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No. 5 Xavier wins Colter Abely Midseason Classic; Staples captures tourney title

Xavier won the Colter Abely Midseason Classic for the second time with a tournament record performance on Saturday. (Photo courtesy Xavier wrestling)

With three individual champions, five finalists and a tournament record score, No. 5 Xavier won the 6th annual Colter Abely Midseason Classic on Saturday at Mercy High in Middletown.

Xavier beat No. 2 Simsbury, 277-219½, with Bishop Henricken of Warwick, R.I. coming third with 197½. Michael Rapuano (113), James Lunt (145) and Marcelius Ruiz (195) won championships for the Falcons with Nick Romeo (152) and Ryan Miner (170) taking second place in their respective weight classes.

The tournament is unique. There are 16 wrestlers in each weight class, divided up into four pools of four wrestlers each. After a round robin competition and three matches, the winners of each pool advanced to the championship semifinals with the winners wrestling for the title and the losers wrestling for third place.

The four second-place finishers in each pool also competed in the consolation round along with the four wrestlers who finished third and the four wrestlers who finished fourth.

Five top 10 teams were in the tournament and a sixth –No. 3 Fairfield Warde – wasn’t allowed to travel for safety reasons due to the snowstorm that started in midafternoon. No. 5 Bristol Eastern attended in the morning but had to leave before the tournament concluded to get home safely, resulting in several forfeits by the Lancers.

No. 10 Trumbull finished fourth with No. 5 Eastern taking fifth place. No. 6 Killingly (13-0) was tenth.

Simsbury had two individual champions – Ty Finn (132), who outlasted Trumbull’s Jack Ryan, 5-4 in the final, and John Mairano (138). Saul Pera finished second at 145. Bishop Henricken had three individual champions.

Xavier broke the tournament that they set in 2017 when they won the tournament for the first time with a score of 225.5 points. The tournament is named in honor of Colter J. Abely, a 2010 Xavier graduate and a former Falcon wrestler, who died in 2012 at the age of 20 as the result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

Results and boxscores: Saturday, January 18, 2020

Avon (11-5) and No. 8 Bristol Central (16-0) each won their respective pools at the East Haven Duals on Saturday but there was no championship match held since Central had to leave to safely return home with a snowstorm coming into the state during the afternoon.

Avon earned victories over Maloney, 48-33 and East Haven, 38-35 in pool action while Central beat Notre Dame-West Haven, Hand, 57-15 and Fairfield Ludlowe, 54-20.

Results and boxscores: Saturday, January 18, 2020

The New Milford Tournament was cancelled due to the snowstorm for just the fourth time in the tournament’s 39-year history. It had been previously cancelled in 2016, 2012 and 2005. Host New Milford has won four of the last five tournaments.

Brunswick School in Greenwich (10-1) had nine individual champions as the Bruins won the 45th Brunswick Invitational Tournament for the second straight year and 21st time.

Results and boxscores: Saturday, January 18, 2020

Staples won the Griswold Midseason Invitational for the first time on Sunday with a dominant 64-point win. (Photo courtesy Staples Wrestling)

No. 9 Staples missed out on their chance to compete on Saturday when the New Milford Tournament was cancelled due to snow. But the Wreckers got another chance on Sunday when they went to Jewett City to compete in the 18th Griswold Midseason Invitational.

Staples had three individual champions and five finalists in a dominating 210-146 win over Chariho Regional High in Richmond, R.I. The 64-point win was the second-highest margin of victory in tournament history. Only a 67-point win by St. Bernard in 2002 was bigger.

Jacob Rizy (285), Luke Molina (160) and Terry Brannigan (120) won individual titles for the Wreckers. Chariho’s Kyle Merritt (145) was named outstanding wrestler.

It is believed to be Staples’ first tournament championship since winning the East Hartford Invitational by a half point in 1991. The Wreckers did finish second in last year’s New Milford Tournament.

Joel Barlow’s Josh Brault won his 100th career match on Wednesday in a win over Masuk-Monroe. (Photo courtesy Joel Barlow wrestling)

On Wednesday, Joel Barlow’s Josh Brault earned his 100th career win as Barlow beat Masuk, 66-12 to improve to 6-8 on the season.

No. 6 Killingly (13-0) beat New London, 55-21 on Wednesday to extend their school record for consecutive wins to 33. With the victory, Killingly head coach Rich Bowen moved closer to the all-time career win record in the state. Bowen, who has been coaching at Killingly since 1987, has a career record of 613-177-2 and trails Derby’s Buster Jadach (614-269-5) by one.

Bowen and Jadach are the only Connecticut wrestling coaches with more than 600 career wins and Jadach has held the career wins record since 2009 when he passed the late Carl Snitkin, who won 471 matches at NFA.

Results and boxscores: Saturday, January 18, 2020

Results and boxscores: Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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.



  1. Brian Mills

    January 20, 2020 at 10:47 am

    Wow, Fred Mills really has Staples on their way to elite status, and quickly! Great job Staples!!!

  2. Brian Mills

    January 20, 2020 at 10:56 am

    Just thought I’d mention, Staples has SEVEN starting sophomores, so nothing but success seems to be the outlook for these kids, great job!!

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