Team NY Kong Moves to 5-0 at Disney Duals After Three Lopsided Wins on Sunday

On Saturday, Team New York Kong cruised through the competition on the way to two dominant dual victories. On Sunday things were even more lopsided in the squad’s three victories over Doughboy Blue, South Dakota Red and Team Ohio Mafia.  In fact, the Empire State grapplers shut their opponents out in the first two meets and overall captured 40 of the 42 individual matches during the trio of dual wins, according to John Passaro.

Day three of action on Monday will begin bright and early for the New Yorkers, as they start at 8 a.m. against Brawlers Fire. After that, it will be a match with Michigan Freeze in the early afternoon.

And then, the “playoff” portion of the event begins as a national championship team will be crowned. Stay tuned for further updates.

Team New York Kong

106 Kyle Quinn

106 Jesse Dellavecchia

113 Nick Piccininni

120 Travis Passaro

126 Alex Delacruz

132 Matt Leshinger

138 Nick Kelley

145 Brandon Lapi

145 Frank Garcia

145 Jakob Restrepo

152 Joe Mastro

160 Steven Schneider

170 Carlos Toribio

182 James Corbett

195 Nick Weber

220 Josh Bonneau

285 Mike Hughes


NY Unbeaten at Two Dual Events on Sat: Freestyle Team Takes First in Pool at Jr. Nationals; Team Kong Dominates at Disney

Team North Dakota Blue seemed to have New York’s number at the Junior National Duals in Oklahoma. The two squads met in the Greco Roman competition on Wednesday and in Freestyle action on Friday and both times, North Dakota came out on top, by 37-32 and 37-31 scores, respectively.

There would be one more chance for the Empire State wrestlers. Both squads went undefeated on the event’s last day, earning spots against each other in the first place match of the Red/Blue Freestyle Pool. It turned out that the third time was a charm.

“We lost to them twice and didn’t want it to happen three times in a row,” said Johnson City’s Reggie Williams, who wrestled at 195 and 220 during the week. “We knew we needed to get it together and we did.”

In an exciting dual New York prevailed 35-34 — and it all came down to the last bout.

The Empire State got off to a strong start, with a technical fall by Roland Zilberman at 220 and a decision by Sam Eagan at 285. After a 10-0 victory by Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer at 138 and a pin by Jake Savoca at 145, New York led by eight points with five matches remaining. But it wasn’t over, as North Dakota went on a run, capturing four straight contests, including two by bonus, to take a 34-30 advantage into the finale at 195 pounds.

That’s when Williams stepped in, needing a technical fall for the tie or a fall for the win. After defeating his opponent Brandon Rodriguez earlier in the event, Williams was confident he would come through.

“I thought we would win the tiebreaker if it came down to that, but I still wanted to be safe and pin him,” Williams said. “I wanted to put the team on my back and came in looking for the pin right away.”

It didn’t take long as he recorded the fall less than a minute and a half into the bout to give New York the one-point triumph.

Rodriguez-Spencer, Photo by BV

Williams frequently got his hand raised in Oklahoma, as he posted an 8-1 record in Freestyle. 160-pounder Burke Paddock did the same (after going undefeated in Greco). Also starring for the team was Rodriguez-Spencer, who won all nine of his Freestyle bouts at 138, including eight by technical fall, after losing just once in Greco.

“Guys like Burke and Renaldo wrestled tough the whole time,” Williams said. “We knew we could count on them to go out there, score points and get us techs and pins when we needed them.”

In addition, 120 was a strong weight, as Matt Morris and Nick Casella teamed up to go 7-2 in that class while Daniel Smith (170) and the previously mentioned Savoca and Eagan all collected five or more wins in Freestyle. In addition, after an unblemished tournament in Greco, Zilberman won all four of his bouts on Friday and Saturday in the upperweights.

Overall, the squad garnered a 6-3 record in Freestyle, with wins over Minnesota Blue, Indiana, Iowa, Florida, Tennessee and the finale against North Dakota.

“I honestly thought we’d do a little better,” Williams said. “But it was a great experience with great bonding time for the team. I think we got a lot out of it to help us get ready to compete for [individual] national titles at Fargo in a few weeks. And we were really happy to end on a good note, winning our last match.”

For full Freestyle results, see Here.

For a recap of the team’s Greco Roman competition, see This link.

For full team roster, see the bottom of this article.

