H.S. Wrestling: Timberlane on top at Meet of Champions
Ben Nawn, from Concord, strains to get the upper hand on Matthew Gregoire of Goffstown to win the match in the 152 pound class, on Saturday during the State Meet of Champions at Londonderry. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
LONDONDERRY — At the rate he's going, Barry Chooljian might as well pencil in a victory every year at the NHIAA Meet of Champions.
The 26-year Timberlane of Plaistow wrestling coach led his squad to yet another team title on Saturday night at Londonderry High School.
The meet was continuing at presstime, but the Owls had such a large lead they could not be topped in the standings, giving Timberlane its ninth state championship in a row and 17th of the past 20.
“Coming out of the Division I championships last week, we did really well, but we're so young the question was if we could repeat,” said Chooljian. “Then we took nine out of 10 matches in the semis and we knew we had it. That's hard enough to do in a local tournament, let alone the state one.”
Following the completion of semifinals, Division I champion Timberlane had a commanding lead atop the standings with 245 points.
With first place locked up by the Owls, the battle for runner-up began.
Led by sophomore Division I winners Kyle and Keaton Peterson, Manchester Central held a slight edge over Pinkerton of Derry for second, 111 to 91.
“When the twins (Kyle and Keaton) competed here last year and lost, I think they were a little bit nervous,” said Central head coach Jim Delani. “Today they competed like they have been all year.”
The competition dropped off from there, seeing Nashua North with 65, Londonderry with 61, Concord with 53, Milford with 52, Manchester Memorial with 52, Goffstown with 50, Bedford with 46, Division II champion Hollis/Brookline with 45, Plymouth with 41, Con-Val of Peterborough with 35, Salem with 33.5, Nashua South with 33, Alvirne of Hudson with 33, Sanborn of Kingston with 30.5, Exeter with 29, Bishop Guertin of Nashua with 25, Division III champion Windham with 21.5, Winnacunnet of Hampton with 21.5, Merrimack with 21, Campbell with 17, Pelham with 15, John Stark of Weare with 11, Bow with 11, Souhegan of Amherst with 11, Winnisquam of Tilton with 9, Franklin with 9, Spaulding of Rochester with 8, Newfound of Bristol with 6, Newport with 6, White Mountains of Whitefield with 5.5, Manchester West with 4, Keene with 3, and St. Thomas of Dover and Kearsarge of Sutton not registering points.
The top three wrestlers from each weight class move on from the Meet of Champions to next weekend's New England championships held in Providence, R.I.