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Young wrestlers do well at classic
RUMFORD -- The opportunity to test skills against live competition was certainly front and center on the wrestling mats in the 13th annual Mountain Valley Youth Classic at packed Puiia Gymnasium.
The well-known event has continued to provide strong competition and this year proved to be no exception.
This included age groups, beginning with MV pre-kindergartener, first-second, third-fourth grades, fifth-sixth and seven-eighth grades. Team scores in k-4 had Wells (104) beating out Mountain Valley (93) and Lebanon (91).
The tide was turned in grades 5-8 as Mountain Valley (84) regained the title, followed by Massabesic (74) and Oceanside (72).
Mountain Valley champions in the middle school were Nate White and Caleb Austin, with finalists Ethan Boucher and Daren Bruno.
Austin won his eighth title in Classic with a 9-2 decision. On the flip side, Boucher lost a hard-fought 2-1 match.
“This was a very good tournament,” said Eric Austin, who is a member of the organizing committee. “We had 388 wrestlers show up and compete. It's a credit to the parents who braved the snowy weather to bring the kids. Also, the high school state meets had been held yesterday, so it meant additional traveling.”
Dirigo's Bryce Whittemore, eighth grader at 117, repeated as champion. Cougar Colton Carlow won in the younger grades, with finalists Hudson Lufkin, Lucas Libby and Jake Ellis.
Third places in older division were MV's Vinnie Deroche, Josh Thibodeau, Kyle Farrar and Micheal Arsenault. Dylan and Eddie Deroches each placed fourth.
MV champions included first graders Ariana Jones and Elijah Ludus; second grader Trent Holman and fourth grader Anthony Mazza, Jr. Second place went to Zackary Putnam and Jared LaPointe. Third place finishers were Miles Smith, Brianna Jones, Caleb Gamache, Nate Gamache, Logan Graham, Rier Durant, Grant Carrier, Wyatt Hamna, Jacob LaPointe and Dylan Deroche.
The Most Outstanding Wrestler awards were named in honor of the late Lucas Dolloff, who competed for Dirigo.
“This requires quite a bit of planning, but we've got a great group of organizers who made things run smooth,”said Austin, in crediting Joe and Linda Thornton, Larry Gill and Carrie Thibodeau. ''The parents and other volunteers are always willing to step in and help, which provides the kids with a great experience."
Consolation matches won for Dirigo were by Dana Goding, Colin Haas and Hunter White.
High school wrestlers from MV and Dirigo refereed the matches and each of them got their careers going by having competed in this tournament.
''They did a great job,'' said Austin. “The other coaches all commented on how well the matches were scored.''