Off to a Great Start at Disney

It wasn’t only an unbeaten day for the Empire State in Oklahoma, as another group of All-Stars – Team New York Kong – racked up a 2-0 mark at the AAU National Duals (aka Disney Duals) in Orlando.

The squad had no mercy on the opposition, winning at least 11 of the 14 bouts in both meets. The first was a 50-9 pasting of Team Kryptonite (Ohio), while the second was a 44-6 decision over New Tampa Wrestling.

Garnering two victories on the day were Nick Piccininni (113), Travis Passaro (120), Alex Delacruz (126), Matt Leshinger (132), Nick Kelley (138), Joe Mastro (152), Nick Weber (195), Josh Bonneau (220) and Mike Hughes (heavyweight). The team will return to the mat for three contests on Sunday.

Team New York Kong

106 Kyle Quinn

106 Jesse Dellavecchia

113 Nick Piccininni

120 Travis Passaro

126 Alex Delacruz

132 Matt Leshinger

138 Nick Kelley

145 Brandon Lapi

145 Frank Garcia

145 Jakob Restrepo

152 Joe Mastro

160 Steven Schneider

170 Carlos Toribio

182 James Corbett

195 Nick Weber

220 Josh Bonneau

285 Mike Hughes


Team New York – Junior Freestyle Duals

100: Dom Poggoli

106: Andy Flanagan

113: Alpha Diallo

120: Nick Casella

120: Matt Morris

126: Trey Aslanian

126: Cheick Ndiaye

126/132: Richard Antonacci

132: Freddie Dunau

138: Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer

145: Jake Savoca

152: Nigel Williams

160: Burke Paddock

170: Daniel Smith

182: Isaiah Zimmer

195: Reggie Williams

220: Roland Zilberman

220/285: Sam Eagan


College Commitments – What are the Destinations for the Class of 2013 Wrestlers?

On July 1, recruiting season officially begins for the Class of 2014.  With that in mind, we will be bringing some recruiting-related content, including articles from the perspective of college coaches and a New York State champion headed to Division I wrestling this fall.

For now, here’s a list of where New Yorkers are going for the 2013-14 campaign (as well as out of staters who will attend Empire State institutions). These are commitments we have been made aware of, but if you see something that should be added or changed, please contact



Zack Bacon, Hornell (NY), Football

Kevin Thayer, Unatego (NY)

Air Force

John Diekel, Whitehall (NY)

Conor O’Hara, Sachem East (NY)

Arizona State

James Brundage, Ossining (NY)/Rider

Kyle Colling, Pioneer (NY)/Oklahoma


TJ Brandt, Altoona (PA)

Christian Doyle, McKinney Christian Academy (TX)

Logan Everett, Williamson (PA)

Nick Frank, Urbana (MD)

Ruben Jurado, Concord (NC)

Mason Kumashiro, Los Alamitos (CA)

Lincoln Mallinger, St. Michael-Albertville (MN)

Tristan Manderfield, Foley (MN)

Mark Marchetti, Father Ryan (TN)

Russell Parsons, Blair Academy (NJ)

Trevor Smith, Ripon (CA)

Troy Taylor, Ironwood Ridge (AZ)

Jack Wedholm, Blair Academy (NJ)


David Almaviva, Shenendehowa (NY)

Thierno Diallo, Duval (MD)

Nick Kelley, Shenendehowa (NY)

Kyle Kelly, Chenango Forks (NY)

Bryce Mazurowski, Avon (NY)

Robert Person, Bellmore JFK (NY)

Nick Tighe, Phoenix (NY)

Zack Zupan, Canastota (NY)


Kevin Rodriguez, Patchogue Medford (NY)


Jeff Bechen, Whitman Hanson (MA)

Peter Ottaviano, Colts Neck (NJ)

Pete Hailer, Milton (MA)

Dillon Stowell, Gouverneur (NY)


Lewis Yablans, Jericho (NY)


James Corbett, Wantagh (NY)


Connor Lapresi, Lansing (NY)


James Benjamin, Vestal (NY)

Jake Campana, Southern Regional (NJ)

Roy Daniels, Olentangy Liberty (OH)

Corey Hollister, Perry (NY)

Alex Francik, Vestal (NY)

Nick Flannery, Cleveland State

Carmine Goldsack, Bergen Catholic (NJ)

Anthony Liberatore, Williamsville South (NY)

