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Couture, Cram and Preston win Vt. state wrestling titles

VUHS JUNIOR ISAAC Preston goes for one of his four straight pins, this one vs. Burr & Burton’s JT Wright in a Saturday semifinal. Preston earned the 190-pound title at the Vermont championship tournament at OV.
Independent photo/Steve James

BRANDON — Two wrestlers from Vergennes Union High School and one from Otter Valley bulldozed their way to Vermont weight-class titles at the state championship meet, which the Otters hosted on this past Friday and Saturday.

VUHS senior Jamison Couture at 215 pounds and Commodore junior Isaac Preston at 190 pinned all of their opponents in claiming their crowns, while Otter senior Chase Cram completed a 30-0 season in winning at 157 pounds.

Cram’s performance — along with seven other podium efforts from his OV teammates, including second place from Isaac Whitney at 175 — helped the Otters earn the best finish as a team among the four local schools, fourth behind the Mount Anthony Union (MAU) dynasty.

OTTER SENIOR CHASE Cram looks ready to move onto the 157-pound final just after winning his semifinal match. He also won the final at Saturday’s Vermont championship meet at OV.
Independent photo/Steve James

The Patriots won five weight classes and racked up 189 points in claiming their 35th straight title, brushing aside challenges from Spaulding (154), Colchester (149.5) and OV (122.5 after nipping at the Patriots’ heels after day one). The state’s coaches voted OV’s Cole Mason the Coach of the Year.

Middlebury, with second-place efforts from Alex Sperry at 126 pounds and Avery Carl at 144 leading the way, were fifth at 106.5. The Commodores, with third-place efforts from Stephen Kittredge at 120 and Tyerelle Lavoie at 165, were sixth at 99.5. Mount Abraham cracked the top 10 in ninth at 60, with Kaidin White’s second place at 120 and Zach Montgomery’s third at 113 pacing the team.

The winners and runners-up by weight class, plus the local athletes who finished in the top six, plus their records, were:

106 pounds: Mason Sheltra (Colchester) pinned Seth Markwell (Springfield); 3. Zach Montgomery (Mt. Abe, 4-1).

Montgomery lost only to Markwell in the semifinal round and cruised in the consolation bracket.

EAGLE ZACH MONTGOMERY battles Springfield’s Seth Markwell in their 106-pound semifinal at Saturday’s state championship meet at OV. Markwell won this match; Montgomery placed third overall.
Independent photo/Steve James

113: Cahota Lafond (Colchester) defeated Eoin Comes (North Country) 18-2; 5. Thomas Givens (OV, 2-2).

EAGLE KAIDIN WHITE and Colchester’s Jaden Coppins exchange a hug after their tough 120-pound semifinal at Saturday’s Vermont championship meet at OV. White prevailed with a late pin in this match and was second overall.
Independent photo/Steve James

120: Duncan Harrington (MAU) pinned Kaidin White (Mt. Abe, 2-1); 3. Stephen Kittredge (VUHS, 4-1).

White pinned both his first two opponents and took the top-seeded Harrington into the third period before being pinned.

126: Logan Davis (MAU) defeated Alex Sperry (MUHS) 6-3.

Sperry finished with a 3-1 mark and pinned his first three foes.

132: Trey Lee (Fair Haven) defeated Karter Morey (Lyndon) 9-0; 4. Parker Carl (MUHS, 2-2).

138: Asa Reiss (MAU) defeated John Marcellus (Spaulding) 5-2; 4. Isayah Isham (Mt. Abe, 3-2); 6. Lincoln Wilcox (OV, 2-1).

144: Elias Kalat (Spaulding) defeated Avery Carl (MUHS) 18-6.

Carl, the second seed, won both his matches handily before meeting Kalat, who won twice by pin and twice by major decision and was voted the tournament’s outstanding wrestler.

150: Spencer Boucher (MAU) pinned Quinn Smith (Harwood); 3. Tucker Wright (MUHS, 5-1); 4. Blake Allen (OV, 2-2).

Wright avenged an early-round loss to OV’s Allen with a 15-0 victory in the consolation final.

