By BRIAN JENNINGS
Four Blue Knights muscled into the medal round at the Eagle Classic High School Wrestling Tournament on Saturday Jan. 17 in Manchester, finishing fifth overall out of 18 schools.
Southington finished with a score of 110.5, behind South Windsor (145.0), Berlin (181.0), Windham (220.0), and Newtown (293.5).
Zack Murillo led the Blue Knights in the 106-pound weight class. Murillo received a first-round bye and pinned Stafford’s Tanner Lancaster in 28 seconds in the second round. He won his third-round bout with a 15-0 decision against East Hartford’s Eddie Mercado, and captured the 106-pound weight class with an 8-4 decision over Berlin’s Nick Arborio.
Shawn Wagner was beaten in the first round of the 113-pound weight class by Windham’s Javier Flores with a 4-3 decision, but he found redemption in the consolation bracket. Wagner pinned East Hartford’s Lowayne Harris in 45 seconds, won with a 9-1 decision against Berlin’s Ty’reck Williams, and scored a 1-0 decision against Flores in the rematch, gaining a third-place finish in the 113-pound weight class.
Austin Abacherli also found redemption in the 120-pound weight class for the Blue Knights. Although getting beat by Tolland’s Ryan Angers with a 10-6 decision, he battled his way back to get third place in the consolation bracket. Abacherli beat Manchester’s Brandon Edwards with a 6-4 decision and Berlin’s Josh Veleas with a 5-2 decision.
Shawn Devin also added his name to the medalist list with a fourth place finish in the 160-pound weight class. Devin pinned St. Paul’s Jose Silva in 3:38 and beat Windham’s Alex Perez with a 4-3 decision.
On Wednesday, the Blue Knights beat the Newington Indians, 53-20.
Murillo won his bout in the 113-weight class beating Tyler Sauluk by technical fall 21-6. Abacherli won his bout in the 126-weight class against Anthony Kulowski with an 8-5 decision. Nick Kelley won his bout in the 152-weight class by pinning Percy Tenorio in 2:48.
Devin won his bout in the 160-weight class against Tony Orwa with a 2-1 decision, and Andrew Symanski won his bout in the 285-weight class by pinning Zach Truhan in 1:03.
The Knights travel to Ellis Technical High School in Danielson on Wednesday, Jan. 21 to wrestle the Eagles in a dual meet.
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at bjennings@ southingtonobserver.com.