Led by three-year All-American and Co-Captain Christian Vallis ‘14, Andover placed fifth at Interschols Class A and qualified five wrestlers for Nationals, finishing with a 7-2 record.
Five Andover Wrestlers in addition to Vallis qualified for Nationals at LeHigh University: Matthew Simon ’14, Dan McGurl ‘14, Bennett Sherr ’17 and Co-Captain James Palmer ’14.
Andover’s best meet came when it blanked Worcester, 69-0.
Four of Andover’s Seniors qualified for Nationals. Another two, Sam Block ‘14 and Charlie Talcott ‘14, new members to the team, made immediate contributions with a multitude of wins. Chase Gottlich ‘14 was unable to compete due to injury,
“[The Senior’s] support has made wrestling – a sport that gets pretty grueling – an incredibly positive experience,” said 2014-2015 Captain-elect Justin Muchnick ’16.
“Although I was a one year, Senior wrestler, the team took me in as one of their own, and together, we had an unforgettable season. I will always cherish my Andover grappling days,” said Talcott.
Andover Seniors helped young wrestlers adjust to Andover’s wrestling culture and eventually earn a spot on the team.
“The seniors were awesome mentors and [it] isn’t going to be the same without them,” said Sherr.
Vallis placed eighth at Nationals and maintained a 13-match undefeated streak. Vallis will wrestle at Division III Johns Hopkins next year.
“Christian ended his Andover career with 105 wins, second most in school history. He was also a 4-time Prep New England finalist and the first wrestler in school history place at the National Prep School tournament three times,” said Coach Rich Gorham.
Palmer, another four-year member of the team, placed fourth at New Englands in the 170-pound weight class.
“James blossomed during his Upper year into an excellent wrestler,” continued Gorham. “James is a model of an Andover student-athlete and will wrestle on the club level at Harvey Mudd next year.”
Co-Captain-elects Alyssa Augustin ’15 and Muchnick look to lead Andover Wrestling to a victory at New England Class A next season. Augustin will be the first-ever female Captain of Andover Wrestling.
“I feel much different from any other Captain. This is mostly because this has gone largely unacknowledged by anyone besides the team and my friends, so no one has treated it like anything special,” said Augustin.
“We’re graduating a couple key guys so we’ll be losing some depth, but I think that if we all work hard over the offseason we can come back strong and get guys to New Englands and Nationals,” said Muchnick.