SALEM — Methuen wrestlers Christian Monserrat and Paul Sughrue entered the Veterans Memorial Field House with their sights locked on the same target, and both exited with their heads held high in victory.
For the third straight season, Monserrat and Sughrue came home as state champions.
At the All-State wrestling championships Saturday at Salem High School, Monserrat, a junior, won at 126 pounds, and, minutes later, Sughrue, a senior, won at 132.
“They work so hard all year long, and the fact that they’re returning champs, you’d hate to see it go any other way for them,” Methuen coach Bill James said. “I’m really happy for them both. If you look at the history of this tournament, there are only a handful of three-time champions. To have two on the same team is special for our program.”
Monserrat defeated Central Catholic’s Pat Lacroix, 7-1. He recorded a takedown in the first period, and after a scoreless second, piled on two takedowns and an escape in the final two minutes for the title.
“It feels really good no doubt, but its just another step towards my goal to win New Englands,” said Monserrat.
The junior wrestler has a stunning 151-2 record — his only two losses coming in the finals of the New England championship the last two seasons.
“I’ve been training hard since [last year], and I’m going to try and take it home this year,” Monserrat said.
Sughrue took the mat and jumped to a 4-1 lead against Framingham’s Johnny Do, finishing with a 7-2 decision.
“Going into the match, having all the pressure of trying to be a three-time champ really pushed me to this,” Sughrue said.
At 182 pounds, Bridgewater-Raynham senior Aaron Conrad was well aware of the hype surrounding his match with North Andover’s Ryan Neals, a fellow undefeated champion.
Conrad, the Division 1 champion, stood a perfect 47-0 and Neals, the Division 2 champion, at 41-0.
Neals earned a takedown late in the second period to even the score, 2-2, but Conrad promptly escaped for a 3-2 lead. After a hard-fought, scoreless final period, Conrad hung on for the victory.
“I got a little lazy at the end of the match and he got 2 on me,” Conrad said. “I knew I had to get out from underneath and I just threw him as hard as I could.”
At 160, Springfield Central sophomore Jonathan Viruet defeated North Andover’s Brad Drover, 3-2, in overtime.
Viruet’s brother, Richard, pinned North Andover’s Fritz Hoehn with 20 seconds remaining in the match to win the 152-pound title.
Other winners included Pembroke’s Brad Wong (106), who pinned Lawrence’s Hector Reynoso at 2:54; Lowell’s Devon Thompson (113) defeated Franklin’s Ben Zogby, 2-1; Billerica’s Nick Derosa (120) defeated Dracut’s Jon Ryan, 5-2; Dracut’s Mike Stewart (138) defeated Needham’s Mikhail Khibkin, 6-3; Dracut’s Jim Ryan (145) defeated Silver Lake’s Tom Grifa, 6-2; Natick’s Alexe Restivo-Lage (170) defeated Chelmsford’s Ben Melisi, 5-2; Billerica’s Leo Trindade (195) defeated Duxbury’s Jake Genereux, 5-0; St. John’s Prep’s Ian Butterbrodt (220) defeated Central Catholic’s Ben Tavitian, 13-2; and St. John’s Prep’s Corey Jean-Jacques (285) defeated Chicopee’s Donovan Lozada, 2-1.
North Andover senior Danielle Coughlin, who became the first female wrestler in Massachusetts to win a state title when she won the Division 2 106-pound class Wednesday, finished sixth. The top six finishers in each weight class are eligible to attend the New England Championship on Friday and Saturday in Providence.