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CV’s Smullen takes 4th at Meet of Champions

For the second year in a row, the ConVal wrestling team had seven members qualify for Saturday’s Meet of Champions.

To make it to the state meet, the ConVal wrestlers had to finish in the top five of their weight class at the Division II meet. And to advance past Saturday, which included the top six wrestlers from Division I and the best three from D-III, the Cougars would have to place in the top three.

In the end, Saturday marked the close of the season for all seven Cougars, as none finished with the top-three performance needed to earn a spot at this weekend’s New England Championships in Providence, R.I.

Junior Adam Smullen had the best finish of the day, placing fourth overall at 160 pounds. Smullen, who was the No. 3 seed, was 2-2 on the day and was one spot out of qualifying for New Englands.

“I was hoping Adam would qualify for New Englands and see what it’s like to be there,” said ConVal coach Brian Whittemore.

Smullen, who took home the Division II title at 160, won a pair of matches to make it to the semifinals before losing to Oyster River’s Caleb Cole, the Division III champion.

In the consolation semifinals, Smullen earned an 11-5 decision over Milford’s Connor Borne to pull within one win of advancing. But Smullen was pinned in the consolation finals by Timberlane’s Chris Pagliccia. Smullen won all three of his matches at the Division II meet by pin to earn his first individual title and finished the season with a 29-7 in-state record.

Senior DJ Colburn wrestled more on Saturday than he did over the entire season. Colburn, who won the D-II title at 113 pounds last year, missed most of the regular season this year and only had three matches prior to last week’s D-II meet — where he went 1-1 and placed second at 113.

But on Saturday, Colburn wrestled six matches and finished 3-3 on the day, placing sixth in his weight class. Colburn finishes his career with 98 wins, just two shy of becoming the fifth ConVal wrestler to reach triple digits.

Colburn also had a rematch with D-II champion Jacob Nault of Goffstown and lost 12-7 after being pinned in the finals the previous week.

“It was a much better match,” said Whittemore. “He wrestled a lot better.”

Senior Jesse Mitchell won his 100th match in the quarterfinal round of the Division II Championships on Feb. 16. Mitchell went on to win one more that day and place second at 138 pounds.

On Saturday, Mitchell lost both of his matches and finishes his career with 101 wins and is tied for third all-time with 2012 graduate Dan Smullen. Mitchell’s older brother, Justin, owns the most wins in program history with 108.

But Mitchell was not alone in dropping his only two matches at Meet of Champions. Junior Mike Allen, 132 pounds, junior Zach Davis, 220, and freshman Josh Curran, 145, all finished fourth in their weight classes at the D-II meet, but went 0-2 on Saturday. Sophomore Jake Rupp also lost both matches after earning the fifth and final qualifying spot at 152 pounds in D-II.

“For the guys that went for the first time, they had to get there and see what to expect,” said Whittemore.

Of the seven wrestlers, five will return next year.

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