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Christian Monserrat wins fourth straight wrestling title

Methuen’s Christian Monserrat (right) is in control of Barnstable’s CJ Botello on the way to another state title.

mark lorenz for the boston globe

Methuen’s Christian Monserrat (right) was in control of Barnstable’s CJ Botello on the way to another state title.

With a chance to make history, Christian Monserrat was calm as ever.

The senior from Methuen entered Saturday’s MIAA Division 1 wrestling state tournament in Lawrence a three-time champion, but his only focus was getting ahead early in his match, just as he had countless times in the past.

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Within 30 seconds Monserrat scored a 2-point takedown to take a lead he never relinquished, as he defeated Haverhill’s Orlando Rojas, 13-2, to win the state title in the 138-pound class.

He became just the 11th wrestler in state history to win four straight championships, with his previous victories coming in the 103-, 113-, and 126-pound classes.

“I’m definitely really happy, it means a lot to be a four-time state champ,” Monserrat said. “Before every match, I always think to score first. It gives me that motivation to keep scoring and keep grinding.”

With Saturday’s win, Monserrat improved to a perfect 49-0 this season and 204-2 overall, which tied him with Methuen assistant coach John Sughrue for the most wins in school history.

He enters next weekend’s All-State meet as a three-time defending champion and will have the chance to become just the second Massachusetts wrestler to win four All-State titles, joining Central Catholic’s Joe Fendone.

“I treat every match the same no matter who I’m wrestling,” said Monserrat, who will wrestle at West Virginia University. “There’s a lot of pressure on me, but I’m just going to throw that aside and come out with a win.”

At 145, St. John’s Prep senior Jared Costa pinned Lincoln-Sudbury’s Alec Melamut at 4:41 to win his first state title. As soon as the referee slapped the mat, Costa raced to embrace his coach and father, Manny.

“When I got up, the first person I saw in the corner was my dad with his hands in the air, screaming at the top of his lungs,” said Jared, who improved to 57-1.

In the team results, Springfield Central finished first with 161 points, St. John’s Prep was second (126), and Franklin third (109).

Division 2

Throughout the course of his high school career, Catholic Memorial’s Mark Gutierrez has dealt with pain.

The 126-pound wrestler battled a torn muscle in his back during his freshman and sophomore seasons. During his junior season, he worked through a nerve injury. The lingering pain didn’t bring him down.

Last night at North Andover High in the Division 2 state championships, the senior was rewarded for his longstanding toughness.

The Scarlet Knight took down one of the state’s best in Dracut’s Jon Ryan (43-2 on the season, two-time state champion, and four-time Division 2 North champion), pinning him 3:59 into the match to take home the championship trophy.

“I knew what I had to do,” Gutierrez said. “I knew I had to get him to the corner and get him on his back. I just held him.”

Gutierrez has just one loss on the season (38-1), and is 111-20 all time.

At 106 pounds, Catholic Memorial’s Michael Aquino ran away with a 15-0 victory over Boston Latin’s Ben Marshall. Kevin Thomas of Natick edged North Andover’s Peter Taylor, 6-3, in the 113-pound match.

North Andover’s Zane Melillo (132 pounds) raised the home gym’s decibel levels with a 13-2 major decision victory over Garrett Ludwig of Winchester. Reading’s Nick Makrys persevered in an evenly-matched 138-pound bout, staying ahead of CM’s Pat Ferzoco, 5-4.

At 145 pounds, Silver Lake’s Thomas Grifa took home a 7-5 victory over Milton’s Jonathan Carrera, securing the win midway through the third period. North Attleboro’s Austin Renzi (152 pounds) secured the first pin of the night, defeating Reading’s Alex Webb at 2:51 of the second period.

North Andover won the team title with 151½ points, with Winchester second at 148½.

Division 3

After bringing 11 boys to the Division 3 tournament at Foxboro, the Norton Lancers had eight wrestlers place in the top six of their respective weight classes and qualify for All-States next week. Norton finished first with a staggering 138½ points, followed by Lynnfield/North Reading (97) and Canton (88½).

“I’ve been coaching for a lot of years and these guys have been great,” said Norton coach Pat Coleman, who was named Division 3 Coach of the Year. “Every goal that I’ve set for them — win more meets than any other Norton team has ever won, regain the league championship, win the sectionals, win the state dual meet, win the individuals — they’ve done it all. It’s a clean sweep.”

Senior Mike Travers led the way for the Lancers, winning the 195-pound state title. Myles McAlpine finished fourth in the 160-pound bracket, JT Taylor placed third in the 145-pound weight class, and Alek Donovan claimed third in the heavyweight division.

Triton senior Mark Boyle stole the show on Saturday, pinning Mount Greylock’s Johnny Colon in just 18 seconds to grab the 182-pound title en route to earning Most Outstanding Wrestler honors.

Along with Boyle, Canton senior Chris Sullivan pinned Danvers’s Sam Anderson with 3:43 into their 152-pound championship match, leading the Bulldogs to their third-place finish.

Dean Tech’s Phillip Fernandez pinned Middleboro’s Jeremy Hernandez 2:58 into the heavyweight title bout.

Hampshire junior Brendan Weir earned the 132-pound title with an 8-2 victory over Pentucket’s Josh Wesolowski. The championship was Weir’s third straight.

Globe correspondents Jeff Powalisz (Division 2) and Jake Fischer (Division 3) contributed to this report.
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