BRISTOL — One point victories in sports don’t happen often, let alone in the sport of wrestling. For the Bristol Eastern Lancers wrestling team, they earned the rare one-point team victory over the Berlin Redcoats on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, at Bristol Eastern High School.
The wrestling meet came down to the wire, with the outcome not being decided until the end of the last match. The Lancers led 34-30 heading into the 14th and final bout of the night. With Berlin sophomore Collin Sullivan earning a decision win over Bristol Eastern senior Andrew Brown, Berlin earned three more points to their total, which resulted in the Lancers winning the meet, 34-33.
Bristol Eastern head coach Todd Krolikowski was proud to stay undefeated in the CCC while earning a tight victory against a competitive Berlin wrestling program.
“Berlin is a great school, they have a great tradition, and I’ve known Veleas a long time,” said Krolikowski. “Today we both came in undefeated in the conference so it was coming down to this, I knew it would be tight going in and our kids wrestled great, a lot of kids on their team wrestled well as well.”
Before the final match, in the 106-pound division, Bristol Eastern junior Yusef Bah came up big for the Lancers. With the Lancers trailing 30-28, he earned a first period pin victory over Berlin junior Sybella Landrie. Bah was aggressive and shot for a takedown within the first 30 seconds and after some work on the ground, he earned a pin under a minute.
Bah was speechless following his team’s victory as he played a big part in their win down the stretch.
“It felt really great because I knew if we won we would get one of the banners for our team,” said Bah. “So I wrestled my hardest, I practiced hard and I’ll do whatever it takes to get better. I just wrestled as hard as I could for my team.”
“Yusef is outstanding, it’s only his second year of wrestling,” said Krolikowski. “They sky’s the limit for that kid and he is amazing. He wrestles hard and practices hard and really goes off in the off-season and he came up big for us again.”
The pin victory gave the Lancers a four-point lead heading into their final match. All they had to do was not get pinned or beat by more than nine points in order to avoid the tie, and they did those things.
Another key match on Wednesday night came in the 190-pound weight class. Berlin senior Timothy Mrachek defeated Bristol Eastern freshman Aidyn Davies via decision. As the whistle blew in the final period of the match, the referee signaled that Mrachek earned a pin victory. However, with the gym and both sides yelling during the intense match, he didn’t hear the sound of the clock as the period expired, and as a result, gave Berlin a decision win. At this point, Bristol Eastern led 25-24.
Berlin started the night off leading Bristol Eastern after a first period pin from 120-pound senior captain Mason Arborio. The Lancers would win the next three matches as Soph Um, Luke Viens, and Gabe White earned wins.
A decision win by Berlin junior Hiram Sepulveda got them back into the battle as the Lancers led 13-9. The Lancers’ next two wins would be pin victories, and they got up on Berlin 25–15.
Trailing by 10, Berlin re-took the lead when junior 285-pounder Nicholas Ebrahimi pinned senior Nara Nuon. The score was 30-28 in favor of Berlin, before Bristol Eastern’s Bah gave them a four-point lead with his pin.
Berlin will return back to action this Saturday morning at the Foran dual meet which begins at 9:00 a.m. Bristol Eastern will participate in the Highlander Invitational this Saturday in Portland at 9:00 a.m.