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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Liam Carlin from Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Secures 145-pound State Wrestling Championship

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ALBANY — Liam Carlin of Burnt Hills-Ballston⁣ Lake arrived⁢ at the NYSPHSAA boys’ wrestling championships on Saturday night with a clear mission:⁤ to claim his rightful ​place at ‌the top.

Carlin, after a nail-biting ultimate‌ tiebreaker in the Division 1 145-pound semifinals, made it to the state championship match for the second year in a row.

In ‌the 145-pound final, Carlin​ faced off against ⁤Mason Ketcham⁢ from ⁤Washingtonville. He scored three points in the second period with an‌ escape and takedown, and⁣ managed to secure a 3-1 decision, thus clinching the state‌ title.

“I told myself that this was my‍ mat and I’m going to win this thing,” Carlin shared, his eyes set on the top spot ‌of the podium. “After finishing second last year, ‍I was determined not to repeat that.”

“I had‍ set this goal for myself and had it noted down ⁢on my phone,” he continued. “I would look at ⁣it⁣ every day, and now ‌I’ve achieved it.”

Carlin had ‍a smooth run in the initial rounds of the tournament on Friday, securing two consecutive wins with pins in times of 1:11 and 1:04.

He started Saturday with a semifinal against Te’shaun​ Mathews from Niagara ‌Wheatfield. The match ⁤was tied 1-1 in the‍ third period, but⁣ Carlin managed to win in ​the ultimate tiebreaker round of overtime.

With a ⁤44-3 record and ​being the top seed in the 145-pound bracket, Carlin never underestimated ⁢any of his opponents.

“We often discussed seeds and how they shouldn’t be given too much importance,”‍ Carlin said. “What truly ⁢matters is who⁢ wants it‍ more and who’s willing to fight for it.”

Since his‌ freshman year, Carlin has consistently improved his performance at the ‌state tournament. In 2022, he finished fourth as a‍ 126-pounder.

Last⁢ season, as a 132-pounder, he‌ had to settle for second place after losing a decision in the state final.

This year, however, as a junior,⁤ he finally achieved his dream of becoming ⁤the champion of New York high school wrestling.

“My parents, my grandma, and my coaches have invested ​so much time and effort⁤ in me,” Carlin said. “I knew I couldn’t let them down.”

As for his future plans?

“I’m far from finished,” he declared. “I still have a lot to accomplish.”

SECTION‌ 2 RESULTS

Section 2’s other contender for a state title was Kieran Cullen from Greenville in the Division 2 145-pound bracket.

Cullen, the No. 2 seed, recorded a pin and then an 8-2 decision win on Friday, ⁣advancing to the semifinals on⁤ Saturday. He secured a 5-1 decision, earning himself a shot at the state title.

In the final, Cullen was up against Casper‍ Stewart from Attica-Batavia. Despite trailing 4-0 late in the third period, Cullen managed to narrow the gap with points from a ⁤stalling call and an escape. However,⁤ he couldn’t‌ completely close the ⁣gap, losing the decision ​4-2.

Cullen ended his senior season with a commendable 44-3 record.

At the Division 1 level, Section 2 had two third-place finishers: Ralph Keeney from Ballston Spa at 108 pounds and Taylor Beaury from Saratoga Springs at 131 pounds.

After Keeney lost an 8-5 decision in‍ his‍ quarterfinal match,⁤ he bounced back with four consecutive‌ wins in the consolation bracket,⁢ all via pin, to secure third place. He concluded​ his senior year with a ‍45-2 record.

Beaury, a junior, lost a​ 5-4 decision in the second round of the tournament but made a ‌remarkable comeback with six consecutive ⁢wins in the wrestlebacks to secure ​the third spot on the 131-pound podium.

In ‍the third-place match, Beaury avenged‍ his earlier⁣ loss to Michael ⁣Giugliano from Miller Place,‍ winning a 3-2 decision. Beaury ⁤finished his season with a 26-3 record.

Also in the 131-pound bracket, Jacob Hanlon from Averill ‌Park‍ secured a fifth-place finish.

Vincent Mastrianni, a sophomore from Colonie, secured a fourth-place finish in the 116-pound bracket. After losing a major decision in the quarterfinals, he won three straight consolation matches, before‌ losing a 5-2 decision in the third-place match.

Three other Section 2 wrestlers made it to the Division 1 podiums with seventh-place finishes. These included Brody DiCaprio from​ Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Nico Rivera from​ Mohonasen, and David Ensminger from Shenendehowa.

At the Division 2 level, Jesse Mullis from ‍Hudson Falls secured third place at 190 pounds,⁤ while Trevor ‌Bishop from ⁣Tamarac earned a fourth-place finish‌ at 138.

Ashten ⁢Haley from Cobleskill/Richmondville (124) and Justin Mullis from Hudson Falls each secured fifth place,⁤ while Scott Nicolella from Duanesburg/Schoharie (131) ⁢took seventh place.

DIVISION 1 RESULTS

101: Brody DiCaprio (BHBL), 7th; 108: Ralph Keeney (BSPA), 3rd; 116: Vincent Mastrianni (Colo),⁢ 4th; 124: Nico Rivera (Mohon), 7th; 131: Taylor Beaury (Sar), 3rd; Jacob Hanlon , ⁢5th; 138: David Ensminger (Shen), 7th; ‌145: Liam Carlin (BHBL), 1st.

DIVISION 2 RESULTS

124: Ashten Haley⁢ (C/R), 5th; 131: Justin Mullis (HF), 5th; 131: Scott Nicolella ⁢(D/S), 7th; 138: Trevor Bishop (Tam), 4th; 145: Kieran Cullen (Gre), 2nd; 190: Jesse Mullis (HF), 3rd.

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Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan, an informed and passionate sports reporter, is a former college athlete with a degree in Sports Communication from Ithaca College. Go Bombers!
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