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Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016: Recapping state wrestling qualifier meet action

   Leading off today: Qualifier meets for the state wrestling championships were conducted around the state this weekend. Here's a rundown of some of the highlights from Saturday's action on the mats:

   Leading off today: Christian Hansen picked a fine time to win a varsity wrestling tournament for the first time.

   The 99-pounder became the first Cold Spring Harbor seventh-grader to qualify for the NYSPHSAA championships by winning his weight class in the Section 8 Division II meet. Competing in front of the home crowd, he decisioned Carle Place/Wheatley's Joe Contrastano 5-3.

   "It was a big moment," Hansen told Newsday, "but I was ready for it.

   Hansen had lost to Contrastano twice earlier this season. "The improvement Christian has shown week-to-week has been amazing," CSH coach Mike Ferrugiari said. "He's a bright kid and on the mat, he shows it."

   Second chance for second title: Port Jefferson senior Matteo DeVincenzo described the end of last season as "devastating." Having won a NYSPHSAA championship -- the first in Division II by a Long Island competitor -- in 2014, he lost in the semifinals as a junior and had to settle for third place.

   "There's no way I want to feel what I felt after my match where I finished third last season," the four-time Section 11 champion said. "If I lose this year there is no next year. This is my last chance to make it count."

   DeVincenzo earned his return to Albany with a technical fall 2:45 into his final vs. Lajess Sawyer of Center Moriches at 126 pounds.

   Mattituck advanced seven competitors to the state Division II meet.

   Redemption, decisively: Ryan Ferro was up against it in the Section 9 Division I final at 152 pounds. The Warwick junior, third in the state a year ago, was facing a showdown vs. Saugerties senior Brian Bucci, who'd pinned 32 of 34 opponents this season -- including Ferro.

   This time, though, Ferro came out aggressive and never let up. He overpowered Bucci in a 20-4 win by technical fall in 5:13.

   "I guess I was just in the moment," Ferro told the Times Herald-Record. "Pretty much the whole week I knew I was going to wrestle him."

   The win helped earn Ferro the event's most outstanding wrestler honor for the second straight year.

   Lather, rinse, repeat: Bainbridge-Guilford/Afton/Harpursville senior Chris Cirigliano earned his fourth straight Section 4 Division II title by pinning Garrett Lockwood of Groton in the second period.

   In the hunt for No. 3: Amherst senior Kellen Devlin is still alive in his quest for a third state championship.

   Devlin, a two-time champ in the 126-pound weight class, won the 132-pound final in Section 6 Division II by technical fall.

   "I have the mentality that no matter what weight I go in at, it's my weight," Devlin, who will attend North Carolina State in this fall, told The Buffalo News. "For whatever weight I go in, I'm still going to dominate."

   Striking a blow for three-sporters: Already a quality football player and one of the best lacrosse players to come

  
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out of Section 5, TD Ierlan secured his place as a wrestling champion. The Victor senior, who'll play lacrosse for the University of Albany, won the 160-pound berth in the state Division I meet with a pin in 3:34 vs. Spencerport's Kyle Pittman.

   Ierlan went to states as a wildcard last winter.

   "He had a good season up to that point but he wasn't really wrestling up to his potential," coach Craig Kaper told the Democrat and Chronicle. "When he got up to the state tournament and that atmosphere I think it motivated him. Ever since then he hasn't looked back.

   Hilton took home five Division I titles, led by three-time state champ Yianni Diakomihalis at 138 pounds.

   Four by four: A quartet of Section 3 wrestlers became four-time qualifier-meet champions: Derek Spann (126 pounds) of Adirondack and Alex Herringshaw (170 pounds) of Holland Patent in Division II and Kalen McKenna (113 pounds) of New Hartford and Sonny McPherson (170 pounds) of Indian River in Division I.

   Corcoran senior Naseem Fielder won the 145-pound Division I crown to become the first Syracuse wrestler to win a sectional title since 2009.

   Four by four: Pearl River and Putnam Valley combined to crown 10 of the 15 champions in Section 1 Division II.


  
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