Ahmadi captures another world championship medal
COVENTRY, Sept. 1 -- Coventry’s Shirzad Ahmadi won a silver medal in the 2006 Veterans World Championship Tournament in Latvia in August, wrestling at 138.75 pounds (63 kg) in freestyle, Division E (ages 51-55). Ahmadi, who coaches at Stafford High, won three of the four bouts in his weight class. He won his second straight U.S. veterans title in April. Wrestlers have to be 35 and over to compete in the Veterans division. It was the fifth world championship medal for Ahmadi in Division E. He won a world title at 63kg in 2004, took second in 2000 and 2003 and finished third at 58 kg in 2001.
Former state champ dies in tragic accident
NEW MILFORD, Oct. 22 -- Former Class L champion Sean Caselli, 22, of New Milford was killed early Sunday morning when a beer keg tossed into a fire at a pig roast exploded. Shrapnel wounds killed Caselli and injured other victims, who also suffered burns. The keg exploded at 3:13 a.m. as youngsters stood around a fire for warmth. Caselli graduated from New Milford High in 2002 and operated his own landscaping business. He wrestled for New Milford for four years helping the Green Wave win a SWC title in 2002. He won the Class L title at 140 pounds in 2002 and finished third at the State Open.
Yale's Miranda wins bronze at worlds
GUANGZHOU, China, Sept. 30 -- Yale University law student Patricia Miranda won a bronze medal at the recent world championships in Guangzhou, China. It was her fourth medal in the world championships. She beat junior world champion Oleksandanda Kohut of the Ukraine 1-0, 1-0 at 51 kg/112.25 pound weight class.
Miranda won silver medals in 2000 and 2003 world championships before capturing a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics at 48 kg/105.5 pounds. Miranda fell to Japan ’s Hitomi Sakamoto in the quarterfinals. Sakamoto won her fourth world title. “Nobody wants to seem ungrateful for a World medal," Miranda told USA Wrestling. "I definitely am grateful for the medal. There are definitely things today that I need to improve on. There are things I disappointed myself with. For instance, I have to hold myself accountable if I don’t get going in matches.”
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo, June 30 -- Two wrestlers with Connecticut ties competed at the recent U.S. World Team trials in women’s freestyle. Waterford’s Stefenie Shaw swept through the challenge tournament to get the right to challenge national champion Katie Downing at 147.5 pounds (67 kg). But Downing, a bronze medalist at the 2005 World Championships, pinned Shaw in the first bout of her best-of-3 final and beat her again, 7-0 and 5-0 in the second bout.
At 112 pounds, 2004 U.S. Olympian Patricia Miranda (51 kg) swept a pair of matches from her Sunkist Kids WC teammate Jenny Wong to earn a spot on the U.S. team that will compete at the World Championships in China on Sept. 26 through Oct. 2. Miranda, who won a bronze medal at 105.5 pounds at the Athens Olympics, is a law student at Yale University.
Recent Shaw results are fourth place at the U.S. national tournament and second place at the University nationals tournament. At the Pan-Am games in 2005, Shaw was third at 138.75 pounds (63 kg) as the U.S. won the title.
Willamson wins national title
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., June 28 – Greenwich’s Brandon Williamson won his first national title by winning the 189 pound class at the 10th annual National High School Coaches Association’s (NHSCA) National Open wrestling championships. Williamson (5-0, 3 pins) beat North Carolina’s James Roberts by tech fall, 15-0, to win the championship. He beat West Virginia’s Cody Reed in the semifinals by pin in 2:45. Williamson’s toughest bout came in the first round when he outlasted Ryan Smith of California, 5-4. Smith rallied to finish fourth. The only other state wrestler to place was Tim Crudden, who was fifth at 157 pounds in the Open Division.
Martin falls in national final
LAS VEGAS, April 13 – Spenser Mango, 19, beat former Simsbury wrestler Joey Martin in the final of the FILA Junior Greco-Roman National tournament with a 9-0, 8-1 technical fall at 121 pounds (55 kg). Mango was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler. Martin won the 110 pound title in April 2005. Champions earn the No. 1 position on the ladder for the Junior World Team trials in Colorado Springs in June.
Hepburn captures national title
PITTSBURGH, March 23, 2006 – Ledyard junior T.J. Hepburn became the first Connecticut wrestler to win a National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) national championship with a dominating 12-5 victory over Oregon’s Austin Enoch at 135 pounds.
Hepburn (55-0) went 5-0 in the tournament with three pins and a tech fall. He pinned Tyler Riccio, a New Jersey state qualifier and pinned Montana’s Colby Johnson in the semifinals in 49 seconds. Johnson had placed third in Montana. Hepburn also pinned Chris Andrews, who was second in Ohio’s Division 2 tournament.
