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Suffield/Windsor Locks wins 5 of final 8 matches to win first state title

Suffield/Windsor Locks’ Dylan Washburn, top, was one of three Wildcat wrestlers to win a Class M championship Saturday.

At many championship tournaments, the finals, consolation finals for third place and the fifth place matches are held at once on three mats.

That was the situation on Saturday at the CIAC Class M championship meet as Foran-Milford and the Suffield/Windsor Locks co-op battled for a state championship at Guilford High School.

The two teams had been sharing the lead throughout the day on Saturday and before the medal round was to begin, it was Foran with a 5½ point lead over Suffield/Windsor Locks.

Both teams had eight wrestlers in the medal round with Suffield/Windsor Locks putting four wrestlers in the finals and four wrestlers in other medal round contests. Foran had all eight wrestlers in third place or fifth place matches.

Suffield/Windsor Locks won five of their final eight matches, including three in the championship finals to become the second co-op school in state history to win a wrestling state championship with a 5½-point win over Foran, 187 to 181½. The Old Saybrook/Westbrook co-op team won a Class S championship in 2012.

Josh Nieroda (113), Zachary Johns (126) and Dylan Washburn (145) brought home championships for the Wildcats, who won their first North Central Connecticut Conference title since 2007 a week ago.

Now, Suffield/Windsor Locks is a state champion for the first time in wrestling.

Nieroda beat Avon’s Jonah Weber in the 113-pound final, 6-0 while Washburn pinned Brookfield’s Louis Stabile in 1:11. Johns beat East Haven’s Matt Divito in the 126 pound final, 9-0.

In the consolation final, Suffield/Windsor Locks’ Matthew Raine (152) beat Foran’s Ethan Edmondson, 4-1 and Will Robb (220) got a pin, stopping Masuk’s Austin Pompa in 39 seconds.

Foran was looking for their first title since winning Class M in 2018. Foran has finished in the top three in Class M each year since 2014. The Lions won titles in 2016 and 2018 and finished second in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020.

Suffield/Windsor Locks had never finished in the top three before in a CIAC tournament before Saturday’s run to the title.

Joel Barlow’s Carson LiCastri, right, won his fourth straight Class M championship on Saturday.

Joel Barlow had four individual champions and finished sixth. Carson LiCastri, who was named outstanding wrestler, became just the 13th wrestler in state history to win four consecutive state championships with a pin over New London’s Jadian MacKenzie in the final in 2:37.

LiCastri had four pins on the day. His first three were in 58 seconds or less. LiCastri won a Class L title as a freshman followed by three straight Class M titles.

Josh Brault (106), Alex Klein Wassnick (152) and Frankie McNeary (170) each brought home championships for Barlow. McNeary’s win was a thriller. He was trailing New Fairfield’s Colman Doucette 3-2 after two periods. McNeary escaped eight seconds into the third period and got a takedown with 22 seconds remaining to earn a 5-3 decision.

The Divito brothers brought home two titles for East Haven. Alec Divito escaped with seven seconds left in the match to beat top-seeded James Rondini of Platt, 3-2, in the final at 132 pounds. Tanner Divito beat New Fairfield’s Devin Anderson, 8-4, to win his championship.

Nineteen sets of brothers have won divisional and/or State Open championships on the same afternoon.

Avon’s Chris Gens was dominant in his march to a second straight Class M championship at 220 pounds. Gens had four pins, including a pin of Brookfield’s Adam Frame in the finals in 3:51. In his previous three matches lead to the finals, Gens won by pin in 2:06, 30 and 39 seconds.

Avon’s Chris Gens won his second straight Class M title at 220 pounds on Saturday with four straight pins.

