Sixteen Midcoast high school wrestlers qualified for the prestigious, talent-laden New England qualifier — or "All-States" as it also is referred — and when the tough, grueling day-long matches at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School were complete on Saturday, Feb. 23, two area mat athletes had earned firsts and six the right to advance to an even tougher meet down the road far from home.

Wrestlers who finished among the top four at the recent Class A and Class B state meets earned the right to compete at the New England qualifier, then the top three in each weight class from the qualifier grabbed a spot on the Maine team that will compete in the New Englands on Friday and Saturday, March 1-2 at the Providence Career and Technical Academy in Providence, R.I.

Watch video and see more photos below.

When the dust settled Saturday, Medomak Valley's Erik Benner (220 pounds) and Mount View's Mark Ward (145) finished first in their weight classes in the grueling competition.

Medomak Valley's Eli Miller (160), as well as Camden Hills' Noah Lang (145) and Dawson Allen (132), finished second, and Windjammer Eric Andrews (106) third.

Those six area mat athletes — from Knox, Waldo and Lincoln counties — earned spots for the New England competition.

Other area wrestlers who earned the right, from the state meets, to compete in the New England qualifier were Mount View's Zachary Ward and Nathaniel Fuller, Belfast's Brian White, Oceanside's Alex Fogarty, Medomak Valley's Tyler Cox, Gavin Readinger, Josh MacDougall and Marshall Sawyer and Camden Hills' Ian Henderson and Joshua Saucier.

Not all Midcoast qualifiers competed in Saturday's meet.

The New England qualifier was an individual meet and team scores were not recorded. Wrestlers from Class A and B crossed over to face each other during the eight-person brackets.

Lang, Miller, Benner and Mark Ward won state championships the previous weekend.

The individual results  for Midcoast wrestlers included:

106 pounds — Eric Andrews, Camden Hills, pinned Michael Ducharme, Wells, at 3:57; lost to Noah Dumas, Cony, 5-2; pinned Elized Soule, Kennebunk, at 2:32; and beat Deegan Tidswell, Mattanawcook Academy, 5-1, in the consolation final. Andrews finished third.

113 pounds — Gavin Readinger, Medomak Valley, was pinned by Brycen Kowalsky, Mount Ararat/Brunswick, at 2:46; and lost to major decision to Danny Marquis, Wells, 14-4.

120 pounds — Joshua Saucier, Camden Hills, lost to Landon St. Peter, John Bapst, 5-2; and was pinned by Rico Ayala, Foxcroft Academy, at 3:29.

Josh MacDougall, Medomak Valley, was pinned by Colby Frost, Bonny Eagle, at 1:12; and was pinned by Jacob Scott, Wells, at 1:54.

132 pounds — Dawson Allen, Camden Hills, pinned Josh Burgess, Wells, at 1:24; pinned David York, Kennebunk, at 4;26; and lost to Aydin Rix McElhinney, Marshwood, 12-6, in the championship final. Allen finished second.

138 pounds — Ian Henderson, Camden Hills, beat Justin Wing, Dexter, 6-4; lost by major decision to Logan Lord, Ellsworth, 16-3; and lost by major decision to Evrit Roy, Mountain Valley, 16-4.

Zachary Ward, Mount View, lost by technical fall to Sam Martel, Noble, 15-0; and was pinned by Evrit Roy, Mountain Valley, at 2:08.

145 pounds — Mark Ward, Mount View, pinned Kyle Graffam, Mount Ararat/Brunswick, at 0:43; pinned Devon Whitmore, Biddeford, at 2:36; and beat Noah Lang, CH, 9-4, in the championship final. Ward finished first.

Noah Lang, Camden Hills, pinned Devon Chance, Wells, at 0:35; won by major decision over Elijah Holbrook, Scarborough, 13-0; and lost to Mark Ward, Mount View, 9-4, in the championship final. Lang finished second.

152 pounds — Alex Fogarty, Oceanside, lost by major decision to Noah Beal-Hernandez, Massabesic, 10-0; and lost to Dillon Worster, Oxford Hills, 12-6.

160 pounds — Eli Miller, Medomak Valley, pinned Christopher Pitcher, Noble, at 3:44; beat Tucker Nicholas, Mount Blue, 5-1; and lost to Zachary Elowitch, Portland/South Portland, 4-1, in the championship final. Miller finished second.

182 pounds — Tyler Cox, Medomak Valley, was pinned by Cole Dunham, Oxford Hills, at 3:11; and was pinned by Jonah Potter, Wells, at 0:43.

220 pounds — Erik Benner, Med Valley, pinned Sean Sullivan, Cheverus, at 2:44; beat James Boyd, Nokomis, 9-2; and beat Jeffrey Worster, Oxford Hills, 11-7, in the championship final. Benner finished first.

285 pounds — Nathaniel Fuller, Mount View, pinned Harold Degenhardt, Portland/South Portland, at 1:36; was pinned by David Gross, Bucksport, at 0:26; and was pinned by Jakob Harriman, Bonney Eagle, at 0:42.