Greenwich High grapplers finish in top 20 at CIAC class LL finals

Competing for two days at Trumbull High School, the Greenwich High School wrestling team finished the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference class LL tournament 20th overall.

Big Red finished with 53 points overall, nearly doubling the point total of New Haven, who finished in 21st place. Greenwich was also one point shy of Brien McMahon and Ridgefield high schools, who finished tied for 19th on the day.

Danbury High won the event with 215.5 points, while the host team Eagles took the silver with 172 points. South Windsor grabbed the bronze with 160 points. Simsbury finished fourth on the day with 159 points and Xavier rounded out the top five with 147 points.

The Cardinals had several athletes fare well in the event.

Mark Chien reached the podium by finishing the tournament fifth in the 106-pound weight class. After beating Southington’s Zachary Murrillo with a 5-3 decision to start the tourney, he fell to No. 2 seed Matt Conte of Westhill. Competing in wrestlebacks, Chien took care of McMahon’s George Gallaher (13-0), and ¬†Norwich Free Academy’s Jacob Martin (5-3) before falling to Danbury’s Paulo Freitas (3-0). In the battle for fifth place, Chien once again saw Murrillo and once again came away with the win, 5-3.

Bog Red got another fifth place finish in the 170-pound weight class, as Mike Gestal was able to pin Ridgefield’s Matthew Sesto 36 seconds into the fifth-place match.

Starting as the No. 4 seed, Gestal made quick work of his first two opponents, pinning Manchester’s Jake Oquendo at the 1:12 mark and a match later, Gestal pinned Westhill’s Monir Koummal at the 3:21 mark of the match. Although he was pinned in his next two matches, against top-seeded Elliot Antler of Xavier (2:30) and Trumbull’s Tim Douhit (2:01), Gestal rebounded and got the quick pinfall on Sesto.

Other Greenwich wrestlers fared well in the championship meet. Jack Benenson started as the No. 12 seed in the 120-pound weight class and opened with a pin of South Windsor’s Austin Mongeon at the 5:28 mark. Although he lost in his next match to No. 5 seed Zachary Bylykbashi of Danbury, Benenson came back in wrestlebacks and beat McMahon’s Robbie Perschino with a pinfall at the 1:34 mark and took care of No. 6 seed Jared Lynch of Glastonbury with a pin at the 4:31 mark.

Grant Cucchissi also had a stellar tournament in the 182-pound weight class. The No. 8 seed started with a hard-fought 9-8 decision victory over No. 9 seed Mackenzie Thompson of Shelton. After falling to Southington’s top-seeded wrestler Austin Sullivan, Cucchissi came back in wrestlebacks and beat Xavier’s Noah Cruz with a pin at the 3:49 mark of the match.

At 113, Alex Margetoes had a thrilling finish in his match against Norwich Free Academy’s Cody Poirier, scoring two-points in the final second and winning 9-8.



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