Ridgefield wrestlers eighth in Class LL, send six to Open

Continuing its strong post-season, the Ridgefield High wrestling team finished eighth at the Class LL state championship meet Saturday at Trumbull High School.

The Tigers had 111.5 points, 16.5 more than ninth-place East Hartford.

Six Ridgefield wrestlers finished in the top six in their respective weight classes and qualified for next weekend's State Open. Only first-place Danbury (11), second-place Xavier (seven), fourth-place Southington (eight), fifth-place Trumbull (seven), and sixth-place Fairfield Warde (seven) had more wrestlers place in the top six.

Junior Jesse Walker provided Ridgefield's best performance, as he finished third at 126 pounds with a 16-6 major decision over East Hartford's Timothy Roberts. Seeded seventh, Walker recovered from an 8-1 loss to second-seed Kyle Fields of Danbury in the quarterfinals to win four straight matches in the consolation bracket.

Sophomore Ben Smart and junior Simon Preston added fourth-place finishes for the Tigers. Smart lost to Xavier's Ronan Marino, 4-3, in the third-place match at 106 pounds, while Preston fell to Xavier's Jake Holland, 10-5, in the third-place match at 145 pounds.

Senior Liam Courtney and junior Chris D'Entrone contributed fifth-place finishes for Ridgefield. Courtney defeated East Hartford's Benjamin Groh in the fifth-place match at 152 pounds, and D'Entrone pinned Trumbull's Joseph Palmieri in 3:30 in the fifth-place match at 195 pounds.

Also qualifying for the State Open was freshman Brian Showstead, who finished sixth at 160 pounds. Showstead was edged by Shelton's Delonne Sloan, 4-2, in the match for fifth place.

Notes: Danbury won the Class LL title with 272.5 points. Xavier was a distant second with 191 points, 10 more than third-place Newtown.

Twenty-four teams scored points at the Class LL meet. Along with Danbury, Trumbull (fifth), Fairfield Warde (sixth), and Westhill (10th), Ridgefield was one of five FCIAC teams that finished in the top 10.

For complete Class LL team standings and weight-class brackets, click here.