2013-14 Section 11 Preview: Suffolk Features Numerous State Title Threats, Including Two of New York's Top Wrestlers, Nick Piccininni and Corey Rasheed

Five state champions (and two silver medalists) graduated from Section 11 in 2013.  However, the cupboard is full of potential titlewinners again, including two of the top pound-for-pound wrestlers in the state – Nick Piccininni and Corey Rasheed.

Piccininni, Photo by BV

Piccininni, ranked fifth nationally at 120 pounds by Intermat, continued to show he’s among the country’s elite.  WIN Magazine named him New York’s Wrestler of the Year for the 2012-13 campaign after he compiled his second consecutive undefeated state championship season.  He continued to impress by taking second at the FloNationals in the spring and going undefeated at the Disney Duals, Waterway Duals, Journeymen Classic and Iron Horse Invitational. The Ward Melville wrestler completed the offseason with a fourth placing showing at the Super 32 Challenge. For more on Piccininni see here.

You can also find Rasheed in the national rankings.  The Longwood senior sits in the number six spot at 160 pounds, according to Intermat and both that website and FloWrestling rank Rasheed as one of the top 60 seniors in the country.  The three-time state finalist got his hand raised in the championship match in Albany for the first time in 2013 when he pinned Chris Koo of Great Neck South in less than a minute.  It wasn’t an unusual outcome for Rasheed, who picked up 22 falls in 34 matches.  For more on Rasheed, see here.

In addition to Rasheed, who are some other seniors ready for stellar seasons in Suffolk?

Travis Passaro certainly qualifies.  After a third place medal in his first appearance at the Times Union Center, the Hofstra recruit took eighth at the FloNationals at 120 pounds, went 10-1 at the Disney Duals and won the Journeymen Classic. He’ll be among the title favorites at 126 pounds.

That Disney Duals squad also included Kings Park’s Nick Weber, who notched fifth in the state at 195 pounds a year ago. Weber, who stayed active in the offseason, will be a force in the upperweights this season.

We haven’t forgotten about Joe Calderone of Walt Whitman.  The 2012 All-State grappler put together another solid campaign as a junior, before falling one match short of repeating on the podium.  He wasn’t the only senior who finished in the top 8 in Albany.  That was also true of Dennis Ferro of East Islip who won two matches in Albany and then put together some solid offseason results, including making the top 16 at the Super 32 Challenge.

Anthony Puca of Huntington wrestled three matches in Albany – and spent a lot of time on the mat with multiple bouts that went beyond regulation.  In round one, he defeated eventual placer Ian James in three overtimes before dropping matches to state champion Mike Hughes and to David Varian of Yorktown (in another three overtime contest). He’ll be among the top heavyweights in New York.

Of course, it won’t just be seniors who will be threats to win it all this year.

After earning fourth at 99 last year, Jesse Dellavecchia of East Islip showed he is one to watch again when he defeated defending state champion Kyle Quinn at 113 pounds at the Journeymen Classic in September.  Dellavecchia also nabbed fifth at 106 pounds at the NHSCA Sophomore Nationals in Virginia Beach. 99 pounds was loaded last year and the wrestler who captured the Section 11 title – Huntington’s John Arceri – will also be a force, after a 37-4 season full of quality victories.

A trio of other returning qualifiers could all climb very high on the medal stand. Tommy Dutton of Rocky Point (fourth at 138) and Mike D’Angelo of Commack (fifth at 120) both picked up All-State accolades for the first time in 2013 and will look to do so again while moving up in weight.  Look for D’Angelo to make his presence felt at 132. In the fall, Dutton twice beat highly ranked Gary Dinmore, a two-time New Jersey state runner up, including at the Super 32 Challenge where the Rocky Point wrestler made the podium at 145 pounds with a seventh place showing.

Speaking of making the national podium, Chris Mauriello of Hauppauge, who won a match in the state capital as a freshman, followed up his ninth grade campaign in Suffolk with his second consecutive title at the NHSCA National championships in Virginia Beach, this time at 132 pounds.

Corey Jamison of Huntington wasn’t at the state tournament last year after coming in as the number two seed in 2012.  However, he did achieve something no one else in New York did last year.  He defeated both the Division I and Division II state champions at 126 pounds – TJ Fabian and William Koll.  He has another shot to return to Albany and earn hardware of his own.

Those wrestlers all have some experience in Albany.  It seems every year, however, that some Suffolk grapplers make a significant splash in the Times Union Center during their first appearance.  Last year, for example, Brentwood’s Carlos Toribio captured the New York championship in his initial trip to the event.  Who could make that kind of impact?

