Six Midcoast high school wrestlers took their impressive mat talents to Rhode Island over the weekend to compete against the region's best in the 55th annual New England championships on Friday and Saturday, March 1-2 at the Providence Career and Technical Academy.

All area mat athletes, who represented schools in Knox, Waldo and Lincoln counties, performed well, but none turned in a more incredible all-around effort than Camden Hills' Noah Lang, who finished fourth at 145 pounds and won an amazing six of eight grueling matches.

Medomak Valley's Eli Miller (1-2 at 160 pounds) and Erik Benner (0-2 at 220), as well as Mount View's Mark Ward (1-2 at 145) and Camden Hills' Eric Andrews (2-2 at 106) and Dawson Allen (0-2 at 132) also qualified and competed in the prestigious, talent-laden event.

Forty-two Maine wrestlers entered the tournament and six percent placed, Lang among them. Lang was one of only seven Maine mat athletes to place at the tournament and tied for the second highest place among Pine Tree State participants.

Wrestlers who finished among the top four at the recent Class A and Class B state meets earned the right to compete at the New England qualifier,or All-States meet, and then the top three in each weight class from the qualifier grabbed a spot on the Maine team that competed in the New Englands.

There were 164 teams represented at the New Englands and, when the dust settled on the two-day meet, Danbury, Conn. was first at 88.5 and Bishop Hendricken of Warwick, R.I. second at 71.5.

Camden Hills finished 22nd with 30 points as the top-ranked Maine school, while Mount View of Thorndike was 98th (5) and Medomak Valley of Waldoboro 127th (2).

Also of note was the fact Connor McGonagle, an Owls Head native and studen-athlete at Timberlane in Plaistow, N.H., finished 4-0 and first at 132 pounds (winning matches 12-1, 11-0 and a pair of 1-0 victories).

The individual results for Midcoast wrestlers in the New England championships were:

106 pounds — Eric Andrews, CH, pinned Ben Gordon, Burr & Burton Academy of Manchester, Vt., at 1:15 (Andrews led 2-0 at the time of the pin); beat Konrad Parker, Timberlane, 6-4 in overtime (match was tied 4-4 before Andrews earned 2-point takedown at 0:45); lost to Tyler Knox, Pentucket of West Newbury, Mass., 2-0 (Knox had 2-point takedown at 1:43 of the first period); and lost to Kai O'Dell, Danbury, Conn., 4-0.

132 pounds — Dawson Allen, CH, lost to Michael Bobola, Xaverian of Westwood, Mass., 7-0; received a bye; and lost to Parris Cooper, Hope, 5-4 (Allen had a couple of escapes and a 2-point takedown with 8 seconds left, but ran out of time).

145 pounds — Noah Lang, CH, pinned Mohammad Lotfi, King Phillip of Wrentham, Mass., at 2:47 (Lang led 5-0 at the time of the pin); lost by technical fall to Sean Caltagirone, Coventry, R.I., 17-2; pinned Luke Williams, Essex, Vt., at 0:36 (Lang led 2-0 at the time of pin); pinned Cqari Bacote, Springfield Central of Sprinfield, Mass., at 2:15 (Lang led 5-3 at the time of the pin); beat Mark Ward, Mount View, 7-4; pinned Antonio Pallaria, Timberlane, at 1:44; pinned Keegan Coon, Mount Anthony Union of Bennington, Vt., at 1:49 (match ws tied 2-2 at time of the pin); and lost to Aidan Faria, Cumberland, R.I., 10-5, in the consolation final. Lang finished fourth.

Mark Ward, MtV, received a first-round bye; beat Ben LeBlanc, Danbury, Conn., 12-3; lost to Aidan Faria, Cumberland, R.I., 11-6; and and lost to Noah Lang, Camden Hills, 7-4.

160 pounds — Eli Miller, Med, lost to Sam Prescott, Haverhill, Mass. 11-9 (Miller had a 2-point takedown with 10 seconds left, but ran out of time); beat Lazar Aguev, Ridgefield, Conn., 5-2; and was pinned by Finbar Heaslip, Dedham, Mass. at 2:10 (Miller trailed 4-0 at the time of pin).

220 pounds — Erik Benner, Med, received a first-round bye; lost to William Ogebebor, Foxborough, Mass., 5-2; and lost to Joe Pomella, Marshfield, Mass., 5-3.

This season, Miller and Lang surpassed 100 pins for their careers, while Benner reached 100 wins. Miller and Lang hold career wins and pin marks at their school. Ward, Lang, Benner and Miller won state titles this year.

All have impressed on the mat, especially Lang, whose career accolades include the following: The Windjammers' all-time leader in career wins (more than 200) and career pins, first Windjammer to win a state Class A title (he has two), four-time state placer, All-States champion, three-time Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference and regional champion, two-time Noble Invitational champion and Spartan Invitational champion, among other achievements.

To put Lang's standout performance at this year's New Englands in perspective, on the second day of the tourney, he pinned three All-States champions — one from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont — and defeated Ward, Maine's All-States champion at 145 pounds. Against Ward, Lang avenged his only loss to a Maine wrestler this season.