SYRACUSE Though in a new venue, it was the same result for Chittenango wrestling star Wes Blanding as he earned a second consecutive Section III Division II championship.
Blanding, who prevailed at 135 pounds a year ago at Utica Memorial Auditorium, made a simple adjustment to 132 pounds and has gone 36-0 this year, including three victories in the sectional meet Saturday at Onondaga Community College’s brand-new SRC Arena.
As the top seed, Blanding put away Morrisville-Eaton’s Barney Prince 16-5 in the quarterfinals and took just 1:11 to pin Dan Wyman (Hannibal) in the semifinals. The final, against Holland Patent’s Matt Herringshaw, proved methodical as Blanding piled up points and earned a 16-6 triumph.
Cody Carbery, attempting to get his own back-to-back sectional titles (he won at 96 pounds in 2011), went through three rounds to reach the finals. He pinned Jeff Taylor (Cato-Meridian) in 2:34, finished off Matt Bristol (Camden) at the end of the second period and held off Nate Bray (Phoenix) 9-5 in the semifinals.
This set up a title match between Carbery and General Brown’s Ryan Snow, a rematch of two 2011 matches split – Carbery won in the sectional meet, Snow in the state meet. One takedown made the difference here, as Snow got it early and Carbery, despite an escape, lost a 3-1 decision.
Still, at 30-4, Carbery is likely to join Blanding at the state meet, set for Feb. 25 and 26 at Albany’s Times Union Center. Blanding is looking to improve upon his third-place effort from a year ago, where he fell in the semifinals by a single point to deny him a place in the championship round.
Elsewhere for the Bears, John Regan, at 152 pounds, won his first-round match over South Jefferson’s Trevor Cowles, but lost 2-0 to Phoenix’s Rowdy Prior in the quarterfinals. At 195 pounds, Zach Graham lost in the first round to Steve Fallon (Canastota) in a 12-5 decision.
Cazenovia put four wrestlers into the sectional meet. Dan Phillips (182 pounds) lost in the first round to Phoenix’s Zach Vaverchak, while Teddy Kugler (138 pounds) fell to Camden’s Cody Sullivan 16-5.
Nick Petroff, at 120 pounds, took a third-period fall to Cato-Meridian’s Kyle Mapley, and Kyle Lucas (285 pounds) dropped his first-round match at 285 pounds to Mohawk’s Stephen Davis.