ROCKY HILL–The Bunnell High wrestling team took fifth place at the Rocky Hill Invitational on Saturday.
A trio of wrestlers earned runner-up finishes in the meet and Ryan McLaughlin earned the Highest GPA Award courtesy of his 4.0 GPA.
“The guys all wrestled well and this was a great way to build momentum for SWCs and States coming up,” Bunnell coach Sean Sloat said.
Mike Amorando, Julian Dematteo and Brandon Toscano each took second place in their respective weight classes.
Amorando took second at 126 pounds. He pinned his way to the finals and lost an exciting match against a wrestler from Massachusetts.
Dematteo, wrestling at 145 pounds, had a scare in his opening match, getting thrown to his back in the first 10 seconds. He showed why he is a veteran wrestler by coming back with a reversal and eventual pin. He was losing 5-3 going into the third period of his second match, as well, but Dematteo wrestled tough on top on the third and turned his opponent to get the pin.
Toscano took second at 182 pounds. His semifinal match was very exciting as he was leading 8-3 after the first period. He missed a few opportunities and his opponent battled back in the second period putting him behind 13-11 going into the third period. Wrestling on top in the third period, Brandon hit his signature barbed-wire pinning combination to get the pin and earn his spot in the finals.
Senior CJ Falotico took third place at Heavyweight. He lost to a monster heavyweight from Avon in the semifinals and then came back strong and won a close match 6-4 to make it to the consolation finals. In his last match, he faced a state ranked wrestler from Somers. Falotico gave up the first takedown and trailed 2-0. He fought off some viscous moves and stayed tough going into the third period. From there, Falotico took advantage of one small mistake by the Somers wrestler and put him to his back to get the pin and take third place.
In addition to earning the GPA Award, McLaughlin took fourth place at 106 pounds.
His twin brother, Luke McLaughlin, also took fourth place but at 160 pounds.
Bunnell will travel to Masuk on Wednesday for its next match.