Co-Captain Marisol Nugent ’20 pinned her opponent to the mat for her third first-period pin, securing her a first place finish in the 144lb weight class, and earning her the title of Outstanding Wrestler for the girls division. Nugent was one of five wrestlers to place individually, and Andover Wrestling finished its tournament placing 9 out of 47 teams at New Englands.
According to Co-Captain Eamon Garrity-Rokous ’20, the team’s focuses were aggressiveness and persistence, which were showcased by three wrestlers in particular: Nick Beuhler ’21, Arnav Bahkta ’22, and Colin Nugent ’23.
“They all showed some really serious heart and grit at New Englands because once they lost in the championship bracket, they wrestled hard through the consolation bracket and ended up placing really high,” said Garrity-Rokous.
The main focus for the team after its successful finish at New Englands is the National Prep tournament this weekend in Pennsylvania. Marisol Nugent, Colin Nugent, and Buehler qualified for this tournament.
According to Coach Carl Sangree, the wrestlers are going to face tough competition at this tournament. In order to prepare for the high level of competition, the wrestlers must focus on technique in particular rather than the persistence they relied on to advance past New Englands.
“The level of difficulty goes up exponentially for this tournament, so the biggest thing will be to review old films to identify areas for improvement, in my opinion. We won’t be able to rely on just good fitness or grit to succeed at this level. We also must be technically excellent,” said Sangree.
Garrity-Rokous noted the specific areas in which the team must improve in order to have a chance at winning titles at the National Prep tournament.
“I think we need to move more and better on bottom and sequence those moves because we’re facing tougher opponents at Nationals, and because of that, we’ll need to focus on that in practices this coming week,” Garrity-Rokous added.
Due to its performance at New Englands, the team has high expectations for its performance at the national level. In particular, Marisol Nugent shows great promise for a national title after her success at New Englands. According to Sangree, Buehler and Colin Nugent also show a lot of promise.
“Buehler has shown tremendous growth since I have known him, and his attitude of having fun on the mat with an aggressive wrestling style has proven effective,” said Sangree.
He continued, “Colin, who is just a freshman, has the exciting opportunity to prove himself as one of the nation’s top prep wrestlers.”
The team hopes to ride their motto and core value of ‘no quit’ through this final week of training and the National Prep tournament. According to Buehler, this motto signifies the team’s work ethic and mentality on the mat.
“We wrote [our motto] in big letters on the wall of the wrestling room, just ‘NO QUIT.’ You don’t quit because, like I said before, you can always still win in a wrestling match,” said Buehler.
This coming weekend, the team will travel to Bethlehem, Penn., to compete at the National Prep Tournament on Friday and Saturday.