2009 CIAC Class M championships                         Complete brackets
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Media coverage
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Norwich Bulletin, Feb. 22: Waterford rallies to capture Class M title

New London Day, Feb. 22: Waterford wins first Class M title

New London Day, Feb. 22: Emotional day for Bennett and her coach

Hartford Courant, Feb. 22: Bennett is first girl to wrestle in a state final

2009 Class M championships
At Windham
Team results -- 1. Waterford 169; 2. Jonathan Law 162; 3. Bacon Academy 160; 4. Ledyard 156; 5. Avon 144.5; 6. Montville 124; 7. Bethel 114; 8. Guilford 113; 9. Windham 110; 10. Berlin 103.5; 11. RHAM 81; 12. Brookfield 74.5; 13. Plainville 73; 14. E.O. Smith 72; 15. East Haven 65.5; 16. Seymour 64; 17. Stratford 57; 18. Cheney Tech 53; 19. New Fairfield 44; 20. Rockville 34; 21. Granby Memorial 33; 22. Foran 31; 23. Fermi 30.5; 23. Wolcott Tech 30.5; 25. Vinal Tech 25; 26. Sheehan 23.5; 27. Enfield 16; 28. New London 14; 29. Joel Barlow 10
Individual results
Championship: Robert Lonergan, Jonathan Law def. Jessica Bennett, Montville 5-1; 3rd place: Jack McKeever, Brookfield def. Jake Miller, Foran 2-0; 5th place: Colin OBrien, Waterford def. Dan Cirullo, Berlin 5-4
Championship: Connor Douglas, Avon def. Kevin Murat, Stratford 4-3; 3rd place: Shaun Sullivan, Berlin def. Will Gerardi, RHAM 5-4; 5th place: Vincenzo Russo, Plainville def. Carlos Vidal, Seymour 9-8
Championship: Joseph Levine, Brookfield def. Reggie Allen, Waterford 8-5; 3rd place: Jason Richardson, Jonathan Law def. Taylor Grauer, Windham PIN 4:28; 5th place: Matthew Tanner, Plainville def. Devon Perdue, Fermi 8-5
Championship: Billy Lynn, RHAM def. Joe Tripodi, Avon 9-3; 3rd place: Forest Dolby, Cheney Tech def. Zachary Harper, Plainville 2-0; 5th place: Gary DiPietro, Seymour def. Vinny DiNicola, East Haven 11-0
Championship: Tom Ayala, East Haven def. Taylor Gunnels, Ledyard 8-2; 3rd place: G. Andrew Lischke, Bethel def. Ryan Quinn, Bacon Academy PIN 4:59; 5th place: Daniel Kurasz, Montville def. Kyle Schilling, RHAM PIN 2:31
Championship: Kevin Moss, Berlin def. Ethan Shore, Guilford PIN 5:52; 3rd place: Jonathan Castaneda, Jonathan Law def. Ryan Sgandurra, Waterford 7-5; 5th place: Alexander Hunt, E.O. Smith def. Kyle Holland, Montville PIN 3:00
Championship: Jesse Broderick, New Fairfield def. Nicholas Giulietti, Sheehan 3-0; 3rd place: Nathan Nadeau, E.O. Smith def. Alexander Manwaring, Ledyard PIN 1:86; 5th place: Justin Roncaioli, Berlin def. Matt Silver, Avon 3-1
Championship: Caleb Morth, Ledyard def. PJ Mickens, Bacon Academy PIN 1:43; 3rd place: Daniel Alger, Montville def. Vincent Valente, Stratford 3-1; 5th place: Michael Del Valle, Brookfield def. Erik Lybeck, Avon 6-5
Championship: Andrew Ford, Bethel def. Dustin Wilcox, Montville 4-2
3rd place: Dylan Cruz, Vinal Tech def. Dean Gilbert, Ledyard 11-7
5th place: Luke Olk, Rockville def. Duncan Mackinnon, Bacon Academy 10-8
Championship: Kyle Lundberg, Guilford def. Shane Sullivan, Ledyard 1-0; 3rd place: John Millaras, Waterford def. Danny Thompson, Bacon Academy 7-5; 5th place: Mike Hogan, Avon def. Jet Krumwiede, Jonathan Law 9-4
Championship: Zachary Fleming, Windham def. Eric Brainard, RHAM 3-2; 3rd place: Shane Duplice, Waterford def. Brandon Lennox, Bethel PIN :57; 5th place: Matt OLeary, Bacon Academy def. Dave Wyrick, Avon 3-1
Championship: Shane Battista, Waterford def. Stewart Lamberton, Guilford 1-0; 3rd place: Aren Norman, Bacon Academy def. Brian Haynes, Avon 6-4; 5th place: Alexander Kappel, Jonathan Law def. Mason Powers, Berlin 5-3
Championship: Travis Koch, Windham def. T.J. Portelance, Avon PIN 3:54; 3rd place: Luke Wiggins, Waterford def. Aaron Ogden, Bacon Academy PIN :49; 5th place: Andrew Teofilo, Guilford def. Kevin Spence, Plainville PIN 1:48
Championship: Ricardo Rozier, Jonathan Law def. Brian Webster, Bacon Academy 4-1; 3rd place: Patrick Plumb, Seymour def. Christopher Valenti, Bethel forfeit; 5th place: Stokes Watson, Windham def. Joseph Valente, Stratford 3-1
Outstanding wrestler: Caleb Morth, Ledyard, 145
Connecticut Wrestling Online
WILLIMANTIC, Feb. 21 – A week after finishing third in the Eastern Connecticut Conference, Waterford rallied to win the Class M championship with a tight 169-162 victory over Jonathan Law of Milford. ECC rival Bacon Academy was nipping on Waterford’s heels in third place with 160 points while two-time defending champion Ledyard finished fourth with 156 points.

