BINGHAMTON - The long wait is over for Norwich sophomore Frankie Garcia. In his third try, the Tornado wrestler captured his first Section IV wrestling title, Saturday evening at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
Garcia was one of six area wrestlers to claim sectional championships. Garcia’s teammate, Tristan Rifanburg, won his fourth straight crown; B-G/Afton landed a pair of titleists in Chris Cirigliano and Mark Viviano; while the Greene twosome of Mike Beckwith and Christian Dietrich led their team to the Division II title with championship wins.
Garcia lost in the finals after his seventh- and eighth-grade years. This time around, he needed to avenge a 7-0 loss to Jordan Torbitt, one suffered in the Class B finals a week ago.
“I knew I couldn’t get under him, he’s really strong, and I’m a pretty small 145-pounder,” Garcia said.
Unlike his previous two finals losses, Garcia gained the early edge. He went to his go-to move, a single-leg high crotch that earned him two points with 20 seconds left in the first period. Torbitt earned an escape in the second period, but from the top position in the third, had no luck in scoring on Garcia in a 2-1 final.
“This is just awesome for Frankie,” said Norwich coach Joe Downey. “We’ve been waiting for him to win it every year...he just works so hard and he’s such a good kid on and off the mat. It’s a very deserving win.”
Other than a post-match hug with Downey, Garcia did little celebrating after the match. “The season’s not over yet,” Garcia said. “I’ll be pumping my fists at states.”