Is it more difficult win a State Open championship as a 14 seeded 220-pounder or as a freshman heavyweight?
Shelton High brothers Ray Weiner and Matt Weiner almost made it a moot point when the best wrestlers from four divisions competed for titles over a two-day period this past weekend at Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.
“That’s a good question, but it didn’t matter to either Ray or Matt,” Shelton coach Bill Maloney said. “They are going to New England’s in Providence [R.I]. Ray placed second in Opens at 220 and Matt wrestled back to take fifth. I’m proud of them both.”
Ray Weiner, a senior, has a history of performing well, twice taking home Southern Connecticut Conference crowns and placing two times in Class LL.
He pinned Brookfield’s Adam Frame in 3:08 and defeated Class M champion Chris Gens from Avon 8-3 to advance to the quarterfinals on Friday, where he topped Austin Harnish from Wethersfield 3-1.
Waiting for Weiner in the semifinals on Saturday was second-seeded George Harrington from Greenwich. Weiner and the Cardinal senior had traded decision over the years, but nothing that came before could compare to this matchup.
Weiner and Harrington through six minutes of regulation for a spot in the finals. They were tied 1-1 going into overtime and the score stood at 2-all after three extra periods.
That brought on the ultimate tie-breaker.
Weiner would have 30 seconds to escape or reverse from the bottom to advance.
Harrington had to keep him in control or earn back points to emerge with a win.
Weiner, with 13 ticks remaining, escaped to make it to the championship round.
It was here that euphoria was replaced by heartbreak.
Top-seeded Trinidad Gonzalez from Bristol Eastern and Weiner worked into the third period tied at 1, when with 48 seconds, Weiner was assessed a stalling point. Gonzalez stayed away the rest of the match and took the title.
Maloney refused to comment on how this Open title was decided.
As the No. 8 seed, Matt Weiner was rewarded for pinning No. 9 seed Ben Falivene from Valley Regional in 1:33 with a spot opposite top-seeded Henry Schrecengost, the senior Class M champion from Avon, in the quarterfinals.
Weiner shocked the Falcon, 8-7, to gain the semifinal round on Saturday.
Danbury’s Jordan Agosto took a 1-0 lead into the final period, when Weiner reversed the Hatter with 21 seconds remaining. Before fans could close their mouths at the turn of events, Agosto hit a switch to win a 3-2 decision.
On wrestle backs, Weiner lost 5-2 to Ellis Tech senior Hayden Minski.
Weiner took a 7-0 lead on Middletown High senior Nygell Smikle and then pinned the fourth-seeded Class L champion at the 2:22 mark.