“We had three seniors on the varsity squad, we had a lot of freshmen and knew we had potential, but this one was a little more nerve-wracking,” Waterford coach Chris Gamble told the Norwich Bulletin.

Waterford, Law and Bacon each enjoyed the lead at one point during the championship finals. Law took a two-point lead when Ricardo Rozier (285) beat Bacon’s Brian Webster, 4-1 in the final. But in the end, it came down to the 189-pound championship match with Waterford’s Shane Battista facing Guilford’s Stewart Lamberton.

Waterford had a five-point lead and Battisa’s 1-0 victory thanks to an escape with 30 seconds remaining clinched the match for the Lancers. Battisa was Waterford’s only individual champion. “We always say the wrestle backs win tournaments and the kids really came back strong,” Gamble told the Bulletin.

Shane Duplice (171) and Luke Wiggins (215) both came back after disappointing semifinal losses to take third place with pins. Reggie Allen (119) finished second dropping an 8-5 decision to Brookfield’s Joseph Levin while John Millaras was third (160) and Ryan Sgandurra (135) took fourth.

“We came in thinking that we had a chance and the numbers proved that we did have a chance,” Bacon Academy coach Michael Voiland told the Bulletin. “You kind of look for some breaks and we didn’t get many breaks.”

OVERWEIGHT: New Fairfield senior Mike Frick, the top seed at 135 pounds, didn't make weight was disqualified. Frick went 29-1 during the regular season and won the Southwest Conference championship. He won the Class M title a year ago at 130, finished second in the State Open and was sixth in New England.

ACHIEVEMENTS: Montville’s Jessica Bennett (103) became the first girl to advance to the finals of the CIAC wrestling tournament. Bennett, the second seed, fell in the finals to Robert Lonergan of Jonathan Law, 5-1 but she also became the first girl to qualify to participate in the State Open tournament. The top four wrestlers in each weight class advance to the Open. Two weeks ago, she lost to Lonergan, 15-1.

Bennett, who finished fifth in Class S in 2008 at 103 pounds, is the third girl to win a medal in CIAC wrestling. Windham High’s Dyami Souza (112) was sixth in Class M in 2008 and Windham’s Jenn Ottiano was fifth in Class L in 1992.

”I hugged her and told her I was proud of her and then I had to walk out of the gym,” Montville coach Gary Wilcox told the New London Day. “I was overwrought. It's one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments you probably won't live to see again. … I couldn't imagine a girl in my lifetime ever making a final in a state tournament. But Jessica did it.

“This is the toughest division and she made the finals. It was just amazing."

EIGHT MEDALS FOR AVON: Eight Avon High wrestlers won medals for finishing sixth or higher. Connor Douglas won a championship at 112 pounds with a 4-3 victory over Stratford’s Kevin Murat.

Joe Tripodi (125) and T.J. Portelance (215) each finished second. Tripodi dropped a 9-3 decision to RHAM’s Billy Lynn while Portelance was pinned by Windham High’s Travis Koch in 3:54.
Brian Haynes (189) took fourth while Mike Hogan (160) finished fifth. Matt Silver (140), Dave Wyrick (171) and Erik Lybeck (145) each took sixth. The Falcons finished a strong fifth as a team.

CHAMPIONS: Law's Rob Lonergan (103),  Bethel's Andrew Ford (152) and Windham High's Travis Koch (215) each won their second straight Class M title. Lonergan beat crowd favorite Jessica Bennett of Montville while Ford outlasted Montville's Dustin Wilcox, 4-2. Koch pinned Avon's T.J. Portelance to win. ... RHAM's Billy Lynn (125)  pulled away early and beat Avon's Joe Tripodi, 9-3. ... Berlin's Kevin Moss (135) pinned Ethan Shore of Guilford with eight seconds remaining to win the Class M title.

This story compiled from personal notes and material from the New London Day, Norwich Bulletin and Hartford Courant.

Waterford's depth lifts Lancers past Law and Bacon