Grapplers Emerge From Interschols Boasting Six Medals, One Gold to Boot

Andover’s Wrestling Squad traveled to Loomis-Chaffee for the Class A Interscholastic Tournament this weekend with confidence and found their confidence justified as the meet progressed. Andover scored 169 points to give them third place, a huge improvement over the 133.5 of 2003 and the most in several years. Ten of fourteen Andover wrestlers earned top 6 finishes in their weight division, including a gold, silver, and four bronze medals. Host Loomis Chaffee won the overall title with a record eight individual champions. Exeter took second place, just a few points ahead of Andover. At the 103 pound weight class, Kassie Archambault ’06 placed second, making league history as the first female competitor to place at the interschols tournament. Archambault went undefeated until the finals, where she fell to earn silver. 112-pounder Tom Treat ’04, in his final interschols appearance, wrestled hard to earn a fifth place spot. At the 119 pound weight class, Gabe Worgaftik ’06 went 4-2 with four pins, earning second place in the tournament’s Most Pins/Least time category. Worgaftik’s first loss came in a close SCORE match. Had Worgaftik won this match, it is likely that would have placed second. 125-pounder Mark Shvartman earned a bronze medal. Seeded first, he was given his first loss of the season. Shvartsman barely lost to the number four seed, who he had already beaten this season, in a tough overtime match that could easily have gone the other way. Co-captain Jeffrey Peña ’04 dominated the 130-pound weight class to earn Andover’s only first place finish of the day. Peña, with just one loss on the season, was seeded first, and did not disappoint on the road to the finals. Said Peña, “I didn’t want last year to repeat itself, so I took it one match at a time this year. I calmed down my wrestling and put more thought into my moves instead of letting instinct drive the match. That adjustment is what took me through the tournament.” At the 140-pound weight class, Co-captain Leon Fay ’04 earned a fourth place finish. Fay’s fourth place showing was even more important due to the difficult weight class that he competes in. Andover did not place in the 145 or 152 pound weight classes, two weights that have been notoriously difficult for Andover to maintain a healthy starter in all season. Dan Fromson ’05 has been injured for the season, and Taylor Yates ’04 recently returned from an injury and was not wrestling to the extent of his capabilities. At the 160 pound weight class, Lars Trautman ’04 placed fourth in arguably the toughest weight category in the league. Trautman wrestled hard and lost to a very solid wrestler. He managed to make it to the consolation finals to earn fourth place. Dan Hackney ’05 capped off a stellar dual meet season with a bronze metal. The 171 pound weight class in which Hackney competes has two very good wrestlers, and Hackney placed right behind them. At the 189 pound weight class, Alex Bois ’05 placed sixth in just his first season of wrestling. Said Co-captain Fay, “Alex Bois is just such a natural wrestler. He understands concept well and works hard to better himself, and it really paid off here.” In the heavyweight weight category, PG Stephen DeSimone ’04 earned fifth place. DeSimone lost his first match to the eventual first place winner, and his second in a questionably called match that he lost in overtime. In the second match, DeSimone landed on his wrestler inbounds, but they were called out. The referee apologized, but the match had to go on. Said Peña, “Although I was never able to see Andover win interschols during my career, I am hopeful that we will be able to win again in the near future.”