Cony High School wrestling coach Shawn Totman expects the upcoming Cony Duals to be one of the most exciting editions of the tournament.

“Fans will not be disappointed with the quality of kids that will be battling it out on the mat,” Totman said.

Among the teams competing in the tournament, which starts at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, are Brewer, Erskine, Mt. Blue, Morse, Gardiner, Winslow, Madison, Mt. Ararat, York, Oxford Hills and Skowhegan.

In a dual meet tournament, teams are divided into three pools of four teams each. Each team wrestles the other teams in the pool. The teams are then ranked based on the results of the pool competition and wrestle in a championship round against the equivalent ranked teams in the other pools.

“There are going to be a lot of excellent matchups,” Totman said. “Mt. Blue looks to have the deepest team and should be tough to beat. However, there are three or four teams that have a legitimate shot at taking home the title if their kids have a great day of wrestling. It is going to be a fantastic day for everyone involved.”

Mt. Blue is the defending champ at the Cony Duals. York should be in the hunt as well. The Wildcats are 10-0 in dual meet competition. Skowhegan is 7-1 and Mt. Blue is 3-0. Cony, meanwhile, showed excellent depth when it won the Tiger Invitational and should also be in the mix.

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Wyatt Thornton was honored before the TIger Invitational on Saturday for winning 100 matches in his career. At the end of the tournament, he received a gold medal for winning the 152-pound weight class.

Thornton advanced to the finals by pinning two opponents and beat Mt. Blue’s Chris Ingram 6-3 in the championship match.

“Wyatt has had a great career at Gardiner,” Gardiner coach Matt Hanley said. “He has started (varsity) all four years and last year was second in the Western B regional. He was also just a few points away from placing at the state tournament.”

Thornton has also had a great career in the classroom. He is a member of the National Honor Society and has received a nomination to the U.S. Naval Academy from Senator Olympia Snowe.

“I plan on attending the Naval Academy next year as my first choice, and have gone through the entire application,” Thornton said. “If I am not accepted to the Naval Academy, I plan to attend Maine Maritime Academy to pursue a Naval ROTC scholarship.”

Thornton said winning 100 matches was a goal he set for himself after his freshman year when he went 35-10. Winning the Tiger Invitational was also a major goal.

“I was very proud to win the Tiger as a senior as I had placed second and third in the previous two years, but had not won,” he said. “On Saturday, I was determined to win since it was my last chance. I was also extremely proud of the team, because we took fifth place with just six wrestlers entered, and put four in the finals.”

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Skowhegan coach Tenney Noyes expects his team to be a contender in the Cony Duals.

“We are going to treat it like any other day of wrestling: We’re showing up to win,” Noyes said. “Our goal on meet day is to win every match as individuals, and the team victory will follow.”

The Indians have given up more than a few points in each of their seven dual meet wins due to forfeits. Skowhegan is currently forfeiting three or four weight classes per match. Each forfeit can add six points to the opposing team’s score.

What the Indians lack in depth they have made up for in star power. Kaleb Brown (145), Carter Stevens (152), Christian Jackson (160), are all 9-0. Zack Witham (182) is 8-0, while John Swett (120) and Andrew Pineo (195) are 7-1. The Indians’ only loss this season was against Mt Blue, 36-34.

“All our wrestlers are a great, hard-working bunch that know what they do in the practice room will translate over to the meet mat,” Noyes said.

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Madison and Winslow wrestlers fared well at the McDonalds Invitational held Saturday at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.

Madison’s Ryan Malcolm (220) ran his record to 8-0 while winning his weight class. Teammate Kyle Foley (170) was fourth. Winslow’s Aaron Lint placed second in the 285-pound class.

“Ryan is the first wrestler from Madison to win the McDonalds tourney,” Madison coach Scot Padelford said. “He is becoming more confident in his abilities and is not afraid to push himself.”

Malcolm opened the day by pinning Pierce Knorr of Mt Ararat. Malcolm defeated Winslow’s Sean Cote 6-0 in the semifinals before pinning Dirigo’s Zach White in the first period of the championship finals.

Foley lost a close 3-2 decision to Noble’s Rob Quimby in the first round, then won two straight to advance to the consolation finals where he lost to Quimby again.

Lint pinned Noble’s Jake Zenga and Spruce Mountain’s Peter Ruffalo in preliminary matches to gain a berth in the finals. Lint lost by fall to Brewer’s Marcus Eaton in the championship match.

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