Last year, two New York wrestlers emerged as champions at the Iron Horse Invitational in New Jersey. On Sunday, the Empire State boasted many more first place finishers, including a repeat performance by Nick Piccininni.
The Ward Melville grappler went 4-0 on the day, outscoring his opponents 29-1 along the way. One of his victories was over New Jersey state champion Anthony Cefolo.
In addition to Piccininni, Long Island was well represented in the Garden State with Eastport South Manor’s Jimmy Leach, Rocky Point’s Tommy Dutton, MacArthur’s Steve Schneider and Syosset’s Vito Arujau also collecting crowns.
All four of those wrestlers finished with unblemished records. Leach, a Section 11 finalist in February, beat 2013 NYS placer Sam Ward 6-3 on his path. Meanwhile, Dutton notched an impressive 3-2 triumph over two-time New Jersey runner up Gary Dinmore, a competitor ranked as one of the top 100 seniors in the land by Intermat and FloWrestling. Schneider bested state champion Adis Radoncic a few weeks after losing to him at the Journeymen Classic, while fellow Nassau representative Arujau notched a trio of victories, including a 4-0 decision over All-Stater Jesse Dellavecchia of East Islip.
There were many more gold showings for New York, including by returning state silver medalists Levi Ashley of Shenendehowa and Christian Dietrich of Greene. [Ashley’s only setback was to fellow New Yorker Nick Weber of Kings Park, another All-Stater in 2013]. For Dietrich, it was another offseason title after taking first at the Journeymen Classic a few weeks ago.
We haven’t forgotten about Anthony DePrez of Hilton and Brett Perry of John Jay East Fishkill, who also returned to the Empire State on Sunday night as champions.
Quite a few New Yorkers ended the top notch event with second place showings. John Muldoon of Pearl River was one of them, after going 3-1 with his only loss in overtime to New Jersey medalist Christian Innarella of Delbarton.
Yianni Diakomihalis of Hilton pinned Wantagh’s Kyle Quinn in a meeting of returning state champions and defeated New Jersey’s Nick Santos, before dropping a 5-3 battle to Nick Suriano, the #1 ranked grappler in the land at 113 pounds, to take second.
In addition, Jakob Restrepo continued his stellar offseason with silver, including a 5-4 decision over two-time New York runner up Vincent DePrez of Hilton. Restrepo wasn’t the only Section 11 wrestler to take second – Greg Chery of Connetquot and Jesse Dellavecchia of East Islip did the same.
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Thank you for indicating where the individual wrestlers are from. It is aggravating when articles are written about these wrestlers and no indication is given as to where they are from.