JOHNSON CITY – Norwich proved it has the best trio of lightweights in the Southern Tier Athletic Conference, and maybe the entire section.
Seventh-graders Tristan Rifanburg (96) and Frankie Garcia (103) won their first league championships on Saturday at Johnson City, and sophomore Tanner Cummings (112) placed third. The Tornado brought just five wrestlers to the tournament, yet still finished near the middle of the field in team scoring.
“Tristan looked great, and Frankie wrestled with a lot of determination,” said Norwich coach Joe Downey. “I think a lot of fans had their eyes on Frankie and Tristan this weekend to see if they were the real deal. They turned a lot of heads.”
Rifanburg was unfettered in his assault on the competition, and was never in danger of losing. He blew out Union-Endicott’s Kyle Hughes, 13-0, in the finals.
Garcia had a difficult road to the finals beating defending sectional champion Jacob Green of Chenango Forks in triple overtime in Saturday’s morning semifinals. After neither wrestler scored in the first overtime, each wrestler was given 30 seconds to escape from the other in the second OT. Both accomplished that feat setting up the third overtime. The wrestler who scored first, Green, had the choice of top or bottom position. Green selected the bottom position, but was unable to escape from Garcia in 30 seconds to give the Norwich wrestler the victory.