition and an opportunity to vie for New England berths.

Nine Midcoast mat athletes competed in the all-state tourney/New England qualifier, but 13 initially qualified to participate, with a few alternates.

Initially, Medomak Valley's Eli Miller (1st at 152), Amos Hinkley (3rd at 195), Elijah Lash (4th at 182), Erik Benner (4th at 220) and Jakob Gess (3rd at 170), all in Class B, earned spots. However, illness and injury prevented Miller, Hinkley, Lash and Benner from attending the meet. Thus, Gess was the lone Panther at the New England qualifier.

For Camden Hills, Lang (first at 145) and Eric Andrews (3rd at 103), in Class A, earned the right to participate and attended the event. Dawson Allen (120) was an alternate, but did not participate.

For Belfast, Chase Curry (4th at 132), in Class B, earned a spot in the tourney, but did not attend.

For Oceanside, Fogarty (2nd at 138), in Class B, earned a spot at the New England qualifier.

Mount View, ultimately, had the most student-athletes participate in the all-state tourney spots, including Mark Ward (1st at 138), Zachary Ward (1st at 145), Jason Barnard (3rd at 160) and Nathan Fuller (third at 285), all in Class B. Matthew Barnard (170) was an alternate who got the chance to wrestle.

In the end, at the New England qualifier, Mark Ward finished 3-0, Lang 2-0, Fogarty 2-2, Zachary Ward, Andrews, Gess and Fuller 1-2, Jason Barnard and Matthew Barnard 0-2.

The individual results for Midcoast wrestlers at the New England qualifier included:

106 pounds — Andrews, CH, won by injury default over Travis Hutchinson, Bucksport; was pinned by Jake Craig, Skowhegan, at 1:25; and lost to Vinny Mountain Valley, 9-3.

138 pounds — Mark Ward, MtV, won by technical fall over Duncan McGilvery, Noble, 15-0; beat Caleb Frost, Bonny Eagle, 7-4; and beat David Spinney, Marshwood, 2-0 in overtime, in the championship final. Ward finished first.

Fogarty, Ocean, lost by technical fall to Noah Beal-Hernandez, Massabesic, 15-0; pinned Caden Kowalsky, Mount Ararat/Brunswick, at 2:58; pinned Frost, Bonny Eagle, at 2:36; and lost by technical fall to Beal-Hernandez, Massabesic, 15-0, in the consolation final. Fogarty finished fourth.

145 pounds — Lang, CH, received a first-round bye; pinned Josiah Garcia, Biddeford, at 1:09; and won by technical fall over Jonathan Grenier, Noble, 17-2, in the championship final. Lang finished first.

Zachary Ward, MtV, lost to Brett Raio, Mount Ararat/Brunswick, 8-6; pinned Davis Pelletier, Dirigo, at 0:30; and lost by injury default to Josiah Garcia, Biddeford.

160 pounds — Jason Barnard, MtV, was pinned by Hil Keisker, Noble, at 3:31; received a bye; and lost by technical fall to Tyler Beem, Dex, 15-0.

170 pounds — Gess, Med, was pinned by Dylan Strong, Marshwood, at 1:24; pinned Matthew Barnard, Mount View, at 4:20; and was pinned by Elijah Ames, Foxcroft Academy, at 2:31.

Matthew Barnard, MtV, lost by major decision to Zachary Wilson, Piscataquis, 16-6; and was pinned by Gess, Medomak Valley, at 4:20.

285 pounds — Fuller, MtV, was pinned by Sol Demers, Sanford, at 1:19; pinned Colton Carlow, Dirigo, at 3:29; and was pinned by Sean McCormack-Kuhman, Wells, at 0:57.