Wrestling: Rende hits 100-win milestone

While Nick Rende may not have reached the Class L championship match for the second year in a row last weekend, he did achieve another major milestone for the Wilton High wrestling program.

The junior standout notched his 100th career win when he defeated Zachary Taylor of Fairfield Ludlowe, 10-5, in the quarterfinals — the first Warrior to reach that mark since Andrew Lattimer in 2009.

“(Lattimer) is the only one I know of. He did it in four years,” said head coach John Foldeak of the 100-win mark. “That Nick did it in three years is a huge accomplishment.”

Rende, who finished third at the Class L tournament at 126 pounds, also qualified for the State Open for the third straight year — possibly the first Wilton wrestler to do so.

“I thought Nick wrestled very well. A lot of coaches would say it’s one of the toughest if not the toughest weight class in the state — a lot of hammers,” said Foldeak.

He goes into the State Open with a record of 32-5 — and 102 career wins.

“It’s special,” Foldeak said of Rende’s achievement. “You just expect Nick to win and sometimes you overlook how good he is and how he does it with such poise and ease.”

With a top-five finish at the State Open, Rende — or teammates Zach Zeyher, Travis Longo and Finn McGovern — can do something no Wilton wrestler has done since 1994: qualify for New Englands.