TRUMBULL - The Southington wrestling team finished third in the Class LL State Championships on Saturday, but it was two of its wrestlers who finished the day on top of the podium.
Jacob Cardozo (145) and Billy Carr (170) each walked away with individual state championships to give the Blue Knights a strong overall finish in Trumbull, while over in Class M, Berlin’s Dan Veleas (145) earned his third straight class championship.
Here’s how the other area schools and wrestlers fared in the weekend’s class championships:
Both Southington and New Britain recorded top-10 finishes, as the Blue Knights (175 points) finished behind only host Trumbull and champion Danbury, while New Britain finished in seventh place with 97 points.
New Britain’s Nikolas Richardson finished in fourth place in the 152-pound bracket, falling via pin to Norwich Free Academy’s Theran Vanase in a battle for third place. Izaiah Medina and Juliano Morales each recorded fifth-place finishes in the 182 and 285-pound brackets, respectively. Medina secured his win by pinning Simon Flaherty of Amity Regional at the midway point of the first period.
Isahus Maldonado rounded out the Hurricanes’ place winners, finishing sixth after dropping a 6-2 decision to Cody Giaccone of Glastonbury.
All four qualified for the State Open set to take place at Hillhouse High School in New Haven this upcoming weekend.
Cardozo won with a thrilling finish in the 145-pound bracket, securing a 3-2 decision over Cole Shaughnessy of Fairfield Warde, while Carr narrowly escaped his own finals match, beating Andrew Seaton of Amity Regional by a 5-4 decision.
Jason Brault (138) and Josh Vitti (160) each finished in third place in their respective brackets for the Blue Knights, as Brault pinned Greenwhich’s Emmanuel Lai in the first period, while Vitti beat Tyrell Jones of Danbury in a 9-2 decision.
Southington added a trio of fourth place finishes as well, as Ben Gorr (113), Matt Jacobson (182) and Caleb Chesanow (195) all fell in final matches for third place, all by decision.
Jacob Vecchio (220) rounded out the Blue Knights’ place winners with a sixth-place finish, as he was pinned late in the first period by DJ Donovan of Danbury.
The Berlin wrestling team finished in 13th place at Saturday’s championships in Guilford, totaling up 82 points on the day, while champion Killingly finished with 202.
Veleas provided the highlight of the Redcoats’ performance, earning a 7-1 decision over Joel Barlow’s Shayne Mccourt to capture his second straight Class M title. Max Schlein almost joined Veleas as a class championship match, but fell to Chris Gens of Avon in a 7-4 decision, giving Schlein a second-place finish.
Berlin’s final wrestler to place in the tournament was Sebby Malespini (170), who earned a third-place finish after beating New Fairfield’s Colman Doucette by a 5-3 decision in overtime.
Plainville muscled its way into the top 10 at Saturday’s class championships in Windham, finishing in ninth place, while Gilbert took home the title. St. Paul and Terryville each finished inside the top 20 as well, coming in at 16th and 18th place, respectively.
The Blue Devils were led by Alex Hernandez, who pinned St. Joseph’s Connor Smith to finish third in the 152-pound bracket. Dominic Pedrolini (126), Kaleb Corona (182) and Travis Boone (220) all finished in fifth place in their respective brackets, with Boone recording a pin of Gilbert’s Bairum Gutic to clinch his placement.
Kyle Voisine finished in sixth place for Plainville after a close 8-7 loss to Samuel Martino of Oxford in the 160-pound bracket.
Ben Foligno was the lone St. Paul wrestler to place in the event, finishing in second in the 220-pound bracket after he was pinned by Aidan Maher of Haddam-Killingworth early in the first period.
Like the Falcons, Terryville had one wrestler place in second as well, as Caleb Leclerc fell in the finals of the 145-pound bracket to Windham’s Marcos Rodriguez in a close 6-5 decision.