Connect with us

High School

Notable achievements from 2020 added to state wrestling record book

Killingly High coach Ric Bowen, left, set a new state record for career wins last winter while Simsbury’s Ty Finn, right, tied the state record for most wins in a single season. Look them up in the newest edition of the Connecticut High School Wrestling Record Book.

AVON, Dec. 19, 2020 — Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-21 high school wrestling season in Connecticut is delayed until at least mid-January. If allowed, practice would begin on January 19 with actual competition beginning in early February after 10 days of practice.

However, wrestling is considered a high-risk sport by the Connecticut Department of Health, which recommended in November that no practices or competition in wrestling be held this winter.

Additional decisions about high school wrestling will be made by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference in January.

While athletes train on their own for a season that may or may not take place, we continue to engage in our own preparations for the season with our yearly update to the Connecticut High School Wrestling Record Book.

It’s our 18th publication of the record book that was first written and published in 2002 to provide perspective and recognize the notable achievements of high school athletes and coaches on the wrestling mat in Connecticut.

There were some notable achievements last winter. Killingly High coach Rich Bowen became the all-time leader in career dual meet victories. With 25 victories, Bowen now has 625 wins in his career that began in December 1986.

“I never thought I would ever come close to 600 wins when I started coaching many years ago,” Bowen said last February after he set the record. “It doesn’t feel like I have been around that long to accomplish such a feat.”

Bowen surpassed Derby High’s Buster Jadach, the Hall of Fame coach who finished the 2020 season with 616 victories. Jadach, who began coaching in 1980, became the owner of the state record in 2009 when he surpassed Norwich Free Academy’s Carl Snitkin, who retired in 1999 with 471 career wins.

Bowen and Jadach are the only state wrestling coaches with over 600 career victories. The late Jim Day of Berlin and Windham’s Patrick Risley are the only coaches with more than 500 career wins. Platt High’s Bryan McCarty is closing on the 500-win plateau with 495 career victories.

Simsbury High junior Ty Finn tied an existing state record with 55 victories. Finn went 55-3 at 132 pounds winning the Class L and State Open championship. He finished second in New England to Mason Clarke of Coventry, R.I., who beat Finn three times during the season.

Finn tied a single-season state record with his 55 victories. Griswold’s Tyler Banks (125) went 55-3 in 2007 while Foran-Milford’s Ryan Luth (132) went 55-4 in 2016. Single season records for the record book are compiled through the New England tournament.

Danbury’s Ryan Jack (132) became just the third wrestler in state history to win four State Open championships. The last wrestler to achieve that feat was Somers’ Brendan Harris 22 years ago. Harris won four titles from 1995-98.

Jack also became just second wrestler in state history to win three New England championships and earn an automatic entry into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 38 years. The first wrestler from Connecticut to do that was T.J. MarcAurele, who won three New England titles wrestling with NFA and Ledyard in 1989, 1990 and 1992.

Matt Merrigan of Platt High in Meriden set a new state record for the fastest pin at 152 pounds with a seven second pin against Portland’s Matthew Tracy on Dec. 28, 2019. The previous record was eight seconds by Newtown’s Ed Lovely in 2017.

At 138 pounds, Xavier’s Giovanni Imme tied the state record with a nine second pin over Michael Minevich of East Lyme/Norwich Tech on Feb. 22, 2020 at the Class L championship meet. Imme shares the record with Pomperaug’s Andrew Klein (2012-13) and Montville’s Mick Wynosky (2018-19).

Ledyard extended its record of the most wins in state history with 886 wins. Coming at No. 2 all time is Danbury with 857 wins. Windham (847), Conard (831), Avon (781) and Bristol Central (781) rounding out the top five for team victories.

Danbury extended their own state record with a 12th undefeated season last winter, running the table at 16-0 while Xavier (8-0) posted their first-ever undefeated campaign.

Conard has had nine undefeated seasons, most recently in 1984, with Avon coming in third on this category with four undefeated seasons, most recently in 2019.

Suffield/Windsor Locks became just the second co-op program to win a state championship when they captured the Class M title. The first was Westbrook/Old Saybrook, more commonly known as OSW, which won a Class S title in 2012.

Two wrestlers won a four straight CIAC divisional (Class LL, L, M, S) title. Jack became just the second wrestler to win four Class LL titles while Joel Barlow’s Carson LiCastri won his fourth divisional crown. LiCastri won a Class L title in 2017 and three straight Class M titles from 2018-20.

Only 11 wrestlers in state history have won four straight CIAC divisional championships.

2021 Connecticut High School Wrestling Record Book

If you have information for the record book, please send it to Gerry deSimas, Jr., editor at [email protected].

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.

More in High School