MIDDLEBURY-SOUTHBURY — The Pomperaug wrestling team is making up for its lost season a year ago with a great start to this one.

Through last Saturday, the Panthers have post a dual meet record of 8-1, including victories over Middletown, 39-27, and Haddam-Killingworth, 36-30, last week. 

They followed that up with a fifth-place finish in a large invitational tournament at Bristol Central last Saturday.

In the Bristol Central Invitational, the Panthers scored 116.5 points and finished behind Hall, fourth, 135; Berlin, third, 139; New Milford, second, 141.5, and New Fairfield, first, 142.

Both the first and second place teams are in the Panthers’ conference, so the competition gets tougher in the league meets.

Pomperaug had two wrestlers crowned champions at the invitational: Michael Carpenter at 152 pounds and Zachary Hartman at 170 pounds. 

Carpenter pinned Bristol Eastern’s Ella Nicholas in just a 1:05 in the final to take the crown.

Hartman won his final by a 6-4 margin over Berlin’s Marco Marino.

Joseph Mastroianni also made it to the finals at 126 pounds, but was pinned by New Milford’s Evan Lindner in 2:37.

Pomperaug had 10 place-winners out of 11 wrestlers Saturday. 

Julianna Morris was fourth at 132 while Emin Ismaili (106), Noen Jian (145) and Alex Lee (182) all claimed fifth place in their classes. Steve Purcell (120) and Blake Dawson (285) were sixth, and Ethan Tracy (138) tied for eighth.

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