Keppler wins weight class at Greater Hartford Open
Ridgefield junior Liam Keppler continued his impressive start to the 2019-20 season by winning his weight class at the Greater Hartford Open wrestling tournament on Saturday in East Hartford.
Keppler won the 170-pound championship, helping Ridgefield place 10th (out of 22 teams) with 92.5 points.
Seeded fourth in his weight class, Keppler began the tournament by pinning Brandon Nguyen of Conard in 1:41. Keppler then won a pair of decisions — 18-12 over fifth-seed Rocky Mayer of Hand and 9-3 over top-seed Theran Varase of Norwich Free Academy — to reach the finals.
In the championship match, Keppler pinned second-seed Robert Clarke of Manchester in 3:23.
Sophomore Nate Blaha also advanced to the finals for Ridgefield, finishing as the runner-up at 113 pounds.
Blaha, the fourth seed, pinned Adam Stomsky of Newington in 46 seconds and then won a 9-3 decision against fifth-seed Asim Samuel of Killingly. A 7-3 victory over top-seed Nick Urso of Conard sent Blaha to the championship match, which he lost a 10-0 major decision to second-seed Bryce Arnold of Wethersfield.
Also placing (top five in each division) for the Tigers was Alex Blaha, who finished fifth at 103 pounds. Seeded eighth, Blaha won by technical fall in his opening match before losing on an 8-0 major decision to top-seed Cameron Hines of Haddam-Killingworth in the quarterfinals.
Blaha dropped to the consolation bracket and defeated three straight opponents, ending the tournament with a 9-0 major decision over fourth-seed Alvin Moody of East Hartford in the match for fifth place.
Killingly finished first in the team standings with 158.5 points. Southington was second with 153 points.
Notes: Ridgefield defeated Fairfield Ludlowe, 43-28, in a dual meet last Wednesday.
Winning their matches for the Tigers were Nate Blaha (8-4 decision) at 113 pounds; Malik Adebimpe (pin in 2:14) at 126 pounds; Lucas Ferreira (pin in 1:20) at 132 pounds; Andrey Kosygin (pin) at 138 pounds; Philip Ferreira (10-3 decision) at 145 pounds; Matt Nightingale (pin in 1:50) at 160 pounds; Keppler (pin in 3:04) at 182 pounds; James Nightingale (pin in 1:59) at 285 pounds; and Alex Blaha (forfeit) at 106 pounds.