Gormley captures 5th sectional title

BINGHAMTON – B-G/Afton’s Danny Gormley placed himself among the elite wrestlers in Section IV history winning a fifth Section IV championship, while Norwich’s Tristan Rifanburg and Greene’s Christian Dietrich appear able to carry the mantle of local excellence as they added sectional championships.

Chenango County won an impressive six sectional championships Saturday night at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, and dominated the center mat with 12 overall finalists, two of which feature all-Chenango finals.

Wearing the same singlet that brought him his first title as an eighth-grader, Gormley edged three-time Section IV titlist Colton Perry of Windsor, 3-2 in the 125-pound finals. Gormley’s win helped his team to the Division II team title, and it was the second win in as many weeks for Gormley over Perry. The only thing as tight as the match was perhaps Gormley’s singlet. “My coach dug out the singlet, I just can’t believe this,” Gormley said, who raised five fingers in triumph after the final horn. “It’s unbelievable that it’s been five years. To be a five-time champ and to be compared to some of the best wrestlers in Section IV...this is just a stepping stone for me to get a state title.”

In Perry, Gormley was facing the same type of competition he’ll likely see at the Division II State Championships at the Times Union Center in Albany. Gormley’s second-period escape and takedown gave him the edge over Perry, who managed a reversal for his lone points.

“This match could very well be the state final,” Gormley said of Perry. “It’s tough to wrestle the same kid that many times in a row.”

Rifanburg was hardly tested in his road to the finals. A seventh-grade sectional and state champion a year ago, Rifanburg duplicated his win over Jesse Holton from a week ago winning 6-2. In the initial meeting, Rifanburg blew Holton out. This final score, said Norwich coach Joe Downey, was more indicative of the closeness of the two wrestlers.

“The first time (we faced Holton), Tristan was able to catch him a couple of times,” Downey said. “We knew this one would be tougher. If you look at the matches, Tristan just doesn’t make mistakes and is always where he needs to be. He had a couple of takedowns tonight, and he continues to punish people on top. That’s what got him a state championship last year.”

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