Trumbull's Cannone 2nd at NCAA Div. 3 national tournament
Connecticut Wrestling Online
LaCROSSE, Wisc, March 11 – Trumbull’s Cross Cannone, a sophomore at Wartburg (Iowa) College, helped top-ranked Wartburg win their 13th NCAA Division III national championship Saturday by finishing second at 141 pounds.
Cannone was one of two Connecticut wrestlers to earn All-American honors at the meet. Newington’s Chris Chorzepa, a senior at Williams College, finished eighth at 184 pounds to earn All-American honors for the third time in his career.
Middletown senior Devon Carrillo went 1-2 for Wesleyan at 197 pounds at the NCAA championship meet while Southington sophomore Zach Bylykbashi went 2-2 for Washington at Lee at 133 pounds.
Cannone (30-5) won three matches to earn his spot in the final including a 3-1 overtime win over defending national champion Devin Broukal of Wabash. Broukal, who won a NCAA Div. 3 title at 133 a year ago, took a 1-0 lead on a third period escape with 1:38 remaining. But the match was tied when Broukal was penalized for stalling with 49 seconds left.
In overtime, Cannone got a takedown with 35 seconds left to secure the win.
In the final, Cannone dropped a 4-0 decision to top-ranked Dustin Weinmann of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Weinmann got a takedown with 37 seconds left in the first period and extended the lead with a second period escape. He also picked up a point for riding time.
Cannone was the first Connecticut wrestler to wrestle in a NCAA Division III championship bout since Brennan Ward (Waterford) of Johnson & Wales finished second 184 pounds in 2010. The last Division III champion from Connecticut was the late Steve Fernandez (Southington) of the College of New Jersey in 1982.
Cannone won his opening bout of the tournament, 3-2 over Devin Tortorice of Wisconsin-Whitewater thanks to a riding time point. In the quarterfinal, he beat Joshua Decatur, 6-2, thanks to a pair of takedowns.
Chorzepa earned All-American honors for the third time in his four-year career. He finishes his career at Williams with the most wins in school history (130-14, .903). Former Eph’ Corey Paulish of Ridgefield finished his career with 129-35 record in 2011.
"Chris has been a special a special kid and has given us a special career and it was hard to see him not being able to complete his career on the mat," Williams coach Scott Honecker said. "There are a lot of emotions that come with Christopher's career ending as an All-American for the third time. The most powerful emotion, from the standpoint of the coaching staff, is thankfulness.
“We are thankful Chris chose to come to Williams College and thankful for his tremendous contributions to Williams wrestling and thankful that we had the opportunity to spend this four-year journey with someone as special as him,” Honecker said. “It will be sad to see him go, but it is reassuring to know that he will have a similar impact in his future endeavors as the lasting impact he has on our program."
Chrozepa earned his second straight NCAA Northeast Region title to earn his ticket to the national championships.
It was a rough start for Chorzepa in the tournament against Trent Hullett of Alma College. Chorzepa led 9-5 in the third period but when he got up from the down position he was caught by Hullett, who put Chorzepa down on his back and executed a pin at 5:37.
Chorzepa had two takedowns in a 7-2 win over Deuly Espinal of Cortland State in the first round of the consolation bracket.
In his next bout against Patrick Rooney of U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, an escape with 56 seconds left in the match and a takedown with 30 seconds left gave Chorzepa a 7-6 lead. Rooney escaped with 22 seconds to tie the bout but Chorzepa had 1:49 in riding time to secure an 8-7 win and All-American honors for the third time.
Chorzepa was scheduled to wrestle on Saturday but withdrew due to undisclosed injuries and finished eighth.
Carrillo was seeded fourth at 197 pounds and opened the tournament with a pin of Central’s Matt Seabold in 1:32. Carrillo led 12-1 when he pinned Seabold, an All-American in 2015. But the Wesleyan senior dropped a 5-2 decision to NCAA Div. 3 East Regional champion A.J. Kowal of Stevens Tech in the quarterfinals.
Carrillo (23-3) was eliminated when he was pinned in 4:58 by Guy Patron of Loras.
Bylykbashi (26-6) dropped his opening match to Jared Braun of Elmhurst by a score of 11-6. He then recovered to defeat eighth-seeded Joe Brodman of Wisconsin-Whitewater by a score of 2-1 in the consolation bracket.
His next match was a 9-6 victory over Evan Corso of Oswego State, but his tournament ended one win shy of placing and earning All-America honors with a 10-4 setback against seventh-seeded Cam Timok of Central (Iowa). He finished his sophomore campaign with a 26-6 overall record. Through two seasons, Bylykbashi owns a 60-16 overall mark.