Wrestling Takes Fifth

With an outside single move, Justin Muchnick ’16 found success at the NEISWA tournament, placing second in the the 145-pound weight class.

Andover Wrestling ended with 178.5 points, the fifth most points of any team in the tournament. Mathew Simon ’14 was crowned champion of the of the 220-pound weight class. Simon pinned his first two opponents and then defeated his third 8-0. In the finals, Simon defeated his opponent 10-5 to claim the title.

“The team did great, a lot of our younger wrestlers pulled of very good days. On the upper end we had some rough matches but we got 10 people to New England’s and that’s all that matters this week,” said James Palmer ’14 in an email to The Phillipian.

John Rauen ’17, who was recently called up to Varsity, competed well in his first varsity tournament at Andover.

Bennett Sherr ’17 wrestled to a third place finish in the 113-pound weight class. After pinning his first opponent in 56 seconds, Sherr fell to his second opponent in the second period of the semifinal round. Sherr ultimately defeated his opponent 15-1 in the third place match.

“I think I did pretty good, I mean I got third so I couldn’t have done too badly. I beat the kids I was supposed to and lost to the kids who were supposed to beat me,” said Sherr ’17. “Right after the second match, I wrestled the two seed and was pinned in the second period. He was a kid I might have been able to go three [periods] with, but I was not aggressive and lost.”

Muchnick, Co-Captain Christian Vallis ’14 and Co-Captain James Palmer ’14 all finished second in their respective weight classes.

“We got a lot of guys to the finals and consolation finals, which was good, and as a team we were legitimate competitors throughout the whole tournament,” said Muchnick.

Palmer entered the semi-finals against an opponent he had already faced. “I had a tough match against him before and I went out more aggressive. It paid off, letting me pull ahead and win,” said Palmer. Palmer fell in the championship round.

Vallis finished second in the 132-pound weight class. Vallis pinned two of his opponents in the first period. After putting in a full three periods of wrestling, Vallis ’14 fell to his final opponent 5-4.

Andover hopes to dominate at New England’s this Friday and Saturday.

“Personally I feel all right going into it. I definitely need a little bit of work dusting off some moves but generally I feel like I could go deep at New England’s,” said Sherr.

Muchnick added, “I feel about as prepared as I can be. Even though our dual meets are very important to us, tournament season is what the wrestling team spends the whole season and offseason preparing for. I’m in a good place strength-wise, and my conditioning and technique have steadily improved throughout this season, so this is the right time for me to face my toughest competition yet.”