Fairfield Warde wrestlers Tim and Charlie Kane both won their respective weight classes in capturing the 2016 New England Championships.
Warde placed sixth as a team in the New England meet, totaling 53 points. Along with the Kane’s capturing NE titles, Notre Dame-Fairfield heavyweight Hakim Fleming won the 285-pound division.
Fleming won a 3-1 overtime decision over Hopkinton’s Josh Sokol in the final, which at the end of the night also earned him the Most Exciting Finals Match Award. Fleming, who had lost a last-second heartbreaker in the State Open finals, nearly won this one at the buzzer, but his takedown as time expired in the third period was ruled after time ran out. With 36 seconds remaining in the one-minute overtime period, he took Sokol down again, and this time it counted.
“I can’t believe I just did that,” Fleming said. “I just used that (State Open) match as motivation. I worked hard in practice this week.”
Charlie Kane, who wrestled at 145 pounds, won all four of his matches, capturing his second straight New England title (he won at 138 pounds last year), finishing at 34-0 this season and ending his career with an 82-match win streak and an overall record of 120-2. In addition to the NE title, Charlie also won the State Open, Class LL and FCIAC crowns.
Tim Kane, wrestling at 132 pounds, went 46-0 on the season, winning his first New England title after placing third last year. A junior, Tim’s career record is 134-6 and he also is a two-time State Open, Class LL and FCIAC champion in Conecticut.
Timmy Kane won an 8-4 decision over Foran’s Ryan Luth in the 132-pound final. Kane led 5-1 after two periods, but Luth rallied to make it 5-4 late in the third period. Kane scored a one-point escape with 16 seconds to go, then added a takedown to seal the win.
“I’m just really happy because last year, I fell short of where I wanted to be,” Kane said to Hearst Connecticut Media after taking first place. “I’m really glad I made it to the finals and won.”
Charlie Kane won a 5-4 decision over Lucas Cordio of Nashoba Regional in the 145-pound final to win his second consecutive New England title. Leading 4-2, Kane started the third period on defense. Cordio rolled him on his back briefly and scored two back points to tie the score in the opening seconds of the third period, but Kane escaped with 1:27 to go to take a 5-4 advantage.
“It feels really good to go out as a two-time New England champion,” Kane said.
Ludlowe’s Austin Sherman placed fourth in the 126-pound class and the Falcons’ Marcus Sherrod took sixth in the 152-pound class.
Tim Kane is ranked 20th in the country in his class, according to flowrestling.com. Nine grapplers from Connecticut took home New England titles. Both Kane brothers finished the season undefeated in 2016.