The following was submitted by NHS Wrestling:
NHS put six wrestlers in the finals of sectionals and placed two others, as the Rockets finished third in the 12 team Division 2 Metro Sectional.
Leading the way for Needham was Senior Captain Mikhail Khibkin who downed his finals opponent, 16-6, and was voted the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler.
Also winning for Needham were Senior Captains Islam Baiev and John Cronin. Both came back late in the match to put their opponents on their backs for the win; Cronin, down 6-3 to a returning State Champ, pinned.
The other finalists, Sophomore Dan Goldstein, Senior Tak Hirayama and Senior Captain Mark Carroll had impressive semi-final wins, though each fell to highly ranked opponents in the finals.
Carroll, who was in the sectional finals for the third time in his career, lost 5-4 to a top-ranked wrestler in New England. Having beaten his Reading rival in the past, it sets up interesting rematches for the ensuing weeks of the season.
The six finalists were the most of any team at the tournament. Their efforts earn them a trip to the Division 2 State Tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week in Marshfield.
The other medalists, Freshman Lucas Goldman and Junior Zach Goldman, battled through tough brackets to take sixth and will join the team as alternates at the States.
Also giving the Rockets valuable team points were Sophomore Travis Szetela and Senior Chris Ptak who went 1-2, and Senior Andrew Kingston who went 2-2. Junior Ben Glickman, just returning from an injury, went 0-2 in two hard-fought losses.