Wrestling at the 138-pound weight class, Post-graduate (PG) Haroldo Nesbeth ’17 pinned three opponents throughout his matches to secure a first place finish at Interschols. Strong performances by Andover Wrestling propelled the team to place fourth out of 13 teams with a total of 164 points.
In addition to his three wins, Nesbeth was also voted Outstanding Wrestler by the coaches in the Class A league tournament held at the Williston Northampton School on Saturday.
PG John O’ Brien ’17 also had an notable performance. He led ten individual place-winners and captured the first place title at the 285-pound weight class. O’Brien secured this feat by winning three matches, including a pin in the heavyweight finals.
“The most exciting matches were definitely Haroldo’s and John’s in the finals because they both beat some really tough competition,” said Martha Gao ‘17.
Co-captain Pierce Bausano ’17 and Connor Haugh ’17 placed second, competing at 182 and 170 pounds, respectively. Coming into the tournament unseeded, Haugh upset the second seed in the quarterfinals 11-10 and then knocked off the third seed in the semifinals 5-2 to secure second place.
Eamon Garrity-Rokous ’20 said, “We had a star-studded crew, with Conor Haugh in particular. His match stood out because he placed second and beat the second and third seed in the process, which is very impressive for him.”
Another strong performance for Andover was a third place finish by Gao, who wrestled at the 113-pound weight class, winning her final match in overtime. In addition, Adam Cohen ‘18 earned fourth at the 220-pound weight class, Garrity-Rokous placed fourth at the 145-pound weight class, Pablo Sanchez ’19 placed fifth at the 195-pound weight class, Jack O’Neill ’19 secured sixth at the 132-pound weight class, and David Moon ’17 earned sixth at the 152-pound weight class.
Discussing the team’s tactics, Garrity-Rokous said, “We came out aggressive in the first half, which gave us a good start to all of our matches. When we start off strong and quick on our feet, we are able to work through the rest of the match in that same fashion.”
“Overall, it was a really strong performance by the team, with a lot of us placing top six,” said Gao.
“Everyone competed well. Everyone left all they had on the mat that night and that’s tremendous. Saturday gave me another reason to be extremely proud to be on this team. I wouldn’t trade them for any others,” said Nesbeth.
Eight Andover wrestlers have qualified to compete in the New England Prep tournament next weekend at Hyde (ME). Those who place top six at that tournament will qualify for the National Prep Tournament the following weekend.
Describing improvements that need to be made, Garrity-Rokous said, “I think we still need to get better at set ups and takedowns as well as learning new moves and knowing what to do in certain situations.”
Nesbeth said, “The team just needs to bring that same intensity and effort into next week.”
“For the wrestlers who are going to New England’s, we’re hoping to bring the same drive and focus to succeed and continue on to prep nationals,” said Gao.