Brandon Muntz, Falconer (NY)

Rrok Ndokaj, Monsignor Farrell (NY)/Bloomsburg

Tyler Rill, Mount St. Joseph’s (MD)/Bloomsburg

Mike Silvis, Holley (NY)

Andrew (AJ) Voelker, Monroe Woodbury (NY)

Austin Weigel, Onteora (NY)


Quinton Murphy, Holley/Indiana (NY)

Tim Schaefer, Warsaw (NY)

Danny Sutherland, Mepham, Nassau CC (NY)

Coast Guard Academy

Dan Fiorvanti, Commack (NY)


John Florio, Valley Central (NY)


Chris Araoz, Wantagh (NY)

Britain Carter, Maple Mountain (UT)

Mike Fetchet, South Fayette (PA)

Troy Hembury, Muncy (PA)

Matt Leshinger, Sayville (NY)

Justin Mann, Ladue (MO)

Vince Pallone, Mendham (NJ)

Andrew Psomas, Monsignor Farrell (NY)

Garrett Ryan, Wyoming Seminary (PA)

Markus Scheidel, St. Edward (OH)


Dan Choi, Syosset (NY)

Jake George, Long Branch (NJ)

Griffin Higginbotham, Union Grove (GA)

Dylan Realbuto, Somers (NY)

Jake Taylor, Bald Eagle Area (PA)

Ty Walter, Mifflinburg (PA)


Chris Alianakian, Kellenberg (NY)

Colin Barber, Westfield (NJ)

Nick Bellanza, John Glenn (NY)/Jacksonville

Mat Bradice, William Floyd (NY)

Brian Bulger, Westfield (NJ)

Chris Cataldo, MacArthur (NY)

Lucas Ciancamino, Sayville (NY)

Antonio DeLuco, Rome Free Academy (NY)

Brendan Dent, Connetquot (NY)

Matt Dillon, Nanuet (NY)

Troy Feniger, North Rockland (NY)

Jake Green, Chenango Forks (NY)

Casey Lanave, Chenango Forks (NY)

Tyler Lilly, New Rochelle (NY)

Lance Moore, Johnson City/Binghamton (NY)

Jagger Rebozo, Half Hollow Hills West (NY)

Mark West, Hauppauge (NY)


Alex Tanzman, Westhampton Beach (NY)

East Stroudsburg

Eric Januszkiewicz, New Paltz (NY)


Terrence Cheeks, Newburgh (NY)

Lester Enriquez, Hewlett (NY)

Franklin & Marshall

Tommy Quinlan, Fayetteville-Manlius (NY)


Eric Lewandowski, Lancaster (NY)


Tyler Grimaldi, Half Hollow Hills West (NY)


Mike Hughes, Smithtown West (NY)

Kyle Krasavage, Wyoming Valley West (PA)


Travis Berube, St. Joseph’s Collegiate (NY)

Jimmy Kaishian, Yorktown (NY)

Steven Sabella, Yorktown (NY)

Joe Sprung, Berne-Knox-Westerlo (NY)

Carlos Toribio, Brentwood (NY)

Lake Erie College

Keanu Thompson, Grand Street (NY)


Drew Longo, Ardsley (NY)

Thomas Murray, Yorktown (NY)

Life University (Georgia)

Rowdy Prior, Phoenix (NY)


Chris Reilly, Half Hollow Hills West (NY)


Austin Hedges, Letchworth (NY)

Dan Reagan, Lewiston Porter (NY)


Lucas Malmberg, Marathon (NY)


Josh Bonneau, Minisink Valley (NY)

Gio Santiago, Sachem North (NY)

Vinny Turano, Wantagh (NY)


Anthony Abidin, Nassau CC (NY)

Niagara CCC

Jude Gardner, Fredonia (NY)

North Carolina

Jacob Pincus, Pittsford (NY)


Roman Accetta, Poly Prep (NY)

John Messinger, Putnam Valley (NY)

Amit Naik, Providence Day (NC)

Nick Matthews, West Morris (NJ)

Joey Rizzolino, Campbell

Ethan Walker, Heritage Hall (OK)

North Carolina State

Shayne Brady, Carthage (NY)

Joe Mastro, Yorktown (NY)

Oklahoma State

Chris Koo, Great Neck South (NY)


Simon Greebel, Hewlett (NY)

Taylor Jones, Palmyra Macedon (NY)


