Not until last weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association Division I championship meet did Liverpool wrestler Pat Carroll-Marsh have to face defeat.
Through 31 matches, including an impressive sweep through the Section III meet Feb. 11 at SRC Arena, Carroll-Marsh had won 31 times, mostly through pins.
However, when the state’s top wrestlers gathered at Albany’s Times Union Center, Carroll-Marsh’s state title dreams quickly ended.
In Friday’s opening round, Carroll-Marsh faced Section II champion El Shaddai Gilmore, from Columbia. It was closely fought for six minutes, but Carroll-Marsh could not make the quick moves he had perfected all winter, and lost a 5-2 decision.
Relegated to the consolation bracket, Carroll-Marsh did beat Mohonasen’s Cory Quintana, recording a 14-second pin, one of the quickest of the entire state meet. But in the next round, Uniondale’s Dante Salkey would beat Carroll-Marsh 8-4 on his way to a fifth-place effort.
As for Gilmore, he made it all the way to the championship round Saturday night before Syosset’s Evan Kappatos beat him 3-2.
Section III only had one Division I (large schools) wrestler reach the finals – Shayne Brady, from Carthage, who lost his title match to Plainedge’s Dan Spurgeon 6-3.
All of the area’s state champions competed in Division II (small schools), where Phoenix’s Nick Tighe won his second straight state crown at 126 pounds, Firebirds teammate Tyler Button prevailed at 145 pounds and Canastota’s Zach Zupan won it all at 170 pounds.