Sean McCabe, Dylan Palacio and Tony Lock all earned New York State titles a month ago in Albany. On Sunday, all three will have an opportunity to become national champions as well, as they take the mat in the finals of the NHSCA Senior Nationals in Virginia Beach.
Connequot’s McCabe, who rebounded from a third place showing at the Suffolk County tournament to capture gold at the Times Union Center, won three tight matches, 6-4, 4-1, and 4-3 to begin the event before emphatically punching his ticket to the title bout with a pin over Delaware’s Kaleb Lemaire in the third period.
UPDATE: Rodriguez notched multiple takedowns on his way to a 7-4 victory.
Fellow Long Island grappler Palacio began the event with a 6-4 decision over Tyler McMichael of Kansas before notching a 9-1 victory over California’s Taylor McCormick. The Long Beach grappler next edged Kyle Ash of Oklahoma, 4-3 and then registered two commanding major decisions, 16-3 over Samson Imonode of Arizona in the quarters and 15-4 against Minnesota’s Ben Sullivan in the semis.
UPDATE: Palacio wasted very little time against Austin Trott of Georgia, going on the attack from the opening whistle. He got on the board first with a go behind for a takedown and remained in control on top to end the first period 2-0. In the second, Palacio selected bottom. Trott had a strong ride, but the Long Beach wrestler continued to work until he earned the reversal in the latter portion of the middle period to take a 4-0 advantage into the third. The Georgia grappler notched a quick escape, but Palacio continued pushing the action and scored another TD off a front headlock to move ahead 6-1. Trott’s escape made it 6-2 and that was the final. Congratulations to Palacio on a national title!
Like Palacio, Pioneer’s Tony Lock was an undefeated state titlewinner this season. Lock kept his unbeaten streak alive with four consecutive wins. He began with a technical fall over Aaron Wing of Connecticut and followed with a pair of 3-2 decisions over Gray Jones of Georgia and Bryan Loughlin of New Jersey. The Buffalo-bound senior then used back points to earn a 6-3 victory over nationally ranked Reece Wright-Conklin of Kansas to cement his spot in tomorrow’s finale.
UPDATE: Lock and Oklahoma’s Nolan Boyd ended the first period scoreless. In the second, Lock chose bottom and fought off tilt attempts on the edge. Off a restart, he made a quick first move and was able to get the reversal. Boyd responded with a reversal of his own and Lock escaped to take a 3-2 lead into the third. Boyd got out from bottom to tie the score and the bout went to overtime.
In sudden victory, both wrestlers were cautious, although there was a solid flurry with about 10 seconds to go. Lock took down in the first tiebreaker and was able to escape after a Granby roll. The Pioneer wrestler also received an additional point for a locked hands call on Boyd. Boyd escaped when it was his turn on bottom, but Lock held on for a 5-4 victory and a national championship!
Several other New York wrestlers earned All-American status. For a complete list, see below:
Third place Eric Orellana (Brentwood)
Fifth place Krishna Sewkumar (Long Beach)
Seventh place Jimmy Gill (St. John the Baptist)
Fifth place Mark Raghunandan (Long Beach)
Eighth place Patrick Skinner (Kellenberg)
120: Second place Sean McCabe (Connetquot)
138: Fifth place James Dekrone (John Glenn)
152: Champion Dylan Palacio (Long Beach)
160: Fifth place Tristan Hamner (Medina)
182: Champion Tony Lock (Pioneer)
Way to go Tony! I am so proud of you and happy for you!