Dan McDevitt, Wantagh (NY)

Jun Yoo, Jericho (NY)


Trey Aslanian, Edgemont (NY)


Steven Mills, Sachem North (NY) – Football

Roger Williams

Tom Carta, South Glens Falls (NY)

Sacred Heart

Nick Allesandrini, St. Anthony’s (NY)

TJ Fabian, Shoreham Wading River (NY)

Tom Filipkowski, Mattituck (NY)

Matt Fisher, Oneida (NY)

Brendan Goldup, LaSalle (NY)

Daniel Hayden, East Islip (NY)

Patrick Henn, Lindenhurst (NY)

Austin Hulse, Stony Brook School (NY)

Nick Lupi, Huntington (NY)

Zak Mullen, Shoreham Wading River (NY)

Alex Swanson, Smithtown West (NY)

Johnny Vrasidas, St. Anthony’s (NY)


Corey Ali, Shenendehowa (NY)

Hunter Ayen, Gouverneur (NY)

Zach Joseph, Shenendehowa (NY)

David Varian, Yorktown (NY)


Kevin Tynes, Brooklyn Tech (NY)


Drew Hull, Royalton Hartland (NY)


Tim Raner, Mexico (NY)


Robert Rosenberg, Hewlett (NY)

Western New England

Andrew Cole, Ogdensburg (NY)

Matt Jarvis, Carle Place (NY)

West Virginia

John Pellegrino, Division (Nassau CC) (NY)

Gunnar Van Curen, Portville (NY)

Wheeling Jesuit

Justin Jimenez-Castillo, Irvington (NY)


Pankil Chander, Lawrence (NY)

Paddock, Zilberman Post Undefeated Records For NY at Junior Greco National Duals

The Junior Greco Roman National Duals came to an end on Thursday evening with Team New York registering a seventh place finish in the Bronze/Copper pool. The Empire State wrestlers ended the competition on a high note, winning their last meet 40-26 over Pennsylvania.

That final dual started off with a pair of wins from the upperweight duo of Roland Zilberman and Reggie Williams. (The pair shared 195 and 220 pound duties throughout the event and on Thursday combined for a perfect 8-0 record). After the Keystone State group responded with four consecutive victories, New York countered with triumphs in seven of the last nine bouts to come out on top.  Those wins were by: Matt Morris (120), Richard Antonacci (126), Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (138), Jake Savoca (145), Nigel Williams (152), Burke Paddock (160) and Daniel Smith (170).

Photo by BV

Paddock and Zilberman were a combined 14-0 over the two-day tournament with 12 of those wins coming by technical fall or pin. Rodriguez-Spencer also piled up bonus points, going 6-1 with three techs and two falls. Williams collected five victories while fellow Section 4 grappler Isaiah Zimmer grabbed four wins at 182 pounds. Overall, the New Yorkers went 2-5, topping South Dakota on Wednesday, 40-26.

The team returns to action on Friday as the Freestyle National Duals commence.

For full results, see Here.

Team New York:

106: Andy Flanagan
106: Dominic Poggoli
113: Alpha Diallo
120: Nick Casella
120: Matt Morris
126: Trey Aslanian
126: Cheick Ndiaye
126: Richard Antonacci
132: Freddie Dunau
138: Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer
145: Jake Savoca
152: Nigel Williams
160: Burke Paddock
170: Daniel Smith
182: Isaiah Zimmer
195/220: Reggie Williams
195/220: Roland Zilberman
285: Sam Eagan


Kyle Dake Nominated for Best Male College Athlete ESPY Award – (Link to Vote Included)


The recognition continues for Cornell’s four-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake.  Voting opened for ESPN’s ESPY Awards on Thursday and Dake is one of the four nominees for Best Male College Athlete, along with Michigan basketball player Trey Burke, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and St. Cloud hockey standout Drew LeBlanc.  Both Burke and LeBlanc were finalists for Sports Illustrated’s Male College Athlete of the Year honor, which Dake won in the spring.

To vote for the ESPYs, see ESPY voting link.


On Track and Arriving: Stony Brook to Grapple at the Garden

Last week, MSG Sports announced that the second annual Grapple at the Garden will take place on December 1 in New York City. A number of New York teams were mentioned in the press release, including Cornell, Hofstra and Army.

