Andover placed fourth out of 11 teams competing at the New England Prep School Championships held at Phillips Exeter Academy on Saturday, qualifying eight wrestlers to progress to the New England Championships. Andover scored a total 118 team points to finish behind Exeter with 193 points, Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) with 192 points, and the Loomis Chaffee School with 131 points.
Several notable competitors included Co-Captain Pierce Bausano ’18, who was the runner-up in the 182-pound weight class, Co-Captain Pablo Sanchez ’19, who finished third in the 195-pound weight class, and Adam Cohen ’18, who finished third in the 220-pound weight class.
“We had a lot of wrestlers step up in a big way this weekend. I think the team had an impressive performance at Class A’s, especially considering eight of our wrestlers qualified for New Englands,” said Jack O’Neil ’19.
According to Marisol Nugent ’20, one highlight of the meet was Cohen’s resilience after a loss during his semifinal match. He went on to win the consolation bracket.
“Adam Cohen wrestled really well. He had a tough match with a wrestler from NMH, who[m] he has wrestled a couple times throughout the season…. Although he lost you could see that he never stopped wrestling. He bounced back from the loss in the semis, and ended the tournament in third place,” said Nugent.
Sanchez and Cohen have improved technically compared to earlier in the season, according to Eamon Garrity-Rokous ’20.
“I saw how much Cohen and Sanchez have improved over the course of the season by the way the wrestled in their matches on Saturday. I saw them especially improve on their aggressive and how much more they moved their feet in neutral,” said Garrity-Rokous.
Although Nugent suffered an injury at the end of the tournament, she wrestled a thorough match, according to her teammates.
“One particular match that stood out was Marisol’s match against the number one seed at 120 [pounds]. It was a really close match, and she kept on working her moves and wrestling tough the entire time,” said O’Neil.
“Although Marisol Nugent had a tough ending to her tournament day, I think she performed much better against her St. Paul’s opponent than she did when she faced him earlier in the year,” said Garrity-Rokous.
As a whole, the team has shown improvement in positioning and controlling the flow of the matches over the course of the season and in Saturday’s meet, according to Nugent.
“Our team has been working a lot on neutral position and being more aggressive. It is easy to get nervous right off of the whistle and feed into someone else’s style of wrestling, but I think that over the course of the season, we have become more aggressive and independent on our feet,” said Nugent.
She continued, “We set the tone for the matches, we are initiating the tie-ups and we are controlling the matches, which is a lot different than our first three [dual meets] of the year in which we allowed the other team to chase us around the mat.”
Andover will travel to Tabor this Saturday to wrestle in the New England Championships.