COMMODORE SENIOR JAMISON Couture sizes up OV’s Simon Martin early in Saturday’s 215-pound semifinal. Couture made Martin one of his three wins by pin as he won the 215-pound title at the state meet in Brandon
Independent photo/Steve James

157: Chase Cram (OV) defeated Brody Coppinneds (Colchester) 8-4.

Cram pinned his first three opponents, but he had to fight off a near pin in a tough semifinal match vs. Mill River’s Toby Pytlik to reach the final, where he wrapped up his perfect season with a solid decision.

165: Jack Arpey (MMU) defeated Gabe Bache (FH) 5-3; 3. Tyerelle Lavoie (VUHS, 5-1); 4. Wyatt Kennett (MUHS, 2-2): 6. Drake Felkl (OV, 1-3).

Lavoie lost only an early match to Bache and cruised from there. Kennett outperformed his No. 5 seed.

175: Anthony Matas (Essex) defeated Isaac Whitney (OV) 6-4.

Whitney (2-1), a junior who recently won his 100th match, rallied to tie the championship match at 4-4 late in the third period, but Matas scored two late points to prevail in Saturday’s closest final.

OTTER JUNIOR ISAAC Whitney celebrates his 175-pound semifinal victory on Saturday at the Vermont championship meet in his home gymnasium. Whitney lost a close match in the final.
Independent photo/Steve James

190: Isaac Preston (VUHS, 4-0) pinned Thomas Murphy (CVU); 4. Keegan Reed (OV, 2-2 after reaching the semifinal round).

Preston rolled through the bracket by pinning all four of his opponents in the first period.

215: Jamison Couture (VUHS, 3-0) pinned Rieley Lyford (Randolph) at 1:08; 3. Simon Martin (OV, 3-1).

Couture, the top seed, pinned all three of his foes, including OV’s Simon Martin as time expired in the first period of their semifinal.

285: Ryan Marsden (MAU) pinned Graham Resmer (Winooski) at 3:50; 5. Kameron Raymond (MUHS, 3-2).

TIGER AVERY CARL has the upper hand against Mount Anthony’s Shaun Gassaway in his victory in their 144-pound semifinal on Saturday at the state championship tournament at OV. The second-seeded Carl ended up second.
Independent photo/Steve James

Local wrestlers who also competed and their records were:

• 113: Thales Artis, Mt. Abe, 0-2:

• 120: Ethan Ross, OV, 1-2.

• 126: Maisa Allen, OV, 1-2.

• 144: Alex Vose, OV, 1-2.

• 150: Lincoln Painter, Mt. Abe, 2-2.

COMMODORE STEPHEN KITTREDGE dodges a takedown attempt by 120-pound champion Duncan Harrington in their semifinal match at Saturday’s state championship tournament at OV. Kittredge cruised in consolation earning third place.
Independent photo/Steve James

• 157: Mason Atkins, Mt. Abe, 0-2.

• 190: Steven Lackard, MUHS, 0-2.

• 285: Derek Li, OV, 0-2; Izaak Wolniewicz, VUHS, 2-2.

The full standings for the scoring teams were:

1. Mount Anthony 189; 2. Spaulding 154; 3. Colchester 149.5; 4. Otter Valley 122.5; 5. MUHS 106.5; 6. VUHS 99.5; 7. Essex 80.5; 8. Springfield 68.5; 9. Mount Abe 60; 10. (tie) Burr & Burton and Fair Haven 58,; 12. Randolph 53; 13. Mount Mansfield 50; 14. Harwood 46; 15. Champlain Valley 32.5; 16. Winooski 22; 17. (tie) Lamoille and Rutland 20; 19. St. Johnsbury 18.5; 20. North Country 18; 21. Lyndon 17; 22. Mill River 14; 23. Lake Region 7; 24. Mount St. Joseph 5.

TIGER ALEX SPERRY takes it to Fair Haven’s Anthony Szabo during their 126-pound semifinal at Saturday’s state championship meet at OV. Sperry won the bout and claimed 2nd place in the weight class.
Independent photo/Steve James

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