Soaring to new heights

Westfield High wrestler Carlito Serrano put 182 pounds of pressure on his opponent Wednesday night against Northampton. (Photo by Randall S. Burlingame)

WESTFIELD – It appears there are no signs of slowing down this fast moving locomotive.
The Westfield High School wrestling team has been training for moments like these for some time now and it is all paying off. The latest feat was an overwhelming defeat of visiting Northampton as the Bombers steamrolled the Blue Devils 72-9 Wednesday night.
With the victory, Westfield improved to a stellar 9-3.
“I won’t say that our team works harder than any other, but I know that our guys work as hard as any team,” Westfield wrestling coach Chris Malinowski said. “When you can say that, you know you are working harder than most.”
Malinowski said it is a mentality forged in the wrestling room, and maintained on the mat throughout the entire season.
It also starts with a trio of senior captains – Josh Larriu (113 pounds), Isaac Santos (126), and Jack Yvon (170) – who led by example against Northampton.
Larriu improved to 8-0 with his eighth straight pin, pinning Northampton’s Sebastian Abennd in 1:36. Santos pinned Josh Reinhardt in 1:15 to improve to 16-4 with 13 pins. Yvon pinned Nathaniel Walton in 51 seconds to stay unbeaten (7-0). It was Yvon’s sixth pin in seven matches this season.
“(Our wrestlers) push each other to get better every day,” coach Malinowski said.
That was evident in one of the meet’s highlights of the night.
In the third period, Westfield 195-pounder Carlito Serrano found himself on his back against Xavier Chartier and trailing in the match before muscling up off the mat, turning his hips, and reversing his opponent. Serrano put Chartier on his back, winning by fall.
“It was a courageous effort,” Malinowski said. “It was with shear grit and determination.”
LOOKAHEAD: As the wrestling season quickly approaches tournament time, several key matches loom ahead, including a home match against visiting Ludlow Jan. 31 and the Southwick Duals (Gateway will also attend) on Feb. 3, beginning at 10 a.m. The Rams also have a home match against Hampshire Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.

Saints upend Gators
St. Mary’s 61, Gateway 28

St. Mary’s Jake Butler scored 25 to lead all scorers.
Andrew Florek and Luke Willenborg finished with nine and eight points, respectively, for St. Mary’s.
Gateway freshman Evan Cortis had a team-high 14, and Gators’ Nathaniel Bushor had eight.

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