By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington wrestlers Jacob Cardozo and Josh Vitti got the opportunity to compete against the northeast’s finest grapplers this past weekend at the New England championship meet.
Cardozo, a senior captain, and Vitti, a junior, battled a crop of strong wrestlers at the Providence Career and Technical Academy in Providence, R.I. Cardozo wrestled four bouts at 145 pounds before being eliminated with a record of 2-2. Vitti wrestled three bouts at 160 before being ousted with a record of 1-2.
Cardozo started his tournament with a tough 6-4 loss to Aidan Faria of Cumberland (R.I.). The bout was scoreless after one period, then it was 4-4 after two periods. Faria scored two points on a reversal with 31 seconds remaining in the third period to take the decision.
Cardozo won his first consolation bout by forfeit over Hayden Brown of Exeter (N.H.), who had been disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct in his bout against Berlin’s Daniel Veleas. In his second consolation bout, Cardozo claimed a 14-3 major decision over Zabion Powell of Taconic (Mass.). Cardozo jumped out to a 5-0 lead after one period on a late takedown and three-point nearfall. Another takedown and an escape gave Cardozo an 8-2 lead after two periods. In the final period, Cardozo scored six straight points on an escape, a two-point takedown and a three-point nearfall before giving up an escape with four seconds left.
In his second consolation round of eight bout, Cardozo lost a 10-5 decision to Antonio Pallaria of Timberlane (N.H.). Cardozo was behind 8-2 in the third period, but escaped and got a two-point takedown with 53 seconds left. Pallaria had a blood timeout with 36 seconds left, then was warned for stalling with 20 seconds to go. Pallaria came up with a reversal with 10 seconds left to eliminate Cardozo.
Vitti began his tournament with a win, a 5-2 decision against Jack Mackiernan of the Pinkerton Academy (Derry, N.H.). Vitti led the bout 2-0 after one period, then saw his lead cut in half to 2-1 after two periods. He scored one point on an escape and a two-point takedown in the third period and gave up a single point to close out the bout.
In the championship round of 16, Vitti lost by pin to Danny Brown of North Kingstown (R.I.) in 3:54. The bout was tied 0-0 after one period, then Brown scored one point for an escape and two more on a takedown. Vitti scored two points on a reversal, but Brown got his own reversal, then picked up a pin.
Vitti went up against George Glaropoulos (Mansfield, Mass.) in the second consolation round of 16. Glaropoulos won the bout by a 16-4 major decision to end Vitti’s season. Vitti scored four points on a reversal and takedown in the third period, but it was too late by that point.
Ashley Reed wins state title
The Southington sophomore earned her second state championship this past Sunday during a meet held at New London High School. The championship is open to girls that are competing during the boys varsity season.
Reed had three pins and a forfeit to her name for 16 total points, which put her ahead of New Britain’s Kailya Rodriguez and New Milford’s Skylar Busch, who each had eight points.
Reed, who wrestles with KT Kidzs, pinned Rodriguez in 29 seconds in her first bout of the day. After a bye in the second round of the five-person round robin format, Reed pinned Busch in 54 seconds. Reed had a win by forfeit over Montville’s Baylee Gagnier in the fourth round. In the fifth and final round, Reed needed just 18 seconds to pin the Duggan Academy’s Aliceya Lopez.
Reed won a state title in 2017 in the middle school division.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com