But that’s not all.  Two more squads from the Empire State will take part as Stony Brook will take the mat against Westchester Community College at the World’s Most Famous Arena.  How did the second-year NCWA program from Suffolk County get involved?

“I was there last year and I was thinking, Stony Brook should be here,” said Seawolves head coach Shaun Lally. “I saw the Division I wrestling and the high school wrestling and thought it would be great if every single level of wrestling was showcased.  I happened to call [Cornell coach] Rob Koll about something else and asked him about this year’s Grapple at the Garden. He got me in touch with the organizers and after talking to them, they were sold on the idea.”

So, Stony Brook was in the field, but needed an opponent.  The answer wasn’t too far away.

“For an event in New York City, it made sense to go local,” Lally said. “You can’t get much more local than Westchester.  Some of the guys on the team there are from the Beat the Streets program.  They’re very close to the city. Getting to the city is easy for us too – our kids can get on the train, take it to Penn Station and basically just walk upstairs to wrestle.”

Wrestling at the prestigious arena during a high profile event is something the Stony Brook squad isn’t taking lightly.

“It’s so exciting to be a part of this,” Lally said. “It gives us an instant credibility and brings attention and turns people’s heads.  There’s still that club tag associated with Stony Brook for some people because we’re not Division I. I think participating in this event is another way of showing people that we’re a legitimate program that has shown a lot of growth and progress in a short period of time.”

Courtesy of Stony Brook wrestling

Indeed, it’s only been a little over a year for Lally and Stony Brook as a NCWA program.  In season one, six wrestlers qualified for the Nationals in Texas with two, 197 pounder Michael Lloyd and 235 pounder Kyle Folk-Freund, coming within one victory of All-America status.

“For the kids to just get there was a great experience that validated all the hard work they did,” Lally said. “The team bought into the system right away.  Right before those two matches (in the Round of 12), I said to myself, ‘Win or lose, this has been a complete success.’  The matches didn’t go our way, but now we keep putting the question out there – who will be the first All-American for this program?”

Who will it be?  Lally doesn’t think it will take long to find out as he has a strong group of returners and a set of newcomers he believes will make an impact.

“We have some very good guys back and we have six incoming freshmen from all over the state who, if they buy in like the kids did last year, could walk in right away and have success. I’m excited that we’re bringing in kids from upstate, the City, Nassau and Suffolk. The future is bright.”

According to Lally, that future includes the goal of winning a conference championship in 2013-14 and some interesting opportunities, including a potential exhibition match against the backups from Hofstra and, of course, the appearance at the Garden.

“It’s huge for us to get exposure and compete in that kind of setting,” the coach said.  “We want to show people we’ve arrived as a program.”

For more on Stony Brook wrestling, see here.

Binghamton All-American Justin Lister Honored For Saving Colleague's Life

Courtesy of, Contact: John Hartrick (

Photo by The Morning Journal (Ohio)

VESTAL, N.Y.—After an accomplished wrestling career that included All-America honors, former Binghamton student-athlete Justin Lister has wasted no time in asserting himself in his professional career. Lister, a first-year state trooper in Ohio, has received a Certificate of Recognition by the Ohio State Highway Patrol for saving the life of a dispatcher.

Lister, 24, who graduated in spring 2012, was honored in a ceremony on Tuesday, five weeks after his quick thinking and action saved the life of dispatcher Chelsea Saylor, 25. On May 12 in Sandusky, Ohio, Saylor was on her lunch break and began choking on her food. Lister noticed and immediately administered the Heimlich maneuver.

For the remainder of the story from the Binghamton Athletics site, see this link.

For the story in “The Morning Journal” (Ohio) newspaper, see here.

Cornell's Mark Grey Earns Second Trip to Junior World Championships … And More from the Junior World Team Trials

Mark Grey represented the United States at the Junior World Championships in 2011, taking fifth at 55 kg. After his stellar performance in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Sunday, he’ll once again aim for a Junior World title as he earned the 60 kg spot on Team USA with a perfect day in a loaded field.

Grey began with an 8-3 decision over Earl Hall, a 2012 World Team member who spent the last year at the Olympic Training Center. He followed with a hard fought 6-4 triumph over former Blair Academy teammate Joey McKenna, the eventual third place finisher.


That put Grey into the best-of-three championship series against Zane Richards of Illinois. At the recent FILA Junior Nationals in Las Vegas in the spring, the two grapplers met for bronze, with Richards coming away with a 2-0, 5-1 victory.

