CHELMSFORD — The season-long marathon has now turned into a sprint.
Superb competition and a few upsets at yesterday’s Division 1 North sectional tourney kicked off a weather-condensed eight-day dash to the All-States.
In all, four area athletes ascended to the top of the podium led by Methuen 132-pounder and sectional outstanding wrestler Paul Sughrue. The Ranger senior was even more commanding than he was last year in his run to the sectional title, authoring a pair of first-period pins and finishing up with a dominant 16-1 technical fall in the finals against St. John’s Prep’s Fred Colberg.
Continuing their 1-2 punch into the postseason, teammate Christian Monserrat rolled over Lawrence’s Anfernee Green for a 16-0 technical fall midway through the final period in the 126-pound finals.
The pleasant surprise of the tourney came right at the start of the finals as a savvy Hector Reynoso of Lawrence learned well from an early-season loss to Methuen’s Billy Wehring, turning the tide to take a 4-2 triumph at 106 pounds.
“Last time I wrestled him, I picked bottom (position in the second period). He’s good on top and he turned me,” said Reynoso. “I told my coach to go neutral so I’d have a better chance to take him down.”
Reynoso did just that, breaking open a tight one-point match in the third period with a clutch takedown that Wehring couldn’t recover from.
Ian Butterbrodt of North Andover and St. John’s Prep raised his unblemished record to 46-0 as the sophomore kept Haverhill’s Samie Al-Ziad befuddled all match en route to an 8-1 victory at 220 pounds. Butterbrodt targeted Al-Ziad’s legs and rode the advantage to a pair of near-falls.
As impressive as his season has been, it becomes more eye-opening considering the possible advantage he gives his opponents.