Middleweights

Sachem East’s Jakob Restrepo definitely comes to mind, as he has been on a roll, earning All-America honors at the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach and then again in Freestyle at Fargo at 145 pounds.  He then won the Super 32 Shippensburg qualifier before topping a trio of NYS silver medalists (Frank Garcia and Brandon Lapi at the Journeymen Classic and Vincent DePrez at the Iron Horse Invitational).  In the same bracket as Restrepo at Fargo was Gino Titone of Connetquot, who just missed making the medal stand in North Dakota while collecting five victories in the nation’s toughest summer event.

Who are some others to look out for in the middleweights?  Sean O’Hagan was a double finalist at the New York States in Freestyle and Greco after winning more than 35 matches for Sachem North, while James Matias of Rocky Point ended one spot higher than O’Hagan on the Suffolk podium at 132, taking fourth. Erik Adon of East Islip earned a finals spot in the county championships at 152 in 2013.

How about some All-Americans? Michael Pistone, a multi-time placer at the NHSCA Nationals, had 37 wins at 152 a year ago for Sachem East, including a bronze finish at the Suffolk tournament.  And Brandon Aviles of Newfield took sixth at 145 at the NHSCA Nationals event after earning All-County honors in February.  Right behind Aviles at the Suffolk championships was Zach Lugo of Deer Park after winning around 30 matches in 2012-13.

And while they might not be on the radar for everyone yet, Greg Chery (fifth at 138 at the Section 11 championships) and Evan Mayer (Comsewogue) sought out tough competition in the offseason and look to translate that to success in the upcoming campaign. The same could be said for Eduardo Ramirez of Amityville, who compiled 30 victories a year ago at 145 pounds and followed with a strong showing at the Summer Heat tournament, taking first with a win over Suffolk finalist Jimmy Leach.  Ramirez also went undefeated at the Waterway Duals and won his bracket at the Journeymen Classic.

Moving Down in Weight . . .

How about some lower weights? Last year’s 126 pound state champion, TJ Fabian, won his New York crown after taking third at the Suffolk championships a few weeks before Albany.  Grabbing second in the Section 11 event was Eastport South Manor’s Jimmy Leach, who has competed all over this offseason and may be ready for a run of his own.  He was one of many 126 pounders to have over 30 wins a year ago. Anthony Messina of Sachem East, BJ Jackson of Brentwood and Brad Wade of Islip were some of the others who will be formidable again this year. Wade, who is looking to become the fourth Wade brother to win a state championship in New York, topped Jamison twice a year ago, as well as Leach.

There’s no doubt that 126 pounds was loaded last year.  The same could definitely be said of the 99 pound class, which sent three wrestlers to the state tournament (the previously mentioned Dellavecchia and Arceri as well as John Busiello, who is now at Wyoming Seminary).  But several others who were in that class are ready to make an impact, including a number of grapplers who went on to earn All-America honors at the NHSCA Nationals such as Suffolk fourth placer Zach Ancewicz of John Glenn, Rocky Point’s Anthony Cirillo, Smithtown East’s James Trezza and Hauppauge’s Ben Tepperman.

In addition, last year’s fifth place finisher at 99, Bobby Pease of Pat-Med, Huntington’s Kyle Mock, Deer Park’s Tommy CoxNorth Babylon’s Anthony Sparacio and Hauppauge’s Jake Silverstein will all be in the 99/106 pound lightweight mix.  CJ Archer of Rocky Point had over 30 wins at 99 a year ago, but is likely to move up several weights this season, possibly to 126/132.

While discussing the lightest weights, it’s worth mentioning that Adam Busiello will make his debut as a seventh grader for Eastport South Manor.  His list of achievements is long, including multiple national youth championships and his second-straight Super 32 title a few weeks ago. He is currently ranked as the #30 Junior High wrestler in the land by FloWrestling.

Staying in the lower classes, James Szymanski excelled at the Eastern States Classic in 2013, grabbing third place. Although he didn’t earn a spot in Albany, he has a strong chance to do so this year.  Danny Murray of Brentwood also had a solid season at 106 and followed with an All-America showing – seventh at 106 in Virginia Beach.  The wrestler who topped him for third at the state qualifier, Kyle Scully of Newfield, could have another strong year.  Some young guns to keep an eye on are Anthony Sobotker of North Babylon and 106 or 113 pounder Eddie Matyka from Riverhead, who is back after injuries kept him off the mat.  Additional All-County wrestlers that will be in the mix this year are Austin Munro of Hauppauge (fourth at 120) and Tim Johnson of Harborfields (fifth at 113).

Upperweights

While state champion Mike Hughes is now competing for Hofstra, there is still a lot of talent in the upperweights.  Looking to take the top spot at 285 now will be the previously mentioned Anthony Puca of Huntington (Another Puca, JP, had a win over All-Stater Dan DeCarlo in 2013).  In addition, there are other solid heavyweights, such as John Glenn’s Edwin Rubio. Rubio took second in the country at the NHSCA Freshman Nationals in the spring after a strong ninth grade year, as did 182 pounder Christian Araneo of Ward Melville, another wrestler to follow.

