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Occhipinti Wins Title, Zeller Second In State Wrestling Championships

Published: February 17, 2018

Newtown High School’s Aaron Occhipinti won the 126 pound weight division championship, and 285 pound grappler Joe Zeller was runner-up as the Nighthawks, the lone South-West Conference team in the competition, placed eighth as a team in the Class LL state championships, at Trumbull High, on February 17.

Newtown had four place finishers in all, as Nik Accousti placed third at 132, and Owen Walsh was fourth at 152.

Danbury was the top overall team, with 274 points. Newtown scored 91.

Occhipinti scored a 6-3 decision over Trumbull’s Jonathan Kosak in their finals round bout. Occhipinti, the top seed in his weight class, had a bye and won two matched by pin fall before winning two decisions.

Zeller lost a 3-2 decision to Staples High’s George Harrington in the pinnacle round. Zeller, seeded second, had a pair of wins via pin, and came out on top in one decision en route to facing the top-seeded Harrington.

Accousti won a 5-4 decision over Trumbull’s David Castaldo. Walsh was pinned by Southington’s Tagan Welch in 1:56.

The sixth seed in the bracket, Accousti had a bye, won a decision, then was pinned before wrestling back, winning by pin as well as earning two victories in decisions.

Walsh, the fourth-ranked grappler in his division, had a bye and won via pin before winning a trio of decisions in the wrestlebacks.

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