On February 21st, Choate’s Varsity Wrestling team sent five wrestlers to National Prep Wrestling where they competed with some of the best wrestlers across the nation. Choate’s five wrestlers who qualified for Nationals: Michael Lipton ’16, Chris Simmons ‘14, Chris Cuomo ’14, Everett Roach ’15 and Justin Choi ’14.
Michael Lipton ’16 wrestled in the 115-lb weight class, where he dominated his competition for a large part of the season. Despite losing his first round match, Lipton rebounded with a commanding victory in his second match against a wrestler from Friends Central. Although he concluded the tournament unranked, Lipton remains content with his performance. He reflected, “I was personally really happy with my season this year. I improved drastically over the season, qualified for nationals, and competed against some of the best kids in the nation.”
Despite going into Nationals with strong records, Lipton, Roach, and Choi all finished the tournament unseeded. Roach told The News, “I am pretty happy with the outcome of my season mainly because I reached my goal of qualifying for the national tournament. However, I am a little disappointed with only getting 7th at New England’s when I think I could’ve placed top 5. But overall I think had a great season thanks to all of the guys on the team that pushed me and made me a better wrestler.”
Chris Simmons came out as Choate’s top performer at Nationals, placing higher than any Choate wrestler has in over a decade and earning the coveted title of All-American. Simmons wrestled in the 285-lb weight class throughout his first year on the Choate wrestling squad. Simmons pummeled his opponents with ease as he finished the season with a 21-3 record, proving to be the highest win-loss percentage of any Choate wrestler this season. Simmons took Nationals by storm as he upset three higher seeded wrestlers. Despite eventually falling to his competitor from the Wyoming Seminary School in the semi-finals, his incredible performance earned him the fourth seed in the nation.
Choate’s wrestlers credit a large amount of their success this season to Coaches L.J. Spinnato and Erik Freeman. Roach told The News, “There’s no way I would’ve had the season I did if it weren’t for Freeman and Spinnato.” Lipton concurred, “The coaches this year have made a huge differ-ence. They have played a large part in me improving so much from last year.”