At the New England championships last Saturday, Andover Wrestling Co-Captain Colton Dempsey ’12 became Andover’s first three-time wrestling New England champion in school history and also became the third wrestler in Andover history to earn 100 career wins.
Finishing fourth as a team out of 47 schools with 113 points, Andover Wrestling crowned three individual New England champions, another first.
Dempsey’s journey to the finals consisted of three consecutive, quick pins.
Joining Dempsey on the podium were
Co-Captain BrandonSneider ’12 and Christian Vallis ’14. Sneider, seeded first at 132lb, beat the number two seed 9-5 in the finals after two pins and a technical fall in the previous rounds. Sneider now stands ninth on the all-time win list.
Both Dempsey and Sneider now hold four New England medals.
Vallis improved on his second place finish last year. Seeded first this year, he claimed his first New England crown with two pins, a major decision and a 5-0 win in the final.
Sven Lerner ’13, who was unseeded in the tournament, recorded two pins and a tech fall before locking in fourth place. James Palmer’14, who was also unseeded, beat the number six seed 5-4 in the first round and placed fifth in the tournament.
Finally, Paul Tulungen ’14, a first year wrestler who proved himself a worthy opponent this year, competed strongly against tough opponents at 106lb.
Although the New England tournament was a big success for Andover, the real challenge will come this weekend at the National Prep Wrestling tournament hosted by Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Andover will be heavily represented, as all five of its New England place winners qualified to compete.
“This is the culmination of our entire season. Every meet is important, but in the end, we’re all looking forward to New Englands and Nationals. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and with the caliber of wrestlers we have, I feel good about where we stand next to this weekend’s competition,” said Vallis.