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Curran is ConVal’s first overall wrestling state champ in 30 years

  • Dan Curran celebrates after pinning Isaac Gladey of Concord to win the state title for wrestling at the 170-lb. weight class. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal’s Dan Curran wrestles Hollis-Brookline’s Jacob Brickner during the NHIAA Meet of Champions Saturday. Curran won the 170-lb. division and became ConVal’s first overall state champion in 30 years. Story, Page 11. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • ConVal wrestling competed at the NHIAA Meet of Champions at Nashua High School South on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal wrestling competed at the NHIAA Meet of Champions at Nashua High School South on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal wrestling competed at the NHIAA Meet of Champions at Nashua High School South on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal wrestling competed at the NHIAA Meet of Champions at Nashua High School South on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, February 26, 2018 9:18AM

Dan Curran is the best wrestler in the state of New Hampshire.

The ConVal senior has been working a long time to earn that title, and he got it on Saturday at the NHIAA Meet of Champions at Nashua High School South. Not only did Curran breeze through the 170-lb. weight class en route to his first-ever overall state title, he was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler and received the state’s wrestling sportsmanship award.

“It feels great,” Curran said. “I’ve been third twice and it feels good to finally climb to the top.”

Curran pinned Bishop Guertin’s Andrew Ha in 3:02 to open the competition, then dispatched Hollis-Brookline’s Jacob Brickner - who Curran beat for the Division II title last week – by pinfall in just under a minute to earn a championship berth. Division I champion Isaac Gladey of Concord High worked his way through the bottom of the bracket, and the two favorites faced off once again in the finals.

Curran had beaten Gladey soundly earlier in the year, but the Tide junior has gotten better over the course of the season.

“He wrestled much better,” Curran said. “He stayed much more controlled in neutral and forced me to take it towards his game, which was a smart game plan by him. But once I picked out a takedown, he didn’t have a defense against my tilts.”

His opponent may have improved, but Curran is on the absolute top of his game. He hasn’t even ceded a single point in over a month on his way to a 47-1 season.

Curran got Gladey with his signature tilt-roll move, earning a few points before deploying one final tilt that caught Gladey off-guard. In the blink of an eye, Gladey’s shoulders were down and the match was over in 1:35.

“I didn’t think he would pin him that easy,” said ConVal head coach Brian Whittemore.

Finally in uncharted territory, Curran’s exuberance poured out as he leapt to his feet with a huge grin and a fist pump, flashing a hand signal to his parents on the edge of the mat and then rushing Whittemore, raising his coach in the air with a bear hug.

Curran became ConVal’s first overall champion in 30 years and will likely have a good seed at this weekend’s New England Championships in Providence, Rhode Island. His career – and school – win-loss record is now 164-29.

“I’m ready to go to New Englands and see how I do there,” said Curran, who hasn’t faced many of the wrestlers from southern New England states. “I’ve seen a Connecticut guy tear apart a friend of mine that I wrestle pretty tight with, so I’m curious to see how I’m going to approach him differently.”

Ryan Devivo of Xavier is Connecticut’s 170-lb. champion; Sam Anderson of San ford is Maine’s best; Jack Carn ey  of Essex won in Vermont; Joe Vechionne of Chelmsford was first in Massachusetts and Jacob Harrison of Lasalle took Rhode Island. Curran will face Carney in the first round in Providence.

Other ConVal wrestlers who competed at the Meet of Champions included:

Matt Kimball, who lost to David Hammond of Pinkerton and Joe Cleary of Plymouth in the 120-lb. class

Kenny Conway, who lost to Matt Lamarche of Nashua South and Anson Dewar of Merrimack in the 126-lb. class

Daniel Rupp, who lost to Dylan Palmer of Newport and Mike Dow of Winnacunnet in the 152-lb. class

Nick Bernier, who lost to Clement Sherwood of Hollis-Brookline and Dominic Goulette of Milford in the 195-lb. class