Greenwich junior Brandon Williamson (189) earned All-American honors by finishing eighth. Williamson (50-6, 4-3) won three straight bouts in the consolation round, including a 6-4 OT decision over Maciej Johnson of New York, who was second in the New York state Division I tournament.
Previously, the best finish by a Connecticut wrestler in the NHSCA tournaments was a pair of second place finishes by Windham’s James Poulin (275) in 1991 and Hand’s Jim Guzzio (130) in 1992.
Danbury's Cammisa rallies to finish 6th
PITTSBURGH, March 25, 2006 – Danbury’s Frank Cammisa (140) won four straight bouts in the consolation round, including a pair of one-point decisions to finish sixth at the NHSCA Senior national tournament and earn All-American status.
Cammisa dropped a 4-3 decision to Lewis Baker of Pennsylvania in the round of 32 but rallied in the consolation bracket including a 10-9 win over New Jersey’s Bryan Tracy and a 4-3 win over Travis Elg of Minnesota. Virginia’s Brandon Franklin outlasted Cammisa, 8-7 for fifth place. Cammisa (48-6) is the first Danbury wrestler to earn All-American honors at the NHSCA senior tournament.
Windham's Crudden named state wrestler of the year
SOUTHINGTON, March 19 – Windham High’s Bran Crudden was named wrestler of the year in voting by the state coaches at the 12th annual Connecticut High School Coaches Association wrestling All-State banquet Sunday. Crudden, a senior at 171 pounds, won three straight Class M and State Open championships and went 50-1 this year. He set a new state record for most wins in a career (194-9). Twice, he finished second in New England.
For the third straight year, Danbury’s Ricky Shook was named Class LL coach of the year while Windham’s Pat Risley (Class L) was honored for the second time in three years.
n Click on this link for the banquet program including the 2006 All-State and All-Academic wrestlers.
NEW HAVEN, March 4 -- Five Connecticut wrestlers made it to the finals. But only Ledyard’s T.J. Hepburn (135) won with a reversal with 18.3 seconds left to beat John Archambault of Ludlow, Mass., 6-5. Hepburn (50-0) had trailed the entire match. Danbury’s Frank Cammisa (140) and Kyle Rodgers (152) lost along with Windham senior Bran Crudden (171), who was upset by Nick Avery of Foxboro, Mass., 6-5. Crudden (50-1) trailed 5-2 after two periods.
At 275, Josh Pelletier of Foxcroft Academy, Maine scored five points in the final 30 seconds to stun New Milford’s Tom Ferrell.
Timberlane, N.H. had six wrestlers win medals and easily won its second straight New England title with a 53-point win over Salem, N.H. For the third straight year, Danbury (51.5) was third.
n Go to the New England Council Web site for complete tournament results.
For the 10th straight year, Danbury has been voted the No. 1 team in the state coaches poll conducted by the Norwich Bulletin. Danbury received all 10 first place votes with Windham being ranked No. 2 and New Milford reaching its highest rank of the season at No. 3. Class S champion Griswold made its season debut in the top 10 finishing the year at No. 6.
NEW HAVEN, Feb. 25 -- Danbury won its sixth straight State Open championship with a 123.5 to 80.5 victory over New Milford. Tyler Howe (130), Frank Cammisa (140) and Kyle Rodgers (152) won titles for the Hatters. New Milford, led by champion Tom Ferrell (275) finished second. Windham's Bran Crudden (171) won his third straight Open title.
Former Griswold coach Dave Nowakowski has compiled his final weekly state-wide rankings of the season for the top 16 individuals in each weight class. Click on the link to see Dave’s final rankings. These are not Open predictions since they are not based on the Open brackets.
Saturday, Feb. 18
Windham savors M title, pins help Warde win in L
With two individual champions, Windham erased a nine-point deficit in the finals to slip past ECC rival Montville, 188.5 to 187 to win their second Class M championship in three years and its ninth in the team’s history. It was the second tightest margin of victory in Class M history. … Pins helped Fairfield Warde capture its first state championship with a seven-point victory over Bristol Central, 173-166 at the CIAC Class L wrestling tournament. Conard was third with 150 points in its best performance since taking second in 1986. “We won more matches but they had more pins,” Bristol Central coach Brian Archibald said. Warde didn’t have a single champion but they had eight wrestlers win medals. … With four individual champions, Griswold completed a year-long quest for a state championship by pulling away from upstart Avon in the final round to win the first state title in the program’s history by a 200-192 margin at the Class S championships. ECC rival Bacon Academy was third with 175½ points.