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Wrestlers hope to put a lock on titles

WARRENSBURG Two standout varsity wrestlers secured Section II Class D championships Saturday, and they now have their sights set on this weekends overall Section II trophies. One of them, Abby Roth at 103 pounds, has earned her spot in local history as the first female Class D champion from Warrensburg High School. The other, Ryan Black, is expected to rewrite school history if he captures a state championship this weekend as observers are expecting. Abbys first competitor Saturday was Cassie Skellie of Salem. Abby pinned her in 1:15. In her next match -- the semifinal against Zach Olsen from Hadley Luzerne Central-- Abby left less time on the clock. With a quick, fierce attack, Abby swept him Zack his feet, snapped him down and turned him on his back with a quarter-nelson, pinning him in 1:09. Abby was really aggressive Saturday, she didnt waste time going after her opponents, said spectator Peter Black. In the tournament semifinal, she traded points with Ron Radley of Maple Hill. She employed her quick attack, taking him down, but let him get an escape to conserve her energy. In the second period, the two wrestled fairly evenly, but she gave him another escape for one point. In the third period, they both shot for takedowns, but they struggled and Abby ended up flipping him on his back. Her strategy of conserving her energy worked, as his final attempt at scoring point only brought him within two points. Leaving the mat, Abby pumped her fist in the air, while the crowd stood and cheered. Another girl wrestler, competitor but friend Sarah Anderson, waved a Girl Power sign. Abby had won in a 6-4 decision. This is my first title, and it feels really good, Abby said. Especially because my uncles Mark and Todd took a shot at a D championship, but didnt quite do it. It may just be payback. Mark Trapasso, her uncle, is Warrensburg Varsitys coach, and he resisted taking Abby on as a wrestler -- until she showed him she could consistently beat boys her weight. Later, Ryan Black cruised to victory in the 160-pound weight class. Black didnt procrastine with his first opponent. He pinned Kevin Lewis of Whitehall in 52 seconds, a quick time for the higher weight classes. In his second match, Black took down Kyle McKeighan of Salem quickly, but Kyle resisted when forced onto his back. Black pinned him in 1:24. In the finals, Black took on Freshman Nick Gwiazdowski of Duanesburg, the 2nd seed in the class. Nick was strong and had tallied a season 33-9 record. Black kept taking him down then letting him up, and racked up a 10-0 advantage before taking him down two more times. The referee stopped the match and awarded Black a technical fall. The crowd loved it. This Class D championship brings me one step closer to my goal, and thats being state champion, Black said. In his freshman and sophomore years, Black got to the states and placed fourth. Last year, he was out with a broken neck due to a football injury. The Section II tournaments are slated for Friday and Saturday at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

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