Grey turned the tables on Sunday, capturing the opening bout 5-4. In the second contest, Richards got off to a strong start, but Grey rebounded to win 6-4 and punch his ticket to Bulgaria, where the World championships will be held in August.

Grey will be a freshman at Cornell in the fall, as will three other wrestlers who placed at the event, including a pair at 74 kg/163 pounds.

Dylan Palacio went directly to the championship series after his FILA Junior National crown in Las Vegas. He faced Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State, who took third at the NCAAs in March. On Sunday, the Cowboy defeated Palacio in two matches to take the World Team slot.

In order to get to the championship series against Palacio, Dieringer squared off with another future Big Red wrestler in the title bout of the Challenge Tournament – Brian Realbuto. Realbuto had a strong showing with a 4-1 record. He started with a 7-0 win over McCoy Newburg and followed with a 6-4 decision over Yoanse Mejias. He then came out on top of two high scoring affairs, a 20-13 triumph over Dylan Reel and a 15-10 victory over Isaiah Martinez.

Another Cornellian, Gabe Dean, dropped his opener at 84 kg/185 pounds, but bounced back with three consecutive wins, by a combined score of 24-4, to get to the bronze bout before taking fourth in the Challenge Tournament.

Those weren’t the only Ivy Leaguers to have success on Sunday. Columbia recruit Garrett Ryan notched second in the 120 kg Challenge bracket after defeating the second seed, Brooks Black, 8-6 in the semifinals.

On the Greco side, a pair of New Yorkers took third place in the Challenge event. Jessy Williams, a Section 4 native, grabbed bronze at 60 kg, while Warsaw state champion Burke Paddock did the same at 74 kg. Paddock came back from a first round loss to score 22 points in his consolation matches on his way to third.

Hofstra’s Jamel Hudson recorded two technical falls at 60 kg in freestyle during a 2-2 day in which both setbacks came against third placer Joey McKenna.

For full results, see here.

World Team Trials Day 2: Army Graduate Anderson Makes the Finals; Gwiazdowski Takes Third in Challenge Tournament and More

The World Team Trials continued on Saturday with action in men’s and women’s freestyle and Greco Roman.


Numerous wrestlers with New York ties took the mat, with West Point graduate Jon Anderson making it all the way to the best-of-three championship series against Andy Bisek in Greco at 74 kg/163 pounds.  Anderson began his journey with a 6-0 victory over Corey Hope and followed it up with a pin of Jake Fisher, the number two seed.  Fisher, a former World Team member, had taken a significant lead over Anderson early in the match, but the former Black Knight fought back to not only tie the score but also get the fall.

That set up the meeting with Bisek. In the first match, there was a lot of action early, but the first points weren’t put on the board until there were just seconds left in the opening period as Anderson grabbed a 1-0 advantage. Bisek didn’t waste much time tying things up in the second and with two minutes to go, the Minnesota Storm wrestler pulled ahead 3-1. Anderson stayed aggressive, but his opponent effectively countered multiple times, resulting in a 10-1 Bisek triumph in match one.

In the second match, Anderson went ahead with a push out less than a minute into the bout for a 1-0 lead.  Seconds later, however, Bisek responded with a takedown and after a series of turns, it was 7-1.  Toward the end of the stanza, Anderson looked in position for a big throw, but Bisek was able to fight it off and in the second period, Bisek ended the bout 9-2 with a pushout to take the World Team spot.

Anderson wasn’t the only placer with Empire State connections on Saturday, as three freestylers made the top four in the Challenge Tournament.

Former Duanesburg star Nick Gwiazdowski, who competes for North Carolina State, took bronze at 120 kg after racking up a 3-1 record.  That included a pair of wins over two-time NCAA champion Tony Nelson of Minnesota.  In fact, Gwiazdowski started the day against the Golden Gopher, getting to his legs often and piling up points in a 9-0 technical fall that ended midway through the second period.  After dropping his next contest to Zach Rey, Gwiazdowski notched a 9-1 triumph over Kyle Massey before beating Nelson for third, 6-4.

Hall, (Tony Rotundo)

Also making the bronze match in the Challenge Tournament were Cornell graduate Cam Simaz (84 kg) and Columbia assistant Adam Hall (66 kg), who both took fourth with 2-2 marks.  Simaz opened and concluded with losses to Jon Reader. In between, he toppled Max Askren and Enock Francois by 7-0 and 9-2 scores, respectively.  Hall’s setbacks came to Challenge Tournament champion Brent Metcalf and third placer Chase Pami while he defeated Kyle Ruschell and Phillip Simpson.

