2013 New York state champion Yianni Diakomihalis is very familiar with the top of the podium at the Ohio Tournament of Champions, advertised as the “largest one-day tournament in the world.”
For the third consecutive year, the Hilton standout won a championship at the prestigious event, this time at 110 pounds in the Schoolboy division. The G2 World Wrestling Academy representative was also third in 2010 and second the year before.
But he did more than go undefeated himself.
“Yianni relishes in the experience,” said G2 owner/coach Adam Burgos. “He was running around, keeping track of all our guys. He was doing everything; he’s like a machine. He coached a lot of the kids and then he and his dad coached one of our coaches to a title.”
Burgos was referring to former Spencerport standout and current G2 staff member Mike Collura, who captured first place in the Open Division at 165 pounds with an overtime takedown. According to Burgos, Diakhomihalis and his father manned Collura’s corner during his title bout.
“Mike has been a huge asset to G2 this year, we’re really glad to have him,” Burgos said. “He’s helped out immensely with the kids. He got the itch to compete himself and when he decided to do it, he attacked it. His championship really capped off the weekend for us.”
But Diakomihalis and Collura weren’t alone in bringing gold medals back to the Empire State. A pair of wrestlers from Cobra Wrestling Academy, Dane Heberlein (Cadet 92 pounds) and Nick Jones (Schoolboy 240 pounds), also won their brackets on Saturday.
“Nick [Jones] pretty much always has to go up an age group to compete at tournaments because he’s an eighth grade heavyweight,” said Cobra Wrestling Academy Executive Director Keith Maute. “He usually has to wrestle against older guys, but this tournament had a solid group of kids for him to compete against and he did very well.”
Heberlein has a bit of experience at the tournament, having placed four times since 2006, including several top four showings. However, it was the first time he won it all.
“It was exciting for Dane because out of all the big tournaments, this is the only one he never won,” Maute said.
Heberlein wasn’t the only New York winner in the Cadet division. In fact, at just one weight class higher, the Empire State boasted another champion – New Hartford’s Kelan McKenna. The 2013 All-State grappler from Section 3 won his second Ohio T of C title in three years, as he earned first place in 2011 and was second at 92 pounds last April.
Another wrestler with some prior history in Columbus is Slate Hill’s Ethan Gallo. A year ago, he grabbed seventh place in the Bantam 80 pound class. Over the weekend he once again entered at that weight and this time, he went all the way to the top, adding another line to his lengthy spring resume. Among his recent accomplishments are capturing titles at the NYWAY State Championships, the Empire Nationals and the Gene Mills Eastern Nationals.
Another 13 wrestlers from New York lost just a single bout on Saturday, finishing in the top 3. Those include G2’s Frankie Gissendanner of Penfield at 140 pounds, a champion at this tournament the past two seasons., who was edged 1-0 in the title bout when a penalty point was awarded to his opponent late in the match, according to Burgos.
Gissendanner was one of several state qualifiers who made the finals this weekend in Ohio, along with Spencerport’s Jon Haas (who took third in Albany) and Andrew Shomers of Lewiston Porter. Fellow Section 6 wrestler Hector Colom of Dunkirk also took runner up honors after winning at 90 pounds in 2012.
In addition, a trio of Bantam grapplers, Andrew Filip of New Hampton, Kevin Daskavitz of Lockport and Herman Wooten of Niagara Falls, all went to the finals in their brackets.
In all, New York had over 40 placers at the event, which drew around 3000 wrestlers from all over the country and featured 40 full sized mats of competition.
For the full list of all the top 8 medalists from the Empire State, see below.
With any further additions or changes, please comment below.
Ethan Gallo, Bantam 80 (Slate Hill)
Yianni Diakomihalis, Schoolboy 110 (Rochester)
Nick Jones, Schoolboy 240 (Dunkirk)
Dane Heberlein, Cadet 92 (Darien)
Kelan McKenna, Cadet 100 (New Hartford)
Mike Collura, Open 165 (West Henrietta)
Andrew Filip, Bantam 65 (New Hampton)
Kevin Daskavitz, Bantam 80 (Lockport)
Herman Wooten III, Bantam 95 (Niagara Falls)
Hector Colom, Schoolboy 100 (Dunkirk)
Frankie Gissendanner, Schoolboy 140 (Rochester)
Andrew Shomers, Cadet 135 (Ransomville)
Jon Haas, Elite 112 (Spencerport)
Jaden Crumpler, Bantam 45 (Niagara Falls)
Carson Alberti, Midget 60 (East Aurora)
Cooper Kropman, Midget 85 (Rochester)
Benny Baker, Junior 90 (Newark Valley)
Joe Lupisella, Cadet 160 (Webster)
Dennis Ferro, Elite 153 (Great River)
Jayden Scott, Midget 68 (West Henrietta)
Max Kropman, Junior 72 (Rochester)
Tyler Barnes, Schoolboy 126 (Rock City Falls)
Trevor Hoffmier, Elite 160 (Newark Valley)
Connor Day, Schoolboy 96 (Elma)
Drew Schafer, Cadet 85 (Marion)
Tito Colom, Cadet 110 (Dunkirk)
Jimmy Leach, Elite 132 (Manorville)
Caleb Galloway, Midget 76 (Hornell)
Joseph Dixon, Midget 80 (Niagara Falls)
Jace Schafer, Junior 56 (Marion)
Jake Brewer, Cadet 85 (Orchard Park)
Carm O’Donnell, Elite 153 (Angola)
Colin Bradshaw, Midget 52 (Liverpool)
Greg Diakomihalis, Junior 64 (Rochester)
Tony Kuhn, Open 220 (Sanborn)
JJ Lucinski , Bantam 40 (Lockport)
Sam Wolf, Junior 90 (Warsaw)
Keagen Case, Junior 95 (Boonville)
Tyler Castro, Junior 125 (Otisville)
Troy Keller, Cadet 100 (North Tonawanda)
Theo Powers, Cadet 105 (Mexico)
Travis Race, Cadet 171 (Fulton)
Collin Pittman, Elite 190 (Spencerport)
Henry Beaman, Open 135 (Niagara Falls)