A whole slate of top local high school wrestlers went after Section III championships last weekend at Utica Memorial Auditorium, coming close on several fronts.
Solvay's combined enrollment with Westhill meant that it would be part of the Division I (large school) tournament, where expectations were high.
Tom Bradley came in as the top seed at 215 pounds, with a perfect mark of 31-0. He made it 32 in a row during the quarterfinals, pinning West Genesee's Pete Schoeneck in 1:56, but took a stunning 3-2 defeat to Cicero-North Syracuse's Austin Morris in the semifinals.
Bradley would recover to finish third, beating Jacob Forster (Rome Free Academy), then Josh Morehouse (Cortland) 3-1 in the consolation bracket final. His 34-1 mark could still mean a wild-card bid to this weekend's state meet at Times Union Center in Albany.
Solvay would get Aaron Benedict to the 130-pound championship match. Starting out as the no. 3 seed, Benedict beat Jason DeGouff (Cortland) 10-0 and held off Chittenango's Wes Blanding 3-1 in the semifinal round.
Fulton's Eric Smith would prove too tough in the final, though, beating Benedict 7-1. For the season, Benedict's record is 23-6.
As for other Solvay wrestlers, J.T. Romagnoli (103 pounds) earned fifth place when he edged past Corcoran's Mike Miranda 2-1 in overtime. Mike Warne was sixth at 152 pounds and John Sanson sixth at 285 pounds.
Riley Delaney (96 pounds) fell in the quarterfinals, and Mitch Anthony, despite a no. 6 seed at 130 pounds, lost a narrow opening-round match to Oneida's Matt Fisher 8-6.
West Genesee saw Heitham Wady finish third at 145 pounds. He shut out Jacob Frezza (Carthage) 6-0, then took a 7-2 semifinal defeat to Indian River's Dustin Shawcross. Forced into the consolation bracket, Wady won it, beating Montana Sanders (Cortland) 3-2 in overtime and Lamont Fleming (Corcoran) 4-2 in the third-place match.