Jordan Wellington looked across the mat at a familiar opponent Saturday at the CHSAA League championships at St. Anthony’s.
The Friars’ senior was about to wrestle his third consecutive league final at 99 pounds and was once again facing a teammate.
Wrestling a teammate on the biggest stages is nothing new for wrestlers at St. Anthony’s. Wellington dropped both the league and CHSAA state championship matches at 99 to teammate Sean Flick last season.
This time it was Mick Brown standing in his way. Wellington and Brown battled in an even match that went Wellington’s way when he scored a take down at the end of the first overtime for a 4-2 win.
“It’s tough - you’re not really getting coached and it’s just the fact that you’ve wrestled already so many times in the room,” Wellington said. “But you just have to push through.”
In all St. Anthony’s crowned nine champions and won the team title with 420.5 points. Chaminade was second with 360.
“I’m kind of bigger this year so it was a little easier for me but it will still be really tough if I have to see him again in the state final,” Wellington said. “It’s tough but the best kid will come out in the end.”
Flick bumped up to 106 this season and hasn’t suffered a drop off. The junior pinned teammate Jake Podolsky in 1:10 to win the championship.
“I’ve wrestled a teammate every single time I’ve been in the finals,” Flick said. “They know what I do and I know what they do so I feel like it’s all mental. You just have to go out there and wrestle you’re best no matter who it is.”
Flick will look to repeat as CHSAA champion in next weekend’s tournament at Holy Trinity.
“I actually get a little nervous in these matches with teammates,” Flick said. “You’d think eventually they would catch on to what you do and the gap would be smaller in every match. It’s just a mindset thing.”
St. Anthony’s Preston Maucere said his coaches drilled one mindset into him before the tournament - get on and off the mat as fast as possible.
It would be harder to go any faster than Maucere did, pinning all three of his opponents in a combined 1:08 to win the title at 132. He pinned Keith Sherry of Kellenberg in 27 seconds in the final.
“I wrestle confidently and I got the job done,” Maucere said. “My goal is a New York state title and to be wrestling in Albany.”
Christian Hansen and Tom Szilagyi each have the same goal in mind after winning CHSAA state titles and making it to Albany last year.
They’ll both get a chance to repeat after Hansen defeated Bryan Kuprian of St. John the Baptist by fall in 3:34 and Szilagyi won a hard fought 3-1 decision over Joseph Vacca of SJB at 138.
“My main focus was to grind him out and get him tired and work on top,” Szilagyi said. “I’m just trying to stay focused on myself and how I wrestle.”
Agate: 99: Wellington (SA) over Brown (SA), 5-3 OT 106: Flick (SA) over J. Podolsky (SA), Fall 1:10 113: Garcia (SJB) over Napodano (SA), Fall 3:03 120: Sanfilippo (C) over DiDonato (SA), Fall 1:29 126: DeMartino (C) over Semeraro (C), 3-0 132: Maucere (SA) over Sherry (K), Fall 0:27 138: Szilagyi (SA) over J. Vacca (SJB), 3-1 145: Nicotra (C) over Gomez (SJB), Fall 0:42 152: Hansen (SA) over Kuprian (SJB), Fall 3:34 160: Schultz (SA) over Griffo (K), Fall 4:24 170: T. Podolsky (SA) over Cascio (K), Fall 2:59 182: Tutuska (SA) over Jensen (K), 5-3 195: Watterson (K) over Holder (HT), 8-2 220: Taylor (SA) over Moore (C), 10-1 285: Hughes (HT) over Mollon (C), 6-4 OT