NEW CANAAN >> From 99-pound weight division competitors to 285-pounders, the best wrestlers in the FCIAC came together to battle for championships on the mats at New Canaan High School on Saturday.
Always-dominant Danbury won the team title with 250 points and Fairfield Warde (215) earned a runner-up finish ahead of Trumbull (185). Fairfield Ludlowe also had a strong showing with a trio of finalists and one champion as they finished in fourth place.
Warde had four weight division champs among its seven to reach the pinnacle round. Warde’s Tim Kane defeated Danbury’s Jeremy Fields in an 8-0 major decision to capture the 113 title.
“I’ve been wrestling hard all year trying to work for this moment,” Kane, only a freshman, said after winning in the semifinal round. “I’m really thrilled because it’s my first time being only a freshman.”
Warde teammate Dylan Bender earned a 5-2 decision over Danbury’s Steven Beckham in the 138 division. At 160, Warde’s Colin Ventura bested Trumbull’s Joey Ryan 2-1 in the finals. Warde’s other triumph came in the 285 division as Ahmed Hourani defeated Wilton’s Joseph Fraccaroli via pin in 1:40. Warde 99 division competitor Utsav Shretha was pinned by Danbury’s Chris Sam in 5:22 in the finals, and Mustang teammate Dan Ebert fell in a 2-1 decision to Trumbull’s Cross Cannone in the 126 final.
Ludlowe’s lone champion was 145-pound grappler Chase Lind who earned a 6-4 decision over Danbury’s Matt Fields. Falcons who got all the way to the finals before losing were George Wales at 106 and Ben Batulanon at 120.
Ludlowe 113-pound competitor Eric Kirchgasser, a senior captain, reached the semifinals for the second time, having done so his sophomore year as well. Despite going deep in the bracket, Kirchgasser wasn’t thrilled with falling to eventual runner-up Fields.
“It’s disappointing because it was my last chance to make it to the final,” Kirchgasser said.
On the whole, there tournament was successful one for the Falcons who had seven semifinalists. The season, overall, has been a strong one in the eyes of Ludlowe coach Nick Garoffolo.
“I’m very pleased. We exceeded all my expectations this year,” said the Ludlowe coach, whose team posted a 22-3 dual meet record. “Tournament-wise, we did very well also.”
There is still more to come with the class state championships next. “It’s the warm up to the states,” Garoffolo said.
The FCIAC tournament was originally slated to be a two-day event but snowfalls at the end of the week postponed the start on Friday and pushed all matches to Saturday. Another storm on the day of the finals caused tournament officials to truncate the schedule with fewer breaks in the action to get things wrapped up in the early evening. Last year’s tournament was cancelled because of snow.
Team scores: 1. Danbury – 250; 2. Warde – 215; 3. Trumbull – 185; 4. Ludlowe — 139.5; 5. Greenwich 129.5; 6. Westhill — 95.5; 7. McMahon — 86; 8. Ridgefield — 84; 9. Wilton — 75.0; 10. Harding — 36.5; 11. Norwalk — 27.0; 12. Stamford — 20.0; 13. Darien — 17.0; 14. Central — 16.0; 15. New Canaan — 15.0; 16. Staples — 4.0
Weight Class Champions: Danbury – 5; Trumbull – 5; Warde – 4; Ludlowe – 1
- 99 lbs – Chris Sam (Danbury) def. Utsav Shretha (Warde), pin 5:22
- 106 lbs – Paulo Freitas (Danbury) def. George Wales (Ludlowe), decision, 6-0
- 113 lbs – Tim Kane (Warde) def. Jeremy Fields (Danbury), major decision, 8-0
- 120 lbs – Chris Bryant (Danbury) def. Ben Batulanon (Ludlowe), pin 5:54
- 126 lbs – Cross Cannone (Trumbull) vs. Dan Ebert (Warde), decision, 2-1
- 132 lbs – Kevin Jack (Danbury) vs. Kevin Cecio (Trumbull), pin 2:39
- 138 lbs – Dylan Bender (Warde) def. Steven Beckham (Danbury), decision, 5-2
- 145 lbs – Chase Lind (Ludlowe) def. Matt Fields (Danbury), decision, 6-4
- 152 lbs – Steve Briganti (Trumbull) def. Andrew Sakamoto (Wilton), decision, 7-0
- 160 lbs – Colin Ventura (Warde) def. Joey Ryan (Trumbull), decision, 2-1
- 170 lbs – Johnny Garcia (Danbury) def. Martin Chobanyan (Westhill), decision, 5-0
- 182 lbs – Joey Ravarta (Trumbull) def. Vasili Nififorides (McMahon) , decision, 15-11
- 195 lbs – Connor Sollenberger (Trumbull) def. Marcus Joyner (Danbury), pin 5:15;
- 220 lbs – Andrew Marino (Trumbull) def. Triston Jakobson (Danbury), decision, 3-0;
- 285 lbs – Ahmed Hourani (Warde) def. Joseph Fraccaroli (Wilton), pin 1:40