Shen makes its statement at Spencerport

The Shenendehowa wrestling team didn't have to make any statements at its own tournament last Saturday.

The Plainsmen did all the talking they needed to do two days earlier at the Spencerport Tournament.

Nine Shen wrestlers placed in the top four of their weight classes to help the Plainsmen cruise to the team title at the prestigious western New York tournament. Shen finished with 204 team points, well ahead of runner-up Spencerport.

We went into it with a goal to win it, said Shen coach Rob Weeks. "We brought in a good team, and we were able to bring a couple of alternates who did well."

Nick Kelley and John Belanger each won their weight classes to lead Shen. Kelley took first place in the 119-pound division, while Belanger claimed the 135-pound division title.

Mike Almaviva (189 pounds) and Cole Lampman (285) reached the finals and placed second for the Plainsmen. Max Miller (130) and Will Bryans (160) finished third after winning their consola-tion round championship bouts, while Jesse Porter (96), Christian Averill (119) and Seth Hazelton (140) took fourth place in their weight classes.

"Even though [our wrestlers] weren't seeded favorably, we finished where we should have finished," said Weeks.

Shen's own tournament last Saturday served more as a warm-down than a competitive event, primarily because the field was smaller than previous years. Only six schools joined Shen " Lan-singburgh, Hoosick Falls, Scotia-Glenville, Newburgh Free Aca-demy, John Jay-East Fishkill and Cathedral (Mass.)

"Four teams in the last two weeks backed out of the tourna-ment because of budgetary constraints," said Weeks. "So, we went to a pool-play format to give all the kids four or five matches."

The Plainsmen will be in a tougher field this weekend when they travel to the Eastern States Classic in Westchester County. The tournament annually brings in some of the best wrestling programs in New York, New England and the Mid-Atlantic region. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake will also represent southern Saratoga County at the event.

Saratoga Springs will host its own wrestling tournament Saturday.""

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