Speaking of Simpson, the Army graduate went 3-2 with wins over Rollie Peterkin, Jason Chamberlain and Kyle Borshoff.  Borshoff, an American assistant coach originally from the Rochester area, dropped a one-pointer to Kyle Ruschell in round one before facing Simpson.

Another Simpson – William Simpson – picked up one victory at 60 kg in Greco with a pin, while Army assistant Enock Francois also had a 1-2 mark (at 84 kg) with a 7-0 win over Austin Trotman.

Yet another West Point coach, Danny Mitcheff, also collected a victory (at 55 kg), eliminating Cornell All-American Frank Perrelli in the consolations.  Mitcheff was then knocked out of the competition by former Buffalo grappler Mark McKnight, who also went 1-2.

On the women’s side, Jenna Burkert, recorded a technical fall at 63 kg against Lauren Louive, while another New York native, Joe Uccellini, competed at 74 kg in Greco.

Wrestling continues on Sunday in Stillwater with the Junior World Team Trials in both Freestyle and Greco.

For full results, see here.


World Team Trials Recap: Dake Wins Challenge Tournament; Falls to Burroughs (and More)

Jordan Burroughs is the defending Olympic and World champion. Now he’ll have a chance to win another significant international crown after he captured the 74 kg class in the best-of-three championship series at the World Team Trials in Stillwater, Oklahoma over Cornell’s Kyle Dake.

Burroughs came out firing, taking a 2-0 lead just seconds into the first bout of the best-of-three championship series.  Afterward, he continued to attack, notching a 7-0 technical fall in the opening stanza.  

The second match was a different story as Dake made adjustments to push Burroughs to the limit in an electrifying contest. The former Nebraska star took an early 1-0 lead, but Dake bounced back with a three-point move and at the conclusion of the first period, it was 4-4. In the second, Dake took a 6-4 advantage with 1:50 remaining, but Burroughs responded with just under a minute to go to tie it up again at 6. In overtime, Burroughs ended things with a takedown to get the victory. (The final score was 9-6 after Dake lost the appeal of the winning TD).

To punch his ticket to the title series, Dake had a difficult path and a number of high quality victories. In the span of just a few hours, he defeated a former World Team member (Trent Paulson), the top seed in the Challenge bracket (David Taylor) and a very formidable freestyle wrestler (Andrew Howe).  To put it in perspective, each of those three opponents is a three-time college All-American and an NCAA champion.

It all began against Paulson, the last wrestler to defeat Dake.  The former Iowa State grappler topped the Cornell graduate at the US Olympic Trials in 2012 in a three-period contest, but this time, it wasn’t close.  The Lansing native earned a technical fall with an 8-1 victory which he controlled throughout.

Next up was another familiar face – Taylor.  In their only freestyle meeting, which was last spring, Dake won by fall. Then, during the 2012-13 collegiate campaign, Dake registered a trio of one-point victories, including at the NCAA tournament where Dake collected his fourth national crown.  The location of the match was new on Friday, but the outcome was the same, as Dake came out on top 7-4 to earn a meeting with Howe.

The Sooner grappler jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Dake bounced back to tie things up at 2, sending the bout to overtime. It took nearly six minutes for the winning points to come about, but it was Dake that struck in the extra session, clinching a 4-2 triumph and first place in the Challenge Tournament.

That finish meant the opportunity to battle Burroughs in the best-of-three series.

Dake wasn’t the only New York entrant at 74 kg on Friday.  Both Hofstra assistant Dan Vallimont and Staten Island native Kevin Hartnett competed in that bracket, each dropping a pair of bouts.

In Greco Roman, Dmitry Ryabchinsky began the competition with a 7-0 technical fall before dropping his second bout to top seeded Spenser Mango.  The former PSAL grappler took fourth place at 55 kg.

Meanwhile, Mary Westman took the mat in women’s freestyle, but didn’t place at 72 kg.

Action resumes tomorrow at noon Eastern time with men’s freestyle (55, 66, 84 and 120 kg), Greco Roman (60, 74 and 96 kg) and women’s freestyle (48 and 63 kg).

For full results see here.