, Newburyport, MA


February 4, 2008

Welch, Pigott capture Cape Ann League titles

WILMINGTON — History repeated itself Saturday at the 37th annual Cape Ann League Invitational.

North Andover won its 22nd title by scoring 205 points. It was the Scarlet Knights' seventh consecutive championship and its 10th in the last 11 years.

Triton had the top finish among local schools — placing fifth with 113 points. Vikings senior Zach Welch captured an individual title at 160 pounds. Pentucket senior Brian Pigott claimed the title in the 171 pound weight class.

Masconomet Regional finished second with 170 points; third was North Reading/Lynnfield with 130; fourth, Hamilton-Wenham with 122; fifth was Triton, followed by Beverly (105), Pentucket Regional (103), Wilmington (98), Marblehead/Swampscott (53), Salem (39), Georgetown/Ipswich (37) and Winthrop (15).

The Vikings — only five years removed from capturing a dual-meet championship in 2003 — had an amalgam of inspired matches, according to coach Shawn McElligott.

"We're a young team, and inexperience and mistakes are one in the same," stated McElligott. "But freshman Cody Miller (130) finished in third, Danny Chandler (112, third place) who's still coming back from an ACL injury, and Timmy Hudon (152, third place) — those were some definite pluses."

Welch not only cruised through the quarterfinal and semifinal, but gave perhaps the most dominant finals performance of the night by pinning North Andover's Alex Smirnov.

"I always thought he was one of the best wrestlers in the league, and he proved that tonight," stated McElligott. "I'm so happy for Zach. He's such a team-player, and I think achieving this win for himself is just a great way to top off his CAL career."

Pentucket Regional coach Dennis Puleo was pleased with his wrestlers.

"The three kids in the finals did well," said Puleo. "As a whole we had a good day, a tough day. Ben Stasiuk (189, second place) wrestled really well, and senior Brian Pigott (champion at 171) is the most improved wrestler we have.

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