UPDATED: Sun., Feb. 11, 12:20 p.m.
SPRINGFIELD – For the first time in more than a decade, there is a new leader in Western Massachusetts high school Division 1 wrestling.
Putnam upset defending state champion Central at the WMASS championships Saturday, upending the host school 249-243.5 to end the Golden Eagles run of dominance.
The two schools dominated the championship circle with four wrestlers from Putnam (Jaron Brown, 152 pounds; Ahmad Sharif, 160; Taha Huggins, 182; Davyn Peterson, 220) and Central (Mahari Miller, 138; Dohnovin Harvey, 170; Darby McLaughlin, Jr., 195; Chass St. Phaard, 285) each taking home individual crowns.
Despite not producing a single individual champ, Westfield (7th place, 117 points) managed to send five wrestlers to the state championships – the most in recent memory – with third place finishes from 132-pounder Vitalliy Borodin and 160-pound wrestler Dennis Sevastianov, 160, and fourth place efforts from senior captain Josh Larriu (113), Isaac Santos (126), and Ed Towers (138).
Westfield had 12 wrestlers in 14 of the weight classes, and sent eight to the podium.
Larriu won three matches by pin, including pins over Holyoke’s Cormac Norton and West Springfield’s Taha Al Sutani before falling to eventual champion, Ludlow’s Dylan Beddow and Putnam’s Alberto Archival.
Unseeded Westfield junior Ed Borodin (120 pounds) shocked the crowd when he defeated second-seeded Kevin Bermudez (Putnam). Borodin went on to pin Agawam’s Kyle Ma in the third period to reach the semifinals, where he fell to Chicopee’s Mustafa Hamid. He then lost to Bermudez in a controversial rematch that saw Bermudez employ a stall tactic that failed to even draw a warning.
Borodin finished up by pinning No. 4 seed, Central’s Mike Paul to capture fifth place.
Santos pinned East Longmeadow’s Andrew Calvanese early before losing to finalist Matt Freda, of Longmeadow. He went on to beat Central’s Sam Torres by technical fall, 15-0, and faced Putnam’s Randy Casiano, who had beaten him twice this year.
In the rematch, Santos swarmed all over Casiano, winning in dominant fashion 13-4.
Vitalliy Borodin suffered a loss in his WMass tourney opener, a 6-5 defeat to Northampton’s Noah Brink. Borodin bounced back by pinning Holyoke senior Judea Johnson and Longmeadow’s James Shea, defeating No. 5 seed, Devin Svec (West Side), 8-3.
When it mattered most, Borodin wrestled his best. Later in a rematch with Brink, Borodin excelled with a thrilling 1-0 win as he scored the match’s only point in the final 30 seconds.
Towers reached the semifinals with a pin of Holyoke’s Jorge Jimenez before falling to eventual champ Mahari Miller, of Central. He also pinned Chicopee’s Ramon Crespo in the consolation finals, but was pulled in his final match due to injury.
Westfield sophomore Mike Durkee (145 pounds) lost to second-seeded senior Charlie Vargas (Chicopee) and senior Jose Torres (Chicopee). Bombers’ sophomore Cam Foster lost to seniors Sam Byrnes (Longmeadow) and Dario Papollo (Agawam).
Sevastianov (unseeded) lost his first match to Central’s Darrien Stewart before pinning Chicopee Comp’s Jeff Ramah, No. 5 seed Noah Sharpe (West Side), and No. 4 seed Jake White (Agawam).
Later on, Sevastianov overwhelmed Stewart in a rematch with a first-period pin to complete his third-place run.
At 170 pounds, Westfield senior captain Jack Yvon lost to No. 5 seed Nolan Martini (Putnam). Yvon responded with a pin of Ludlow’s Evan Shaw and win by technical fall over No. 6 seed Austin Seiffert (East Longmeadow), 15-0, to finish fifth.
At 182, Westfield sophomore Carlito Serrano lost to senior finalist Gardner Olsen, of Longmeadow, and Milton Vasquez (West Side).
At 220, unseeded freshman Rudolf Okhrimenko pinned junior Doug Swinton (Chicopee) to eventually finish in sixth place.
Westfield heavyweight Johann Schippe lost to seniors William Dion (Longmeadow) and Thomas Vann (Putnam).
In Division 3, Gateway’s Brandon Daniels defeated Taconic LaFreniere in a championships matchup of 113 pounders.
Southwick (55 points) and Gateway (52) finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th place, respectively.
Taconic won the Western Massachusetts D3 title with 228.5 points.