Danbury was the odds-on favorite entering the finals of Saturday's Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference wrestling championships, but the race for second figured to be close. With four finalists and two champions, Greenwich edged Fairfield Warde and Trumbull to grab the runner-up prize at the meet at New Canaan High School.
"The kids did an unbelievable job,'' Greenwich coach George Albano said. "To place 10 guys, it's a credit to how hard they've been working."
Johnny D'Elia won the 112-pound championship with a 3-1 overtime decision. Ben Ceci won the 189-pound title with a pin in 3:24 against Norwalk's Brandon Riggins. D'Elia and Ceci entered the tournament as top seeds.
Jay Cummiskey lost in the 152 final, and Joey McGuire fell in the 215-pound final. McGuire, the No. 4 seed, upset top-seeded Sean DeJager of Wilton in the semifinals with a pin at the 1 minute mark to reach the final. He lost to Trumbull's Bryan Barnash in the final, while Cummiskey fell to No. 2 seed Nick Jimenez of Westhill.
"Joey has been in the varsity lineup for three years, so for him to get a chance to wrestle in the finals with the [MSG] cameras and all the people here was a tremendous achievement,'' Albano said.
Albano also pointed to Matt Diddell's fourth-place finish at 130 pounds as one of the team's surprises. Diddell was seeded sixth. Mark Chien (103) and Cameron Driscoll (140) finished third. Driscoll was seeded eighth and lost only to Darien's Lars Remole. He went 4-1 in the tournament, including 3-0 in the wrestlebacks. He stopped No. 5 seed Ken Philipson with a pin in 1:33 in the match for third place.
"That's what we needed,'' Albano said. "We got contributions from everybody. I couldn't be happier with where we are. I said before, we wanted to be wrestling our best at the end of the season. I think a lot of teams are starting to drag a little bit. We're getting better every time out."
Danbury won the team championship with 234 ½ points. Greenwich also finished runner-up to Danbury in 2007.
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