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Weekend roundup: Shabazz wins medal at Beast of East

Avon’s Jonah Weber (145) control’s Foran’s Craig Mager in the finals of the C.J. McCormick Invitational Saturday in Berlin. Weber was one of six Avon wrestlers to win an individual title.

Xavier’s Raekwon Shabazz went 4-2 in the consolation bracket and finished fifth Sunday at 106 pounds at the 30th annual Beast of East wrestling tournament in Newark on the University of Delaware campus.

Shabazz is the first state wrestler to win a medal in the tournament since Danbury’s Ryan Jack finished fourth in 2018. He beat Malachi Stratton of Sussex Central, N.J., 13-2 to finish fifth. Shabazz was 5-2 overall in the tournament.

Shabazz was one of five Xavier wrestlers in the tournament. Four of the five wrestlers won matches with Charles Weldman (190) going 2-2 and Kevin Kasperowski (120) and Anthony Basile (138) each going 1-1. The Falcons were 53rd with 33 points.

Five Danbury wrestlers competed in the tournament with Deydon Soto (113) going 3-2 in the tournament to lead the Hatters. Chris Pote (106) and Dom Iaquinto (175) each won a match as the Hatters earned 11 points to finish 109th.

New Fairfield’s Joseph Mahoney (120) and Thomas Bock (144) each went 2-2 in the tournament.

On Friday, Southbury’s Sarah Henckel, who wrestles at Blair Academy in New Jersey, won a Beast of East title in the first-ever girls tournament. Henckel pinned Taylor Waddy of Louisa in 53 seconds at 167 pounds.

Ludlowe Nick Garoffolo Invitational
With three individual champions and eight finalists, Fairfield Ludlowe won their own Ludlowe Nick Garoffolo Invitation for the fifth time with a 27-point win over Stratford, 250-223. Brien McMahon’s Calli Gilchrist won a championship at 113 pounds with a pin in the final.

Saturday’s results and scores

Lancer Invitational
Killingly won the 39th annual Lancer Invitational in Waterford for the second straight year with a 22-point win over Southington, 189-177. Outstanding wrestler Jack Richardson (160) was one of four individual champions for Killingly.

Guilford Invitational
Fairfield Warde had four individual champions as the Mustangs won the Guilford Invitational for the fourth time in the last six years. Warde topped Newtown, 255-214½ with Xavier finishing third with 195 ½ points. Five Falcon wrestlers were competing at the Beast of the East tournament in Delaware on Saturday.

Saturday’s results and scores

C.J. McCormack Memorial Tournament
Berlin got points from across their lineup to beat Avon by 11 points, 241-230 and win their own C.J. McCormack Memorial tournament for the first time since 2005. Berlin had two individual champions and five finalists. Avon finished second for the second consecutive year, thanks to victories from six wrestlers in the finals of the 32nd annual event. Avon went 6-0 in the finals.

Frank Chaves Holiday Invitational
Thanks to five individual champions, New Milford won the 35th annual Frank Chaves Holiday Invitational for the first time with a 41-point win over host Simsbury, 241-200. The previous best finish for the Green Wave in the tournament was third place a year ago. The tournament featured teams from Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Saturday’s results and scores

Darien Invitational
Pins from Harrison Williams (120), Nathaniel Smith (126) and Drew Park (182) in the finals helped lift Darien to a half-point win over Bunnell to win the Darien Invitational with a 187-186 ½ victory. The Blue Wave also got three pins from wrestlers in the consolation round to get the points they needed to win the tournament.

Battle on the Bay
Brunswick School had seven medalwinners to finish third at the Battle on the Bay, a 22-team tournament at Tabor Academy in Marion, Mass. Patrick O’Donahue (126) was the lone Bruin to earn a spot in the finals where he finished second. Former Simsbury High wrestler John Mairano of Northfield Mt. Hermon won at 150 pounds.

Saturday’s results and scores

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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