Shenendehowa rules Class A field again

The Shenendehowa wrestling team dominated Saturday's Section II Class A tournament on its home mat.

Four Plainsmen won their weight classes to help Shen run away with the team title. Shen finished with 269 points, 77 points ahead of runner-up Columbia. Ballston Spa was third with 184 points, and Colonie placed fourth with 179 points.

Nick Kelley and John Belanger had little trouble winning their championship bouts for Shen. Kelley downed Columbia's Corey Southard 15-3 in the 119-pound finals, while Belanger defeated Saratoga's A.J. Rue 19-7 to take the 135-pound division title.

Shen's Seth Hazelton and Mike Almaviva also won their weight classes. Hazelton pulled out a 6-4 victory over Evan Wallace in the 140-pound final, and Almaviva shut out Schenectady's Isaiah Earing 6-0 for the 215-pound title.

In all, the Plainsmen had 10 finalists by far, the most of any team in the Class A field. Colonie was next with five finalists, followed by Ballston Spa and Columbia with four finalists apiece.

Colonie had three individual champions, led by middleweights Steve Anson and Jason Chudzinski. Anson defeated Shen's David Almaviva 8-4 for the 125-pound title, while Chudzinski cruised past Shen's Max Miller 7-2 in the 130-pound final. Zach Zovistoski beat Shen's Will Bryans 10-0 for the 160-pound championship.

Ballston Spa had individual champions in Jared Wojtowiecz and Chris Ohnsman. Wojtowiecz edged Shen's Dan Duffy 3-0 in the 152-pound final, and Ohnsman doubled up Colonie's Matt McCarty 4-2 for the 189-pound title.

Shaker and Niskayuna also had individual champions at the Class A tournament. Shaker's Blake Retell easily handled Ballston Spa's Dalton Jones 16-2 to claim the 103-pound division title, and Niskayuna's Alex Espina pinned Ballston Spa's Toby Barnes midway through the second period to earn the 160-pound division championship.

Guilderland had several wrestlers place third at Sectionals. Mike Lainhart (96 pounds), Kevin Bates (119), Eugene Sellie (171) and Matt Miller (215) all shook off semifinal losses to win their consolation bracket finals for the Dutchmen, who placed fifth in the team standings with 116 points.

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