By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington wrestling made its annual trip to Plaistow, N.H., on Jan. 19, for the Timberlane Invitational, and the Blue Knights came away with a third place finish (187.5 points). The Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School (Waltham, Mass.) took first place with 255 points, followed by the host Timberlane Regional with 214 points.
Ben Gorr (113), Caleb Brick (120) and Jacob Cardozo came away with individual weight class titles for Southington. Earlier in the week on Jan. 16, the Knights blew out the Newington Indians 60-3 in a CCC West Division dual meet.
Here’s what happened at each event over the past week:
Knights claim third
The competition at Timberlane was tough, and the Knights held their own with three individual champions in Gorr, Brick and Cardozo.
Gorr started his day at 113 with a fall in 1:11 against Patrick Keenan of Reading (Mass.), then he shut out Adam Genereux of Sanford (Maine) in a 16-0 technical fall. In the semifinal bout, Gorr pinned Timberlane’s Max Morrier in 2:45. Gorr won the championship final over Kevin Fuller of Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall in a 6-2 decision.
Brick quickly claimed victory in his first bout at 120, a 40-second pin against Ali Altaee of Manchester Central (N.H.). Brick needed until the third period to pin Ron Fuller of Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall, doing so in 5:03. In the championship final, Brick pinned Timberlane’s John Leavitt with eight seconds left in the first period.
Cardozo got off a red-hot start at 145 when he pinned Matt Wilson of Manchester Memorial (N.H.) in just 22 seconds. Cardozo pinned Sanford’s Michael Baker with 20 seconds left in the first period of their quarterfinal bout. In the semifinal, Cardozo pinned Jackson DiFaures of Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall in 56 seconds. The championship final was a battle, but Cardozo held off Timberlane’s Antonio Pallaria in a 4-3 decision for the title.
Emmett Vitti (126) and Josh Vitti (160) each reached the championship final in their weight class before finishing second. Dawsen Welch (132), Jason Brault (138), Matt Jacobson (182) and Caleb Chesanow (195) all finished in third place while Jacob Vecchio (220) took fourth place.
Darius Mangiafico was tabbed as ‘Southington B’ at the invitational and finished fourth at 132. Mangiafico lost a 12-3 major decision to Dawsen Welch in the third place bout.
No match for Knights
Southington lost the first bout of its dual meet against Newington by decision, then ripped off 60 unanswered points in an easy CCC West Division victory. The Knights improved to 8-1 in dual meets, including 3-0 in the CCC West.
Cardozo (1:02 at 145 pounds), Derek Guida (0:14 at 152), Matt Jacobson (3:47 at 182), Vecchio (3:45 at 220), Gorr (0:56 at 113) and Emmett Vitti (1:30 at 120) all had pins for Southington.
Chesanow scored a 15-0 technical fall at 195, while Mangiafico tallied a 17-7 major decision at 138. Brick won an 8-4 decision at 126 while Josh Vitti (160) and Billy Carr (170) claimed wins by forfeit.
“I think both teams were a little short-handed today, injury bug and illness,” assistant coach Brian Zaccagnino said. “The guys that were in the lineup battled hard. It was by no means perfect, we’ve got a lot to work on. It’s mid-January, we’ve got till mid-February to make it as sharp as possible.”
Zaccagnino filled in for head coach Derek Dion, who had a work commitment and couldn’t make the dual meet.
Up next: The Knights began an extended stay in the friendly confines of the Walt Lozoski Gymnasium on Wednesday night when they hosted Conard. Southington has the CT Challenge at home on Saturday at 8 a.m., then it hosts Simsbury the following Wednesday at 6 p.m.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com