ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — 13 Sec. II boys wrestlers reached the semifinals of the NYSPHSAA state championships Saturday at MVP Arena, six of whom took home runner-up finishes.
Burnt Hills sophomore Liam Carlin, Amsterdam senior Renso Montalvo, Fonda-Fultonville/Johnstown senior Owen Hicks, Ballston Spa senior Darrien Insogna, Salem/Cambridge senior Evan Day, and Warrensburg/Lake George senior Tristen Hitchcock all reached the finals in their respective weight classes. However, none were able to claim a state title.
Carlin was the first to wrestle among the six finalists. The three-seed in the Division I, 132-pound class, Carlin drew the top overall seed – Chenango Forks senior Tyler Ferrara, who entered the championships undefeated at 33-0. Carlin held his own against one of Sec. IV’s finest, but Ferrara came away with the 9-4 decision. Carlin was the only wrestler Ferrara faced in the tournament who took him the distance.
Montalvo and Hicks both earned spots in their 145-pound title matches as three-seeds – Montalvo for Division I and Hicks for Division II. Montalvo drew the one-seed, Williamsville North’s Cameron Catrabone, who amassed a 47-2 record this year. Montalvo managed to keep Catrabone scoreless through the first period, but Catrabone rallied in the second to pin Montalvo at the 2:56 mark of the match.
Hicks also faced off with a formidable, top-seeded foe: South Seneca senior Caleb Sweet. Sweet carried a 43-1 season record into the championships, and proved too much for Hicks. Sweet jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first period, and went on to secure a 17-4 major decision.
Both Insogna and Day represented Sec. II in the finals of the 215-pound matches – Insogna for Division I and Hicks for Division II. Insogna, the two-seed, had won by fall in each round leading up to the championship match, but could not overcome the one-seed, Ethan Gallo, out of Sec. IX’s Minisink Valley. Gallo won with an 11-4 decision.
Two-seeded Day, who also recorded three falls, en route to a title appearance, went the distance with Homer High School’s Sam Sorenson. The Sec. III product managed to best Day, though, taking the match by a 5-2 decision.
The final opportunity for Sec. II to boast a state champion came in Division II, and fell on the shoulders of its’ most decorated wrestler: Tristen Hitchcock. A reigning state champion at 285 pounds, Hitchcock entered the weekend undefeated at 43-0, and not one of his three opponents ahead of Saturday night’s title bout had reached the second period.
But nobody told two-seeded Trent Sibble that. The Bolivar-Richburg senior out of Sec. V took Hitchcock into the third period with the match all square at two. Then, Sibble scored two points late in the third to knock off the defending champ with a 4-2 decision.
After the match, Hitchcock took ownership of what was a rare, letdown performance.
“I wrestled flat,” said Hitchcock. “I mean, I should’ve worked harder. I had a great two weeks of preparation – I wrestled great all week – and then coming into today, I just didn’t add up to what my capability is. I almost looked past the match a little bit, kinda expecting I would win. (It’s) a good life lesson. For me to learn to just take one match at a time and no matter what level I’m at, compete like it’s a world championship, national finals match, and just not give in, and not let up any time, no matter who the competitor is.”
Hitchcock wraps up arguably the greatest career in Warrensburg/Lake George history, and is off to continue wrestling next year at Army West Point.