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Four CIAC state championship meets begin on Friday

The four CIAC state championship tournaments begin Friday and conclude on Saturday.  (Photo courtesy Leigh Busby)

It’s two days of wrestling for the CIAC’s four state championship tournaments that begin Friday in Trumbull (Class LL), Guilford (Class L), Jonathan Law in Milford (Class M) and Killingly (Class S).

Wrestling begins Friday at 3 p.m. at Trumbull (LL), Jonathan Law (M) and Killingly (S) and at 4:45 p.m. in Guilford (L). On Saturday, action begins at 11 a.m. The semifinals begin Saturday at noon at all four locations with the medal round, including the finals, beginning at 3:30 p.m.

The seeds for the four tournaments have been announced and can be found below. The official records do not include any results from Saturday’s conference tournaments nor any matches the wrestler may have wrestled outside of New England or New York. Results from the Central Connecticut Conference tournament are included in wrestler’s individual seeding because it was held before Feb. 8.

The top six individuals in each weight class at all four meets will earn an invitation to the State Open championships on Friday, February 24 and Saturday, February 25 at the Floyd Little Athletic Center on the campus of Hillhouse High in New Haven.

The CIAC will host their girls state championship tournament at the State Open. Girls can wrestle this week in the divisional tournaments (Class LL, L, M and S) but will have to choose which tournament they want to participate in at the State Open – boys (if they quality) or girls.

Tickets are not available at the door. They must be purchased online.

The four tournaments will be streamed on FloWrestling and through the NFHS network. There are subscription fees for both streaming services.

Class LL championships
At Trumbull
Last year: East Hartford and Danbury 232, Fairfield Warde 204
2023 seeds
Class LL brackets and results (FloArena)
Streaming video: FloWrestling and NFHS network.
Outlook: A year ago, Danbury and East Hartford tied for the Class LL championship, the first-ever tie in a CIAC wrestling tournament. The Hatters will be contention again but so will East Hartford, which won their first-ever CCC Tournament two weeks ago and Fairfield Warde, which beat Danbury at the FCIAC Tournament for the first time since 2010. East Hartford has three No. 1 seeds in the tournament including returning champions Isaac Quiles and Drayvn Roberts (160). Undefeated Sammy Montovani (26-0) is the No. 2 seed at 195. Danbury has two returning champions – Dominic Iaquinto (182) and Nuh Ajdinoski (285). A week ago, Fairfield Warde got points from all 14 weight classes to win the FCIAC Tournament. They will need a similar effort to win their first Class LL title.
Notable: Fairfield Warde has finished second three times in Class LL since 2016.

Class L championships
At Guilford
Last year: Xavier 318½, Simsbury 234½, Newtown 173½
2023 seeds
Class L brackets and results (Flo Arena)
Streaming video: FloWrestling and NFHS network.
Outlook: This tournament has three teams in the top six of the most recent top 10 poll with No. 1 Xavier, No. 2 New Milford and No. 6 Newtown set to compete along with Simsbury, which spent most of the year in the top 10. But Xavier, who has won their last three tournaments, is the favorite with a deep lineup. A week ago, the Falcons had 10 wrestlers in the finals of the SCC Tourmament with nine bringing home championships. Xavier had four No. 1 seeds and a No. 2 seed at 145 – Max Morse, who won a Class L title at 113 a year ago. Newtown has four No. 1 seeds with Stratford getting a pair of top seeds, including Fisher Stites (170), who is 42-1. The No. 2 seed at 170 is Simsbury’s Chad Mairano, who a State Open title a year ago.
Notable: Last year, Xavier set a new tournament record in Class L with a record 318½ points to win the state championships. … Simsbury has finished second in Class L for the past three seasons.

Class M championships
At Jonathan Law-Milford
Last year:  Branford 261½, Foran 226½, Berlin 155½
2023 seeds
Class M brackets and results (FloArena)
Streaming video: FloWrestling and NFHS network.
Outlook: The could be the most competitive tournament of the day with No. 7 RHAM, Avon, defending champion Branford, Berlin and Foran in the mix for the state championship. It probably comes down to teams that have the most success in the consolation bracket, earning extra points. The Raptors have two No. 1 seeds and won their fourth straight CCC East title last week. RHAM finished second in the CCC Tournament, a valuable experience for a team that spent most of the season competing in dual meets. Avon may be a stronger tournament team than a dual meet team. The Falcons have three No. 1 seeds including defending State Open champion Isaiah Adams (38-0 at 113). Avon’s chances for a state championship lie with wrestler’s success or not in the consolation bracket.
Notable: A year ago, Branford scored a Class M record 261½ points to win their first state championship. Branford’s Cole Snider is the defending champion at 170 pounds. This year, he is the No. 2 seed at 182.

Class S championships
At Killingly
Last year:  Haddam-Killingworth 267½, Killingly 184½, Windham 171½
2023 seeds
Class S brackets and results (FloArena)
Streaming video: FloWrestling and NFHS network.
Outlook: Look for New Fairfield, which had to contend with Newtown and New Milford in the SWC, to be a contender in Class S along with No. 8 Windham, which won their first ECC title since 2016 thanks to 10 wrestlers in the finals of the ECC Tournament. No. 10 Killingly can’t be ignored either. Killingly has a pair of No. 1 seeds – Kaden Ware (37-0), who is looking for a third Class S title at 132 pounds and Jack Richardson (37-0) is trying to win again at 152. Defending state champions Jack Wendel (182) of Nonnewaug and Doug Traynor (29-3) of New Fairfield are also back.
Notable: Old Lyme’s Hoshena Gemme (20-5) is the No. 1 seed at 113 pounds, the only girl to earn a No. 1 seed in this year’s brackets. … Windham is looking for their first title since 2016. … New Fairfield last won a state championship in 1998 when they won  a second straight Class M championship. They did win a State Open title in 2016 when they finished third in Class M.


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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