Wrestling: Rende, Zeyher reach finals at Ridgefield Challenge
The Wilton High wrestling team had two finalists and finished 12th as a team in a very competitive field at Saturday’s annual Ridgefield Challenge.
Juniors Nick Rende and Zach Zeyher both finished second in their weight brackets.
Rende, wrestling at 126 pounds, won his first two matches by pin, over Justin Bogdanoff of Newtown (at 2:31) and Jose Najarro of Stamford (4:21), before winning a 6-2 decision over Austin Robertson of Fitch in the semifinals.
In the championship match Rende faced Sean Caltagirone of Coventry, R.I., a defending state champ in Rhode Island. Rende was down 9-2 after one period and 10-6 after two, but got an escape and takedown to open third period to make it 10-9, and took Caltagirone down with 44 seconds left to tie the match. Caltagirone escaped to notch the winning point of the 12-11 decision.
At 170 pounds, Zeyher pinned James Bordon of Greenwich (1:06) in his first match and scored a 7-3 decision over Sam Santander (Monroe-Woodbury, N.Y.) in the semifinals. In the championship match, he suffered a 15-1 loss to Joe Accousti of Newtown, the top-ranked wrestler in the state.
At 113 pounds, Finn McGovern pinned Chase Smith of Coventry in his first match, at 5:34, before losing a 4-1 decision to Nick Accousti of Newtown, the eventual champ, in the semifinals. In the consolation semifinals, a third-period rally fell short in a 7-5 loss to Dylan Brochard of Daniel Hand.
Three other Warriors won matches and finished the tournament with 1-2 records — Jacob Robb at 160 pounds, Griffin Morris at 182 pounds, and Ethan Helman at 195 pounds.
Wilton was without one of its top wrestlers, undefeated Travis Longo, at 106 pounds.