Andover All-Gender Wrestling competed in the Northern New England Invitational Tournament on Saturday against 12 other teams. Andover ultimately placed first overall with six champions and seven placers, earning a total of 224 points. On Wednesday, the team went against St. Sebastian’s (St. Seb’s) at home, losing 29-42, on Senior Night. Andover’s record in dual meets now stands at 12-6.
Despite the long drive to Maine, Andover performed successfully at Northerns, with many members of the team becoming champions of their weight class. Magnus Julin ’25 who ended up placing third in his weight class, shared how many of his teammates shined when faced with the challenge of competing several times in one meet.
“Considering the early cold morning it took to get there, the team performed very well especially since many of us had multiple matches. We had several champions in their weight classes and many people were still placed on the podium. Some of the weight classes had more participants than others, which just then meant some of the classes had more competition, but everyone fought well in their matches and I’d say we did pretty well,” said Julin.
Wendi Zheng ’24 was impressed with first-year wrestler Suhaila Cotton ’24, who completely outperformed expectations. Cotton made it to the semifinals of her weight class, and defeated the second seed in her bracket.
Zheng said, “I really enjoyed watching Suhaila’s consolation semi[finals]. She was in the consolation bracket and Sakina [Cotton ’24], who’s her twin, had just beaten the number two seed, who she was originally seeded under. She beat him on points, and it was really exciting to see Suhalia wrestle the same guy who had been knocked into the consolation bracket and then pin the guy. I was really impressed by her performance, [considering] this is her first year wrestling. I think she was one of the only first-year wrestlers that went to this tournament. She was seeded I think last in her weight [class] and she ended up getting third which was crazy. She wrestled through a lot of consolation matches, and she pinned the guy that was seeded second.”
On Saturday, Co-Captain Colin Nugent ’23 received an award for best wrestler. According to Julin, he leads the team with his experience, and is always willing to show his teammates certain skills during practice.
Julin said, “I would definitely say Colin [stood out] in both spirit and in skill. He won an award for best wrestler which he definitely deserved. He puts his best into all his matches and is respectful to all his opponents no matter their skill level. He is also always helping the team and teaching new members new moves. He’s a great captain and he definitely deserved to win the award.”
Despite Andover’s loss to St. Seb’s, there were many strong performances within the team. Two wrestlers in particular, Ben Perez ’23 and Ethan Principal ’24, both had impressive performances, according to Suhaila.
“Shout out to Ben Perez with an amazing first period pin. I don’t know the move but he completely flipped dude over and right into a headlock. Also, to Ethan Principal, he was hitting a lot of smooth takedowns in his exhibition match and nearly pinned his opponent multiple times. He ended up getting pinned in the final seconds of third period, but he put up a great show of most of the moves we’ve been working on this season,” said Suhaila.
With only a few weeks left in the season, many winter athletes are getting ready to say goodbye to the sport for another year and to many Seniors. Wednesday was Andover All-Gender Wrestling’s last conventional meet as they only have tournaments remaining in their season. Suhaila shared her feelings about the encroaching end of term.
“In wrestling, you’re not really conscious of people’s grades, but the Seniors have always been welcoming to the team and keeping up the energy. Our managers are also so kind. It’s obviously sad to see them all go. I’m gonna miss them,” said Suhaila.
Andover will compete at Interschols this Saturday.
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