CIAC Class M championships
At Guilford
Team results – 1. Suffield/Windsor Locks 187, 2. Foran 181½, 3. RHAM 166, 4. Branford 163, 5. East Haven 145, 6. Joel Barlow 138, 7. Platt 120½, 8. Avon 120, 9. Brookfield 116, 10. New London 104, 11. Guilford 84½, 12. Berlin 83½, 13. New Fairfield 81½, 14. Waterford 80, 15. Weston 75½, 16. Ellis Tech 62, 17. Stratford 51, 18. Bethel 47½, 19. Masuk 44, 20. Notre Dame-West Haven 39, 21. Jonathan Law 29, 22. Watertown 25, 23. Rockville 9, 24. Torrington 6, 25. St. Joseph 3.
Championship finals
106 Josh Brault (Joel Barlow) dec. Daniel Taggart (Suffield/Windsor Locks), 14-2
113 Josh Nieroda (Suffield/Windsor Locks) dec. Jonah Weber (Avon), 6-0
120 Zackary Kanaitis (RHAM) pin Mason Concascia (Waterford), 5:39
126 Zachary Johns (Suffield/Windsor Locks) dec. Matt Divito (East Haven), 9-0
132 Alec Divito (East Haven) dec. James Rondini (Platt), 3-2
138 Tanner Divito (East Haven) dec. Devin Anderson (New Fairfield), 8-4
145 Dylan Washburn (Suffield/Windsor Locks) pin Louis Stabile (Brookfield), 1:11
152 Alex Klein Wassink (Joel Barlow) dec. Breon Phifer (Weston), 9-3
160 Zahir McLean-Felix (Brookfield) dec. Xavier Powell (Watertown), 11-5
170 Frankie McNeary (Joel Barlow) dec. Colman Doucette (New Fairfield), 5-3
182 David Justin Osler (Branford) pin Jackson Harshberger (Waterford), 1:24
195 Carson LiCastri (Joel Barlow) pin Jadian Mackenzie (New London), 2:37
220 Christopher Gens (Avon) pin Adam Frame (Brookfield), 3:51
285 Luke Fuerstenberg (Platt) dec. Minsok Lee (Branford), 8-1
Consolation finals, 3rd place
106 Dominic Milano (East Haven) dec. Aidan Baghdassarian (Avon), 12-2
113 Matthew Carrozza (Brookfield) pin Antonio Madero (Foran), 2:42
120 Thomas Bock (New Fairfield) pin Nicholas Koops (Berlin), 4:06
126 Tanish Joshi (Foran) pin Jeremy Devine (RHAM), 2:53
132 Kyle Pokornowski (Foran) dec. Ghassen Saleh (Suffield/Windsor Locks), 6-2
138 Logan Kanaitis (RHAM) pin Michael Vanchot (Foran), 2:03
145 Jared Butler (Avon) pin Caleb Ferland (Ellis Tech), 0:42
152 Matthew Raine (Suffield/Windsor Locks) dec. Ethan Edmondson (Foran), 4-1
160 Andrew Robinson (Branford) pin Gavin White (Ellis Tech), 4:25
170 Cristian Calero (Platt) dec. Genaro Anselmo (RHAM), 5-1
182 James Duhancik (Stratford) dec. Evean Oquendo (Platt), 16-8
195 Colton Deleo (Masuk) pin Joseph McGuire (Weston), 2:03
220 Will Robb (Suffield/Windsor Locks) pin Austin Pompa (Masuk), 0:39
285 Patrick Rescsanski (Foran) pin Keeano Javon Gonzalez (New London), 1:26
5TH PLACE
106 Mohammad Halabi (Guilford) pin Jerry Hill (Bethel), 0:59
113 Tristen Jaxon Robledo-Thompson (New London) dec. John Fernandes (Guilford), 10-2
120 Jace Korab (Branford) dec. Luke Plano (Suffield/Windsor Locks), 4-2
126 Zachery Colman (Avon) dec. Dylan Benedetti (Jonathan Law), 8-4
132 Patrick Zdunek (Branford) dec. Devin Hanelius (RHAM), 12-4
138 Tyler Barber (Berlin) dec. Tristyn-Myles D’Aniello (Platt), 10-9
145 Noah Boozer (New London) pin Hugo Ortiz (East Haven), 4:24
152 Ryan Maleryn (RHAM) forfeit over Mathew Merrigan (Platt), 0-0
160 Brent Strand (Guilford) dec. Fabricio Bugatti (East Haven), 10-0
170 Aidan O’Connor (Berlin) dec. Samuel Poffenberger (Foran), 8-0
182 Andrew Keene (RHAM) medical forfeit over Alex Barbour (Notre Dame-West Haven)
195 Cody McHenry (Branford) dec. Morgan Haskett (Bethel), 2-1
220 Teshua Williams (New London) pin Jacob Madarang (Foran), 3:34
285 Tyler Kruse (East Haven) forfeit over Zachary Ralsky (Joel Barlow)
Outstanding wrestler: Carson LiCastri, Joel Barlow (195)

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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