After the first day of Cadet Greco Roman competition, a number of New York wrestlers remain in the mix for spots high on the podium, with two already clinching All-America status – 220 pounders James Bethel and Garyn Huntley.
Both Bethel and Huntley began with defeats against highly touted foes, but responded with dominant showings the remainder of the day to ensure top-6 finishes.
Bethel lost a 6-5 decision to Jordan Wood, Intermat’s #8 sophomore in the country, in his first bout. However, he came back with technical falls over James McWilliams of North Carolina and Adam Treptau of Minnesota before pinning Jacob Spencer of Alabama in less than two minutes. To finish off the day, Bethel won 7-0 over James Ford of Ohio. He next battles Kyler Childers of Oklahoma.
On the other half of the 220-pound bracket, Huntley faced Intermat’s #1 junior in the nation, Lance Benick, in round one. After the setback, he bounced back with authority with two pins in less than 35 seconds and a pair of technical falls to secure at least sixth place. He’ll square off with Shane Coombs of Colorado in his first action on Monday.
Other Empire State wrestlers remain in the hunt, including a pair of grapplers who went unbeaten on Sunday – Locust Valley’s Nick Casella and Shenendehowa’s Jesse Porter.
Both Casella and Porter breezed through the day with five convincing victories. At 120 pounds, Casella opened with a fall and then registered four straight technical falls by 7-0, 7-0, 8-0 and 11-3 scores. He will look to continue his winning ways tomorrow morning when he faces Roshaun Cooley of Pennsylvania, who is 3-1 thus far.
Meanwhile, Porter picked up a pair of pins and three 8-0 technical falls at 152 pounds. His next challenge will be Maryland’s Christian Almony who sported an unblemished record on Sunday.
Also moving onto Day 2 of the tournament is Poly Prep’s Leonard Merkin, who started strong with an 8-0 tech fall over Conner Wengreen of Utah. After dropping his next bout to Ben Hornickle of Wisconsin, Merkin bounced back with a pin and two tech falls over foes from Virginia, Illinois and New Jersey at 132 pounds. Next up: Conner Noonan of Oregon, who was 4-1 on Sunday.
The Cadet Greco Roman tournament concludes on Monday, while Junior Greco begins. Check back for more updates.
A number of other competitors from New York took the mat on Sunday in the Cadet Greco Roman event. They are:
88: Drew Schafer, Justin Lopez, Oscar Lainez
106: Sean Miller, John Luke Destefano
113: Taylor Picciano, Evan Barczak
126: Ian Lupole, Christian Briody, Michael Berkowitz
138: Frank Jilling, Zachery Bendick, Sam Ward
145: Kevin Parker, Gino Titone, Jordan Bushey, Logan Brunick
152: John Vouzonis, William Marcil
160: Vance Cuffie, Collin LaBombard, Zafar Iskandarov, Andrew Cummings
170: Jacob Woolson
182: Joseph Sabia, Colby Stayley
195: Aidan Mathews
285: Peter Strassfield