New York Wins Two at the Cadet Freestyle National Duals As Merkin and Bethel Go Undefeated

Team New York spent Father’s Day weekend in Daytona Beach, Florida, competing at the Cadet Freestyle National Duals. The squad picked up two victories in five meets, despite forfeiting six weight classes in each contest.

Merkin, Photo courtesy of

On Friday, the team opened with a pair of setbacks at the hands of Pennsylvania and Oklahoma, but finished the day strong with a 37-31 win over Florida. Saturday began with another triumph, this time a 41-19 result against Georgia. In the finale, the Empire State wrestlers won six of the 10 contested matches, but fell to North Carolina by a 40-33 margin.

There were a number of standout performances in the Sunshine State, including two undefeated grapplers. Both Leonard Merkin (138 pounds) and James Bethel (220) went 5-0 and piled up bonus points in the process. Merkin had two pins and three technical falls, while Bethel had a pin and two techs in the upperweights. Also getting his hand raised often was 160-pounder Andy Cummings, who went 4-1.

Collecting three victories over the course of the competition were Justin Lopez (88 pounds), Jesse Dellavecchia (113), Jackie Gold (120) and Dakota Woolley (170).

For full results, see

Team New York Records:

88 Pounds: Justin Lopez 3-2

100 Pounds: John Luke DeStefano 2-3

106 Pounds: Sean Miller 2-3

113 Pounds: Jesse Dellavecchia 3-2

120 Pounds: Jackie Gold 3-2

132 Pounds: Marc Paez 1-4

138 Pounds: Leonard Merkin 5-0

145 Pounds: Kale Gilbert 1-4

160 Pounds: Andy Cummings 4-1

170 Pounds: Dakota Woolley 3-2

220 Pounds: James Bethel 5-0



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