NASHUA — Perhaps no wrestler left Saturday’s NHIAA Meet of Champions more frustrated than Bishop Guertin High School’s Dan Franco, a Manchester resident who dropped a 6-5 decision to Concord’s Isaac Gladey in the 170-pound final.
Franco, who lost to Justin Berube in the 152-pound final at last year’s MOC, had a 5-4 lead until Gladey recorded a takedown with four seconds remaining in the match.
“Honestly at that point in a match (when Gladey took the lead) it’s hard to think because of how much you’ve put into wrestling,” Franco said. “It’s hard to really think about what you’re doing in the moment, but I just tried to keep my motor going and use that last bit of gas in the tank, but I came up short today.”
Franco entered the MOC with a 33-2 record. His losses came against Salem’s Tristen Cabinta and Oyster River’s Noah Strout, each of whom prevailed in their weight class at Saturday’s event.
Franco, a senior, will wrestle for Division I Sacred Heart University next fall.
“I’m not mad, but I’m upset because of how much work I’ve put in,” he said. “Gladey definitely earned that win. Wrestled tough. I think I gave it all 100 percent of what I could do. At the end of the day that’s all you can ask for.”
Timberlane’s Konrad Parker defeated Plymouth’s Charlie Comeau to win the 106-pound weight class; Timberlane’s Nick Roeger beat White Mountains’ Jonathan Austin at 113; Salem’s Matt Adams defeated Timberlane’s John Leavitt at 120; Timberlane’s Codey Wild beat Concord’s Jack Sargent at 126; Timberlane’s Connor McGonagle defeated Newport’s Josh Sharron at 132; Timberlane’s Nick Pallaria topped Bishop Guertin’s Zach Rioux at 138; Timberlane’s Antonio Pallaria won by medical forfeit over Exeter’s Hayden Brown at 145; Strout beat Nashua South’s Tom Cullerton at 152; Cabinta defeated Pinkerton Academy’s Jack Mackiernan at 160; Pinkerton’s Sterling McLaughlin won at 182 with a victory over Hollis-Brookline’s Zack Brickner; Salem’s Beau Dillon beat Kyle Setzer at 195; Concord’s Noah Giffard topped Pinkerton’s Robert Fahey at 220; and Keene’s Kyle Garrapy beat Portsmouth’s Thor Griffith at 285.
McGonagle, a senior, won his weight class at the Meet of Champions in each of his four years of high school. Cabinta also became a four-time MOC champion and his victory pushed him into first place for all-time wins in the Salem program’s history. Only five other wrestlers in NHIAA history are four-time MOC champions.
Adams, McGlaughlin and Dillon also prevailed in their weight class at last year’s Meet of Champions.
Austin and Sharron were the only Division III wrestlers to advance to the finals. Both were first-place finishers at the Meet of Champions in 2017.
Bow freshman Skylar Hattendorf finished fourth at 120 pounds and became the first female to place at the Meet of Champions.
The top three finishers from each weight class advanced to next weekend’s New England Championships in Providence, R.I. McGonagle, who will wrestle at Lehigh, was New Hampshire’s only New England champion last year. He also won the national championship at 132 pounds.
Timberlane earned 244.5 points and won the team competition for the 16th consecutive season. Concord was second with 143 points, followed by Salem (136), Pinkerton (134.5) and Campbell (99).
Salem (2003) is the last team to prevail at the Meet of Champions other than Timberlane.