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GFA’s Provo finishes second at Super 32 tournament, Eastern’s Nichols takes third

Stratford’s Nico Provo of Greens Farms Academy finished second at the Super 32 tournament this weekend in North Carolina. (John Nash photo courtesy Green Farms Academy)

GREENSBORO, N.C., October 13 – Stratford’s Nico Provo, a junior at Greens Farms Academy in Westport, finished second at the 20th annual Super 32 Challenge wrestling tournament in Greensboro on Sunday.

Tournament organizers call the Super 32 one of the most competitive folkstyle tournaments in the nation. More than 100 nationally ranked wrestlers were in the field.

Provo was among 34 Connecticut wrestlers in the tournament and one of eight to earn All-Tournament honors by finishing in the top eight of their respective weight class. Danbury’s Matthew Lopes won the Middle School Division at 100 pounds. Twenty-four high school age wrestlers from Connecticut competed.

Provo, who won a freestyle gold medal wrestling with Team USA at the Cadet Pan American championships in June, went 6-1 at Super 32 at 113 pounds. He won six straight before dropping a 9-3 decision to California’s Jacob Rivera in the final.

Rivera was the only wrestler to take down Provo in the tournament (twice) and the only wrestler to turn Provo to his back for a near fall.

Provo had a good run to the Super 32 finals. He had four takedowns and three near falls in his first victory by tech fall before prevailing in a 4-3 decision over Hunter Adrian of Melrose, Massachusetts, a three-time Massachusetts state champion. Tied 2-2 after two periods, Provo escaped with 1:30 left and got a match-winning takedown with 39 seconds remaining.

Provo blanked Ryan Luna of California, 9-0, beat Pennsylvania’s Ben Monn, 6-1 and bounced Illinois’ Diego Sotelo in the quarterfinals, 5-2. In the semifinals, Provo had a 7-0 lead before he gave up an escape and takedown in the final 10 seconds of the match.

Provo was the fifth Connecticut wrestler to secure a spot in a high school division final since 2017. Danbury’s Jakob Camacho (126) and New Milford’s Joanne Ortiz (106) won in 2017.

The only other Connecticut medalist in the high school division was Danbury native A.J. Kovacs, who finished fifth at 152 pounds with a 5-2 record. Kovacs beat California’s Luke Wick, 6-5, with a takedown with 21 seconds left to earn a spot in the semifinals. Kovacs finished fifth with a 7-6 victory over Pennsylvania’s Cameron Robinson. Kovacs led 7-2 after one period.

New Canaan’s Justin Mastroianni (138) went 5-2 in the Super 32 tournament with two pins while Joel Barlow’s Josh Brault (106) and Xavier’s Michael Rapuano (113) each went 4-2. Rapuano had two pins while Brault had a pin and a win by technical fall.

Joel Barlow’s Carson LiCastri (195), New Milford’s Khalil Bourjelli (138), Gilbert-Winsted’s Devin Matthews (132), Gilbert-Winsted’s Kyle Matthews (152) and Danbury’s Tyler Johnson (126) each had three wins in the tournament with Bourjelli getting two pins. Simsbury’s Saul Pera (138) won a pair of bouts.

In the Super 32 girls tournament, which was a freestyle event, Bristol Eastern sophomore Ella Nichols (160) finished third with an 11-0 win by technical fall in 2:27 over Wisconsin’s Katelyn Lewis in the consolation final.

Nichols lost in the semifinals to Illinois’ Kennedy Blades, the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the country at 160, 10-0. Nichols went 3-1 in the tournament.

In the middle school tournament, Lopes went 6-0 to win a Super 32 championship at 100 pounds. Lopes beat Ohio’s Dillon Campbell, 4-0, to finish first. In the semifinals, Lopes had an third period escape and takedown to break open a close match with Pennsylvania’s Kollin Roth and advance, 7-1

Southbury’s William Henckel (112) earned a medal with a sixth place finish while Newtown’s Nate Taylor (145) finished seventh and Aldan Squirer (120) took eighth.

In the 11-and-under division, Norwalk’s Nicholas Singer (90) finished third with three pins. Singer pinned Washington’s William Lowery in 20 seconds to win a bronze medal.

The high school season in Connecticut begins on Tuesday, December 10.

Previous Connecticut Super 32 champions
High School Division
2017: Jakob Camacho, Danbury (126)
2017: Joanne Ortiz, New Milford (108)
2003: Alex Cournoyer, Suffield Academy (112)

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 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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