Chaminade's Claudio Pinto wins the 189 pound weight class in the...

Chaminade's Claudio Pinto wins the 189 pound weight class in the CHSAA high school state individual wrestling finals, Sunday, February 12, 2023 at St. Anthony's. Credit: George A Faella

Claudio Pinto stuck his tongue out to celebrate after he took the lead in the final seconds of the 189-pound bout. The Chaminade senior wrestler wanted this one.

Pinto defeated St. Anthony's senior Griffin Goldstein, 6-3, in the CHSAA individual state wrestling championship at St. Anthony's on Sunday. Goldstein had pinned Pinto twice in the regular season. 

“The first time he pinned me, he was talking at the end,” Pinto said. “I didn’t forget it."

Pinto was one of five Long Island wrestlers and one of three Chaminade wrestlers to win the CHSAA state title.

Immediately, he thanked his parents, who both immigrated with him from Portugal and gave him the opportunity to go to Chaminade to study and compete.

“When it came to the end, I saw their faces and, like, it was disbelief," Pinto said. “Today, I was excited for my family. My father is a big fighter. He wanted me to win so bad. The look on his face, I don’t really care about the medal. It’s just about his face.”

Chaminade senior Zach Gallagher took the stage after Pinto and pinned Vaughan Johnson of Fordham Prep in 4:46 at 215 pounds. He complimented Johnson’s strength, but admitted his will is what pushed him over the edge.

“I haven’t really trained in the past month because I’ve been hurt,” Gallagher said. “But I really wanted to win.”

Shane Meenaghan, a Chaminade senior, also earned a pin over Sean Gordon of St. Francis in 37 seconds at 118 pounds. He said he expected to win the final on Sunday, and was more focused on healing his wrist and performing his best at the public state championships in Albany on Feb. 24-25.

Likewise, senior Nick Matos of St. Anthony’s is ready to make the trip upstate after securing the CHSAA title with a pin on Jaziah Moore of Fordham Prep in 2:29 at 172 pounds. He knows his season isn’t over but he’s happy with the way his CHSAA career ended.

“I’ve been working for four years,” Matos said. “I’ve been close [for] a couple years, and [it] just feels great to finally cap it off with a win.”

Brett Crawford will join Matos upstate after he secured a 5-0 decision win over Monsignor Farrell’s Jack Borowiec. Crawford had faced him a few weeks ago and won.

The St. Anthony’s freshman knew the two would meet in the finals, so he was ready for Borowiec. This time, Crawford said Borowiec was more offensive, but it wasn’t a problem for him.

“It feels good after all the work,” Crawford said. “I’ve been working all season, all year to win and I finally did it.”

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months