There are tough weight classes to navigate when it comes to wrestling in the state championships.
Shelton High’s Ray Weiner was seeded second in the 195-pound division at the Class LL tournament last weekend, but the road to a title would not be easy for the Gaels’ junior standout.
“Ray had Trumbull’s Brett Nutter (FCIAC champion) on his side of the bracket and Joe Gjinaj from Warde, the top seed, waiting in the other,” Shelton coach Bill Maloney said. “It was going to be a tough go for all three.”
Weiner (25-2) pinned Nick Miller from Enfield in 1:45 to advance to the semifinals. Nutter (29-2) won his quarterfinal match via a 16-1 technical fall.
The epic match came down to the final seconds of overtime, when Nutter snapped the 1-1 tie with a takedown with 15 seconds remaining in the extra session. Nutter went on to defeat Gjinaj, 3-2, to earn the title.
“Ray came back this season a little stronger,” Maloney said. “He hasn’t changed much year to year on the mat, he knows what he is doing.”
Weiner pinned Isaiah Medina from New Britain in 2:21 of their consolation round final.
Stephen Reyes had a week you wouldn’t wish on any wrestler.
Seeded second with a 28-3 record at 113 pounds, the senior was ill and missed making weight by a scant ¾ of a pound.
“Stephen has been a great wrestler and leader for us,” Maloney said. “This year he won his 100th match. He’s had a great career for us.”
Andrew Cordes had a wild run in the 126-pound class.
Seeded ninth with a 20-13 record, Cordes won a 10-7 decision over No. 8 seed Mitchell Grimes (20-12) from Greenwich in his first match.
Top seed and eventual champion Aaron Occhipinti (28-3) from Newtown won by fall to send Cordes into the consolation round bracket.
First up was Simsbury’s seventh-seeded Noah Pryzbek (19-10).
Cordes got a takedown to lead 2-0 after one period. Taking his time to work in a cradle in the second frame, Cordes earned three and then two back points to take the lead to 7-0.
In the third, the rivals traded escapes and takedowns over the two-minute period, before Cordes emerged with a 10-9 victory.
Fifth-seeded Nate Cuoco (22-11) then ended Cordes day in the consolation quarterfinals.
“Andrew has come a long way,” Maloney said. “He was injured last year. This season he’s done an awesome job, he really stepped up.”
At 106 pounds, Garrett Ziperstein (19-13) lost to fifth-place finisher Caleb Brick (25-12) from Southington in his first match. The sophomore bounced back to win a 6-0 decision and then lost to Francisco Garcia (20-10) from East Hartford.
At 132 pounds, junior Sean Rago (11-11) was the 12th seed. He lost to place-winner and fifth-seeded Jason Brault (28-11) in his first match. In wrestlebacks, Rago defeated Cormac Doyle from Greenwich, 4-2, then lost to third-place finisher Nick Accousti (30-8) from Greenwich.
At 138 pounds, Colin Mengold (12-18) lost to No. 4 seed Noah Zuckerman (24-2). The junior then posted an 8-4 victory over Enfield’s Kesean Mason. Mengold lost to sixth-seeded Alex Edwards (23-8) in the next round.
In the heavyweight division, Isaiah DeLoatch (8-12) lost to the fifth seed from Manchester. He pinned NFA’s Josue Claudia in his first consolation match in 4:48, before losing to third-seeded Juliano Morales (13-2) from New Britain.