Wrestlers take titles at Tiger meet

OTTER VALLEY FRESHMAN Khasey Nolette Gilbert shows the intensity of his 170-pound match during last week’s Hubie Wagner Invitational at Middlebury Union High School. The Otter wrestler was 1-3 in the tournament. Independent photo/Steve James

MIDDLEBURY — A deep Otter Valley wrestling team claimed second place out of 19 teams at last week’s 50th annual Hubie Wagner Invitational Tournament in Middlebury. 

OV senior Caleb Whitney at 138 pounds was the only Otter to win a weight class, defeating Granville, N.Y.’s Nathan Barber, 6-2, in the final and pinning five opponents while winning seven matches. 

But a number of other Otters reached the podium, including three second-place finishers. According the corrected results, Colchester won the team title with 223 points, followed by OV with 214. Granville was third (214). Fourth-place Springfield was well back with 117 points. 

Local wrestlers winning weight classes included Commodore Eli Brace at 132 pounds. The Vergennes Union High Schooler was voted the tournament’s outstanding wrestler after pinning five straight foes to reach the final, where he upset defending state champion Avery Carl of Middlebury Union High School, 2-0. 

MOUNT ABE’S WESLEY Husk gets a grip on Harwood’s Colby Kathan in their 152-pound match at last week’s tournament at MUHS. Husk compiled a 4-2 record at the event.
Independent photo/Steve James

Also winning their weight classes were Tiger heavyweight Nick Sheldrick, who steamrolled all six of his foes by pin to win his weight class, and Commodore Caden Howell in the competitive 220-pound class, in which three local wrestlers reached the podium.

Howell lost to Mount Abraham’s Wyatt Allenson in the round robin phase, where Howell finished second to reach the semifinal round. But he pinned both his semifinal foe and then Springfield’s Trent Rumril in the final. Allenson and OV’s Keevon Parks ended up squaring off for third and fourth places, with Parks prevailing.

In a 19-team field that also included three New Hampshire schools, MUHS was seventh with 95 points, VUHS was ninth (70.5), and Mount Abe, like the Commodores shorthanded on the day, was 14th (37).

The tournament consisted of a round robin in each weight class, with the top finishers advancing to semi- or quarterfinals depending on the size of the field. The format guarantees all wrestlers several matches, as opposed to many tournaments with single-elimination formats.

TIGER OWEN LARROW keeps his legs out of the reach of Burr & Burton’s Spencer Sheldon on the way to a first-round pin during last week’s tournament at MUHS. Larrow pinned four 145-pound opponents.
Independent photo/Steve James


Also reaching the podium for OV were:

• Lincoln Wilcox, third at 132 with a 6-1 record with five pins. 

• Kingston Cotter, fourth at 138 with a 4-3 record and three pins.

• Carter Giles, third at 145 with a 5-2 record and four pins.

• Tucker Babcock, second at 153. Babcock pinned seven opponents to reach the final, where he lost a 4-2 decision to Colchester’s Jordan Lavoie.

• Chase Cram, second at 160. Cram finished with a 5-2 record and four pins, losing by pin the Colchester’s Cam Katon in the final.

• Isaac Whitney, second at 182 with a 5-1 record and four pins. Champlain Valley’s Thomas Murphy pinned him in the final.

Also competing for OV were Thomas Givens (4-3 at 113), Ethan Ross (0-3 at 120), Malachi Sheldrick (3-3 at 152), Lilly Mahoney (0-5 at 160), Drake Felkl (3-2 at 170), Khasey Nolette Gilbert (1-3 at 170), Simon Martin (4-3 at 195), Brice Dusablon (0-4 at 220), and Derek Li (3-3 at 285).

TIGER 152-POUNDER JOHN Deering battles with Scott Wittman of Granville, N.Y., at last week’s tournament at MUHS. Deering won twice by pin in five outings in the competitive weight class.
Independent photo/Steve James


After Sheldrick and Carl, who reached the final at 132 with six straight pins, the top finish for MUHS came from Alex Sperry, who took third at 126 pounds with a 5-2 record. 

Also competing for the Tigers were:

• Kegan Stone, 1-3 at 132.

• Owen Larrow, 4-1 at 145. Larrow won his round-robin pool with four pins, but lost his quarterfinal match. 

• John Deering, 2-3 at 152.

• Stephen Lackard, 1-3 at 182.

• Liam Wagner, 1-3 at 220. 

COMMODORE TIEGEN BUSKEY tries to prevent an opponent from escaping his grasp during a 152-pound match at Middlebury’s 50th Annual Hubie Wagner Invitational last week.
Independent photo/Steve James


After Brace and Howell, no other VUHS wrestlers reached the podium. Payton Lavoie at 170 pounds fared best with a 3-2 record and three pins.

Also taking to the mat for the Commodores were:

• Jackson Paquin, 0-5 at 145.

• Tiegen Buskey, 0-5 at 152.


Allenson was the only wrestler from Mount Abe to earn a place on a podium. Also wrestling for Mount Abe were:

• Connor Meacham,  2-3 at 113 pounds.

• Maisa Allen, 1-3 at 126.

• Clayton Markwell, 1-3 at 132.

• Wesley Husk, 4-2 at 152. Husk was second in his round robin pool, but lost to the eventual champ in a quarterfinal.

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