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Ebert, Nichols win NSCHA national championships

Two Connecticut wrestlers won NHSCA national championships on Sunday — Fairfield Warde’s Will Ebert, left, and Bristol Eastern’s Ella Nichols.

Fairfield Warde’s Will Ebert was simply dominant at the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) Senior national championships tournament Sunday in Virginia Beach, Va.

Ebert became the seventh Connecticut wrestler to win a NHSCA national championship tournament and the third wrestler to win a Senior National event by taking the 160-pound weight class with a pin in one minute over Florida’s Jonathan Ley.

Ebert went 6-0 in the tournament with five pins and allowed just one point – a second period escape in a third-round victory.

Bristol Eastern senior Ella Nichols became the first Connecticut girl to win a NHSCA championship with her victory at 144 pounds. Nichols won the title with a 5-2 win over Ruby Rios of Washington State.

Five other high school wrestlers from Connecticut earned All-American honors by finishing in the top eight of their respective weight classes while seven state wrestlers earned All-American honors in the middle school tournament. Norwalk’s Michael Bartush made the finals at 195 pounds in the Senior Division but finished second.

Ebert, who won the New England and State Open championships earlier this year, won his first match of the tournament with a 30 second pin. He beat Zyan Hall of Georgia in the quarterfinals with a pin in 5:28 and pinned four-time Montana champion Aden Graves in the semifinals in 2:49.

Ebert finishes his senior season with a record of 51-0.

Nichols, who won the CIAC Girls State Championship meet for the second time earlier this month, went 5-0 in the tournament with two pins (33, 22 seconds) and a technical fall. Nichols beat Georgia’s Raven Cook, 15-0 in just 2:53 in the quarterfinals before beating California’s Aalijah Pinedaca in the semifinals, 10-4.

In the final, Nichols got a takedown and three-point near fall to grab a 5-0 lead after one period. Nichols finishes her high school career with three NHSCA All-American medals. She was fourth in 2021 and seventh in 2019 as a freshman. There was no tournament in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She is the tenth wrestler in state history to be a three-time NHSCA All-American.

Bartush, a senior who wrestled at Westport’s Greens Farms Academy this winter, finished second to earn NHSCA All-American honors for the second consecutive season. Bartush won his first match with a pin in 12 seconds before beating Georgia’s Nolan Pozzobon, 8-0, in the quarterfinals.

In the semifinals, Bartush escaped five seconds into the third period and got a takedown with 1:30 remaining to take a 3-1 lead. He gave up an escape but beat New Jersey’s Remy Brancato, 3-2. In the final, South Dakota’s Luke Rasmussen, the two-time state champion from Brookings High School, pinned Bartush in 2:29 to win the championship.

Three state wrestlers finished fifth in the Senior Division tournament – Canton’s Ethan Titus (113), Simsbury’s John Mairano (132) and Guilford’s Chris Murphy (182).

Titus went 5-2 in the tournament and erased a 4-1 deficit in his win over Wyoming’s Tate Trumble in the fifth place bout. Trailing by three in the third period, Titus got an escape and a takedown to force OT where Titus prevailed, 7-4.

Mairano got an escape with 59 seconds left in the match to beat Delaware’s Jack Thude to finish fifth. Mairano went 5-2 in the tournament with three one-point victories and a one-point loss in the semifinals.

Murphy earned All-American honors for the second straight year. He won his first four matches including a 4-2 overtime win over Wyoming’s Harrison Hoopes in the quarterfinals. Murphy scored eight points in the third period to beat Virginia’s Royce Hall, 8-4, to finish fifth.

In the Junior Division tournament, Avon’s Isaiah Adams (113) earned All-American honors by finishing seventh with a pin over Gunner Havens of Ohio – his second win of the tournament over Havens. Adams went 6-2 in the tournament with two pins.

No Connecticut wrestlers earned All-American honors in the Sophomore or Freshman tournaments.

Xavier’s Anthony Basile (126) came up one win shy of earning All-American honors in the Sophomore tournament, going 5-2. Xavier’s Kyle Levesque (120) also went 5-2 in the Sophomore tournament and was one win away from All-American honors.

In the Freshman tournament, Fairfield Warde’s Ben Zuckerman (120) went 5-2 in the tournament – the most wins for a state wrestler in that tournament.

In the middle school tournament, Newtown’s Brighton Karvoski finished second at 80 pounds in a 5-3 loss to Maryland’s Eli Gabrielson, who got a reversal with 40 seconds remaining. Karvoski went 4-1 in the tournament.

Burlington’s Jack Gedney (85 pounds) went 6-1 with four straight wins in the consolation bracket to finish third.

2022 NHSCA National Championship tournaments

Connecticut All-American wrestlers

Senior Nationals
Will Ebert (170), Fairfield Warde, first
Michael Bartush (195), Norwalk/Greens Farms Academy, second
Ethan Titus (113), Canton, fifth
John Mairano (132), Simsbury, fifth
Chris Murphy (182), Guilford, fifth

Junior Nationals
Isaiah Adams (113), Avon, seventh

Sophomore Nationals
No All-Americans this year

Freshman Nationals
No All-Americans this year

Girls Nationals
Ella Nichols (144), Bristol Eastern, first

Middle School tournament
Brighton Karvoski (80), Newtown, second
Jack Gedney (85), Burlington, third
Cole Lemovitz (75), Killingly, sixth
Chase Kastner (80), Southington, sixth
Anthonio Arguello (119), Newtown, sixth
Jeremy McGrath (95), Milford, sixth
Dawson McGrath (75), Milford, eighth

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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