Five local wrestlers still alive after Day 1 of MIAA Division 3 Championships

Mahar’s Tristen Gaj (top) is one of five area wrestlers still alive after Day 1 of the MIAA Division 3 Wrestling Championships in Wakefield.

Mahar’s Tristen Gaj (top) is one of five area wrestlers still alive after Day 1 of the MIAA Division 3 Wrestling Championships in Wakefield. STAFF PHOTO/THOMAS JOHNSTON

By JEFF LAJOIE

Staff Writer

Published: 02-16-2024 7:36 PM

Modified: 02-16-2024 8:41 PM


Five local wrestlers are still in the mix at the MIAA Division 3 Wrestling Championships.

Brackets were wrestled down to the semifinal round and consolation round of four after Day 1 action on Friday at Wakefield Memorial High School. Day 2 action kicks off Saturday morning.

Frontier’s Wyatt Finch (120) and Javion Cabrera (285), Mohawk Trail’s Will VanVleet (215), Mahar’s Tristen Gaj (157) and Athol’s Abduli Gilmore (113) are all still alive in their respective weight classes, though all are in the consolation brackets with the best possible finish being third place.

Here’s a look at how each Recorder area school fared on Friday:

Frontier

The Redhawks had two wrestlers qualify for action on Saturday thanks to strong performances on Day 1.

Wyatt Finch (120) and Javion Cabrera (285) are both still alive in consolation brackets for Frontier after each went 2-1 on Friday.

Finch beat Bobby Beyerle of Ashland (pinfall) then fell in the quarterfinal round, where he rebounded via a first round pin of Foxborough’s Domenic Maddox to reach Saturday competition.

Cabrera dropped his opening match at 285 but rallied with a pair of consolation wins to advance to Saturday. He beat Hanover’s Noah Balewicz and Wakefield’s Kip King, both via pinfall.

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Ber Calhoun (106) and Alex Schreiber (190) each went 1-2 for the Redhawks on Friday, while Edward Mieczkowski (175), Konnor James (150) Kaden James (215) all went 0-2.

Athol

Abduli Gilmore is still alive for the Bears at 113 pounds, posting a 2-1 record in action on Friday.

Gilmore won his opening-round match against Foxborough’s Raj Jetty via pinfall, but fell in the quarterfinal round to Tewksbury’s Nick Desisto via a first-round pin.

In the consolation bracket, Gilmore pinned Monument Mountain’s Keegan Dargie, setting up a Saturday’s bout with Hampshire’s Robert Zononi.

Elsewhere, Athol’s Aiden Kirwan (157), Evan Ke (126) and Riley Reed (165) all went 1-2 on Friday to see their state runs come to an end.

Franklin Tech

Landon Purington was the only Eagle to score a state tourney win on Friday. At 132 pounds, Purington beat Grayson Loeffel of Scituate via a second-round pin in the opening round, but then dropped his next two matches to cap his season.

Jacob Martin (157), Collin Eddy (190) and Dillon Laffond (285) all went 0-2 in Friday action for Franklin Tech.

Mahar

Tristen Gaj wrestled his way to Saturday, as the Mahar 157-pounder went 2-1 on Friday to stay alive in the consolation bracket.

Gaj opened with a second-round pin over Hampden Charter’s Jedhiael Vazquez Agusto in the opening round, but dropped into the consolation bracket with a quarterfinal round loss to Wakefield’s Sean Callanan (6-1 decision).

Gaj then pinned Taconic’s Justin Borawski in the consolation bracket, earning a berth in Saturday’s action.

Teammate Sayyid Roberts went 1-2 at 150  pounds, beating Mohawk Trail’s Logan Moore in the first round before dropping a pair of matches.

Mohawk Trail

Senior WillVanVleet earned a spot on Day 2 thanks to a 2-1 mark on Friday at 215 pounds.

VanVleet pinned Foxborough’s Evan Vieira in the opening round of the day before dropping a quarterfinal match to Jayden Toppan of Gloucester. In the consolation bracket, VanVleet stayed alive thanks to a first-round pin over Sandwich’s Oakley Gully.

Moore went 1-2 at 150 pounds to see his tournament come to a close. He snagged a victory over Cameron Arya of Lynnfield/North Reading.

Girls basketball

Mohawk Trail 50, Ludlow 44 — It was a career night for Rachel Pease, Valerie Bzomowski and the Warriors.

Pease scored a career-high 25 points, setting a new top mark for the second game in a row, while Bzomowski tied her career-high with 16 points (three 3-pointers) in a 50-44 non-playoff victory on Friday night.

The Warriors improved to 6-12 overall with their second win in a row and third in the last four games. Mohawk Trail will close out its season next Thursday with a home game against Monument Mountain (6 p.m.).

Boys basketball

Franklin Tech 60, Gateway 30 — The Eagles closed out their season in winning fashion.

After an 0-18 start, Franklin Tech won its final two games of the season, capped by Friday’s convincing non-playoff victory on the road in Huntington.

The Eagles (2-18) got in the win column for the first time just 24 hours earlier when they handled Hampden Charter West, 67-42.