Wrestling: Rende wins at Ridgefield Challenge
Nick Rende because only the third Wilton High wrestler ever to win at the annual Ridgefield Challenge, as the WHS sophomore edged Noah Young of Coventry, R.I., 6-5, in the 113-pound championship match of the prestigious tournament on Saturday night.
It capped the best-ever performance at the tournament for the Warriors, who had four wrestlers finish in the top four.
Senior Quinn Reedy and sophomore Zach Zeyher both placed third in their weight brackets, and freshman Travis Longo finished fourth.
Rende advanced to the semifinals with pins over Justin Bogdonoff of Newtown (1:03) and Dylan Ehret of Greenwich (3:21), before pulling out a 9-7 overtime win over Anthony Stramiello of Monroe-Woodbury (N.Y.).
Rende, who is now 25-1 on the season, is only the sixth Wilton wrestler to reach the finals of the Ridgefield Challenge since 2001, the others being John Burch (2001), Connor Manley (2002), Terrence Reedy (2010), Clay Helms (2011) and Joey Fraccaroli (2014). Manley and Fraccaroli were the only others to win titles.
The Warriors finished 12th at the tourney, despite having only seven wrestlers.
Reedy opened the tournament with a 14-2 major decision over Owen Walsh of Newtown and 9-4 decision over James Robichaud of Coventry, before losing in the semifinals to Liam Sullivan of Daniel Hand, 7-1.
In the consolation bracket, he won an 8-4 decision over Andrew Blum of Westhill, and took third place as his opponent, Joe Devita of St. Anthony's (N.Y.), had already reached the limit of five matches.
Reedy improved his record to 10-3.
Zeyher pinned Alex Colon of Ridgefield at 1:18 in the first round and won a 6-0 decision over Robert Mikelsons of Monroe-Woodbury to reach the semifinals, before being pinning by Mike Ceci of Greewnich.
In the wrestlebacks, he won a 5-3 decision over Jordon Goins of Westhill, before winning a 9-0 major decision over Mikelsons in the third-place match.
Zeyher improved his season record to 24-5.
Longo reached the semifinals with a 10-5 decision over Jordan Wellington of St. Anthony's, before losing a 10-6 decision to the eventual champ, Dylan Earl of Monroe-Woodbury.
He pinned Kyle Davern of Daniel Hand in the consolation semifinals, before suffering a tough 3-2 loss to Ben Smart of Ridgefield in the third-place match.
Longo's season record is now 11-7.