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Delaware Military Academy defends DIAA wrestling championship with win over Saint Mark’s High School: Photo gallery

Spartans fans and coaches react after Ben Ranauto picked up a pin at 150 lbs., one of three falls for Saint Mark's during the championship. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

SMYRNA — Saint Mark’s dual-meet wrestling season came to an end on Feb. 17, as Delaware Military Academy successfully defended its Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association Division II championship with a 38-32 win over the Spartans at Smyrna High School.

Despite the unfavorable result, the Spartans’ season was an unqualified success. Saint Mark’s reached the final for the first time since 2011, when they were the runners-up in Division I. They also advanced a round further than they did last season, when they fell to Caravel in the semifinals. Of the 14 wrestlers who competed against DMA, just five were seniors.

Saint Mark’s, the No. 1 seed, earned a trip to the final with a victory over fourth-seeded Laurel earlier that afternoon. No. 2 DMA defeated Lake Forest, the third seed, in their semifinal match.

The Spartans found themselves coming from behind throughout the final. The Seahawks picked up falls in the two opening matches, at 113 and 120 lbs., and a technical fall at 127 extended the lead to 17-0. The got three points back with a decision at 138, but Delaware Military picked up another pin at 138.

Jacob Ebaugh scored a major decision at 165 lbs., and Luke Spoor followed with a first-period pin at 175, pulling the Spartans to within six with three weight classes remaining. But DMA earned a fall at 190 before Saint Mark’s added four on a major decision at 215.

Down by eight, the Spartans needed a win at 285 to keep their championship hopes alive. Unfortunately for them, the Seahawks’ Cael DeNigris, is the top-ranked heavyweight in the state according to Delaware Live, and his major decision gave DMA an insurmountable 12-point advantage with one match remaining. Clif Bakhsh, Delaware Live’s top-ranked grappler at 106 lbs., finished the night with a fall.

Scoring summary

113: Cole Perrin (DMA) defeated Adelynne Till (Saint Mark’s), fall

120: Tyler DelCollo (DMA) defeated James Holmes (Saint Mark’s), fall

126: Gavin Mundy (DMA) defeated Aaron Menickella (Saint Mark’s), technical fall

132: Chris Foster (Saint Mark’s) defeated Dylan DelCollo (DMA), decision

138; Piero Papili (DMA) defeated Jack MacDonald (Saint Mark’s), fall

144: Alec Baxley (Saint Mark’s) defeated Jackson Grandel (DMA), decision

150: Ben Ranauto (Saint Mark’s) defeated Charles Perrin (DMA), fall

157: Malcolm Roy (DMA) defeated Brayden Ranauto (Saint Mark’s), fall

165: Jacob Ebaugh (Saint Mark’s) defeated Ethan MacDonnell (DMA), major decision

175: Luke Spoor (Saint Mark’s) defeated Nathan Wesberry (DMA), fall

190: Hayden Moaney (DMA) defeated Vincent Hurst (Saint Mark’s), fall

215: Finn Hanna (Saint Mark’s) defeated Emilio Messina (DMA), major decision

285: Cael DeNigris (DMA) defeated Aidan Zellman (Saint Mark’s), major decision

106: Clif Bakhsh (Saint Mark’s) defeated Cyrus Hurley (DMA), fall

Photos by Mike Lang.