NEW HAVEN, Feb. 26 – The difference between winning and losing is small at the CIAC State Open wrestling championships. Avon’s David St. Onge lost his two matches by a combined four points.
Avon’s Ryan Pearson (160) won two matches and was eliminated in the consolation semifinals, one victory shy of finishing in the top six of their respective weight classes and earning a medal.
Pearson, who finished second in Class L at 160 pounds, had a rematch of the recent NCCC championship bout in his first Open match. In the NCCC final, Pearson pinned Ellington’s Matt Janiga in less than a minute. However, this time, Janiga prevailed with a pin in 5:44.
Tied at 4-4, Janiga got a third period takedown, put Pearson to his back and made it stick. Pearson (33-9) rallied with two straight wins in the consolation round. He beat Manchester’s Chris Turner, 8-2 and shutout Romera DaSilva of Platt Tech/West Haven, 9-0. However, in the consolation semifinals, Fairfield Warde’s Mike Sullivan was too strong in a 5-0 victory.
St. Onge lost a 3-0 decision to Somers’ Kyle Foster in the first round and was eliminated after a 1-0 loss to Tyre Pinder of Hartford co-op thanks to a third period escape.
Avon teammate James Gendler (140) finished fifth in Class L and was an alternate. He was ready when another wrestler dropped out. Gendler lost both his matches but his second loss was a close one in a 4-3 loss to RHAM’s Kyle Schilling. Down 3-0, Gendler escaped and got a takedown to tie the match but Schilling’s late escape gave him the victory.