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Danbury prevails at SWAT Tournament; No. 2 Eastern captures BC Invitational

Top-ranked Danbury won the SWAT tournament in Sanford, Maine for the second time since 2015 Saturday, unseating three-time tournament champion Timberlane, N.H. (Photo courtesy Danbury High wrestling)

SANFORD, Maine, January 5, 2018 — Top-ranked Danbury had seven finalists and two individual champions as the Hatters won the 51st Spartan Annual Wrestling Tournament (SWAT) in Sanford, Maine for the first time since 2015.

The Hatters outlasted three-time defending champion Timberlane, N.H., with a score of 243 points while the Owls had 217½ points. Cumberland, Rhode Island was third with 169 points while No. 8 Xavier was fourth with 152 points.

Ryan Jack (126) and Tyler Johnson (120) won individual titles for Danbury while Michael Rapuano (106) and James Lunt (145) brought home championships for Xavier.

Rapuano beat Danbury’s Kai O’Dell in the final at 106 by a score of 10-6. Danbury’s Liam Knight (113), Kyle Fields (132), Jesse Patton (170) and Montez Osbey (195) each finished second.

Abbott Tech’s Jake Defonce (106) and Johnny Cerquiera (113) finished third along with Xavier’s Grant Barber (132) and Danbury’s D.J. Donovan (220) and Jordan Agosto (285).

Results: Saturday, January 5

No. 2 Bristol Eastern had four individual champions and six finalists to hold off No. 3 Southington and capture the 37th annual Bristol Central Invitational for the fourth straight year, 207-199.

Eastern (9-0) becomes just the second team in tournament history to win four straight titles. Bristol Central did it before from 1982-86. Trent Thompson (106), Justin Marshall (152), Dylan Garcia (182) and Trinidad Gonzalez (220) each won for the Lancers, who have won the tournament a record 10 times.

Berlin’s Daniel Veleas (145) won outstanding wrestler honors after his championship victory over Southington’s Jacob Cardozo, 4-2. The Blue Knights (6-1) had five finalists and two wrestlers finish third. Caleb Chesanow (195) won a title with a pin.

No. 10 Avon finished third – their best finish since tying for third place in 2009. Avon’s Henry Schrecengost earned a 2-1 victory over Eastern’s Nick St. Peter in the finals at 285.

Results: Saturday, January 5

Fairfield Warde won the Warde Invitational in Fairfield for the ninth time in 10 years. (Photo courtesy Jason Shaughnessy)

At the Mt. Anthony Tournament in Bennington, Vt., Gilbert finished fourth with three individual champions – undefeated Devin Matthews (132), Kyle Matthews (152) and undefeated Alex Smith (170). Nick Barber (138) and Kevin Sullivan (195) finished second for the Yellowjackets.

No. 4 Fairfield Warde won their own Warde Invitational for the ninth time in 10 years with a 76-point win over Montville, 230-156. The Mustangs had five individual champions — Cole Shaughnessy, Will Ebert, Noah Zuckerman, Hunter Rasmussen and Joe Gjinaj – and six finalists.

Results: Saturday, January 5

At the Falcon Invitational dual meet tournament in Wllbraham, Mass., No. 5 Simsbury finished second while No. 6 Trumbull took third. Both teams lost to Springfield Central, one of the top teams in Massachusetts.

Simsbury (6-1) swept through their first two pool bouts and then handed Shawsheen Valley Tech-Billerica, Mass., their first loss of the season with a 34-33 decision in the tournament semifinals. John Mairano (132) picked up a key victory in OT for the Trojans and Ty Finn (120) beat Shawsheen’s Frank Fot in the final bout of the match, 6-3, to secure the win for Simsbury.

Springfield Central beat the Trojans in the finals, 48-24. Simsbury got pins from Matt Putnam, Aiden Brown, Mairano and Finn in the championship match but it wasn’t enough.

Trumbull (17-3) lost to Springfield Central in the semifinals, 43-31. But the Eagles beat Shawsheen Valley, 50-30 in the consolation final to take third place.

Results: Saturday, January 5

No. 7 Foran-Milford (19-2) went 4-0 on Saturday to win the East Haven Duals for the second straight year. Foran beat host East Haven in the final, 42-33.

Guilford outlasted Canton by 9½ points to capture the 13th annual Lawless Invitational at Nonnewaug in Woodbury, 172 ½ to162. Each team had five finalists with Guilford crowning one champion and Canton bringing home three individual titles. The difference was in the consolation finals where Guilford was 5-1 and Canton was 1-3.

Results: Saturday, January 5

Windham’s Elijah Vertefeuille (113) and Kevin Fantoli (126) each won individual championships at the Chad Antoch Memorial tournament in Westerly, Rhode Island. Chariho, Rhode Island won with eight individual champions. Windham was the top state team in the tournament finishing fourth with Branford fifth and Haddam-Killingworth taking sixth.

Danbury won the SWAT Tournament in Sanford, Maine outdueling Timberlane, N.H., which has won the tournament 11 times in the last 15 years. (Photo courtesy Danbury Wrestling)

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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