Franklin Tech girls finish third, Mohawk Trail’s Will VanVleet earns All-State invite at MIAA Division 3 Wrestling Championships

Frontier’s Javion Cabrera, top, competes against Smith Vocational’s Colin Pascal in the 285-pound weight class earlier this season in Northampton. 

Frontier’s Javion Cabrera, top, competes against Smith Vocational’s Colin Pascal in the 285-pound weight class earlier this season in Northampton.  STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Reports

Published: 02-17-2024 6:24 PM

Five local wrestlers qualified for the second day of the MIAA Division 3 Wrestling Championships at Wakefield High School on Saturday, with all five walking away with top eight finishes in their respective weight classes. 

Mohawk Trail’s Will VanVleet (215) earned a sixth place finish, Frontier’s Wyatt Finch (120) and Javion Cabrera (285), and Mahar’s Tristen Gaj (157) all came away with seventh place finishes while Athol’s Abduli Gilmore (113) came in eighth. 

All five wrestlers entered the day in the consolation bracket. 

After going 2-1 on Friday, VanVleet opened Saturday with a pin over Ludlow’s Tristen Stevens. That was VanVleet’s final win of the day, as he fell to Triton’s Douglas Alywand and Wakefield’s Joe Lamonica via pinfall. VanVleet’s loss to Lamonica was in the fifth place match, though his sixth-place finish secured a spot in next weekend’s MIAA All-State Championships at Salem High School.

Finch, who also went 2-1 on Friday, opened the second day of the tournament with a tightly-contested 6-5 defeat to Weston’s Jisup Shin. 

Finch was able to earn a pin against Smith Vocational’s Mateo Henriques in the seventh place match.

It was a similar story for Cabrera. The Redhawk went 2-1 on Friday, dropped his opening match on Saturday to Ashland’s Matt Terry via a second period pin and closed out the day with a pin over Mount Greylock’s Jake Newberry to place seventh. 

Gaj won a pair of matches on Friday to qualify for Saturday. He opened the day with a close 12-9 decision loss to Pembroke’s Logan Schipper and took the seventh place match after his opponent medically forfeited. 

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Gilmore, the defending Div. 3 champ at 113, went 2-1 on Friday but did not attend the meet on Saturday, resulting in a pair of forfeiture losses. He still finished eighth in the tournament. 

Tech takes third at girls state meet

The MIAA Division 3 Girls Wrestling Championships also took place on Saturday at Wakefield High School, with four local grapplers earning top three finishes. 

Franklin Tech, which tied for third place as a team, had two of those top placers. 

Tech’s Mia Marigliano opened the day on fire, winning her first three matches at 126. She beat Bristol-Plymouth’s Christla Douyan and Foxborough’s Lily Davis via pin to reach the semis, where she knocked off Granby’s Quinn Speek by a 9-2 decision. 

Marigliano was unable to get past Wilmington’s Hannah Bryson in the finals, with Bryson earning a 5-0 decision as Marigliano settled for second. 

Jacqueline Churchill also earned a second place finish for Franklin Tech, doing so at 235. Churchill beat South Shore’s Gianna Cycan via pin in the semis but fell to Hampden Charter’s Andrea Misenheimer in the finals by pin. 

Mahar’s Delana Fausett (165) also earned second place, falling to Hanover’s Emma Leonido in the finals. Fausett added a win via pin over South Shore’s Karalene Mitchell on Saturday. 

Frontier’s Jocelyn Antes walked away with a third place finish at 120. Antes began the day with a pin over South Hadley’s Graicyn Drew but fell to Ludlow’s Riley Morais by a 9-6 decision in her second match. 

Antes followed that up with a pin over Mount Everett’s Yaritz Cruz-Bravo to reach the third place match, where she beat Holilston’s Sadie Hermann by a 5-0 decision.