Some other upperweights we’ll be watching include the Islip duo of Ronnie King and Craig Hinrichs, Steven Lee of Kings Park, Jake Horton of Patchogue-Medford, as well as Vincent Feola of Walt Whitman, who picked up All-America status in Virginia Beach at 220 and then again at the Super 32, where he was fourth.  Also making an impact at that event was Rocky Point’s Joe Russo, a returning fourth place finisher in Suffolk, who battled into day two in North Carolina.  He dropped the bronze bout in the county to Sachem East’s Mark Tracy, who won more than 30 times last year.  Another participant in the third place matches a year ago, Dom Pirraglia of Shoreham-Wading River, could do big things, likely at 182.

Team Race

Last year, Sachem East captured the Section 11 tournament title without an individual champion.  The Flaming Arrows were fueled by seven placers, including a runner up (the graduated Jackson Mordente) and five bronze medalists.  Three of those All-County grapplers from 2013 return – Jakob Restrepo (fourth at 138 last year), Michael Pistone (third at 152) and Mark Tracy (third at 160).  When you add competitors like Anthony Messina and Connor Farrell into the mix, the squad will have a solid shot of making it two in a row.

But there will be strong challengers, who are all capable of taking the top prize if the chips fall their way.

One is certainly Rocky Point.  The Eagles were third in Suffolk last year and boast 2013 Section 11 champion Tommy Dutton as well as returning placers Joe Russo (fourth at 160) and James Matias (fourth at 132).  Grapplers such as Sean Ferguson, Anthony Cirillo, Nick Pagnotta, Jack Gold and CJ Archer all have the ability to tack on points and make the team a strong title threat.

It’s also worthwhile to track 2013 runner up East Islip, a team that lost some standouts to graduation, but still has plenty of talent coming back.  That includes the previously mentioned Jesse Dellavecchia, Dennis Ferro and Erik Adon as well as others such as Sal Cipolla and Jonathan Wilson.

Huntington, Hauppauge and Islip all finished within two points of each other at last year’s Suffolk championships (in sixth, seventh and eighth place).  Huntington looks prepared to make a run, with the return of  two finalists (champion John Arceri and heavyweight Anthony Puca) as well as fourth placer Corey Jamison.  In addition, Kyle Mock, Brandon Mendez and JP Puca will bolster the squad and provide significant points.

Meanwhile, Hauppauge welcomes back All-County wrestlers Chris Mauriello, Austin Munro and Dominic Holder, as well as lightweights ready to make waves such as Jake Silverstein and Ben Tepperman.  And Islip has a formidable core of Brad Wade, Ronnie King, Craig Hinrichs and Pat Sheppard while Sachem North will be tough as well with wrestlers like Sean O’Hagan, Matt Marino and Anthony Nunziatta.

Other squads to keep an eye on include Eastport South Manor, led by Travis Passaro, Jimmy Leach, Nicky Garone and Dylan Kane and Ward Melville, driven by Nick Piccininni, Cristian Araneo and Don Donnelly.

The race can shake out in numerous ways.  We’ll see what team rises to the top in February.

Division II

Last year, Mattituck won the Division II tournament.  With a number of contributors returning, the squad could very well make it two in a row, led by state qualifier Bobby Becker.

“Mattituck had a pretty young squad, so they’ll have a lot of guys returning,” said Bayport-Blue Point head coach Rich Reilly. “They’re looked at as the favorite to repeat and rightfully so.”

But there will certainly be challengers.  One could be Port Jefferson, a group that has significant upperclassmen presence, according to Reilly.

“Port Jefferson will have a senior laden team and they’re pretty deep,” the coach said. “They’ll be right in the thick of things for the title.  It’s a long season. It often comes down to who shows up when it’s most important – what kids peak at the right time and stay hungry out there.”

Reilly’s Bayport-Blue Point team gave Mattituck a run for the money at last year’s championships, but after graduating double digit seniors, the squad will have several new faces in the lineup.

“We’ll be a little on the young side, but we’ll be okay,” Reilly said. “When it comes time for the sectional tournament, we’ll have nice depth and we may be able to do some good things.”

Let’s take a look at some of the individuals expected to shine in the small school division of Section 11 this season.

DeVincenzo, Photo courtesy of cnywrestling.com

Matteo DeVincenzo of Port Jefferson had a fantastic freshman campaign, going all the way to the state finals at 99 pounds and taking silver.  He didn’t stop working after finding that success, however, as he participated in a number of offseason events, including the NUWAY Nationals, the Waterway Duals, the Journeymen Classic and the Iron Horse Invitational.  Expectations are once again high for the upcoming campaign.

“I thought DeVincenzo was going to win the state title,” Reilly said. “He was dominating that match [against Adirondack’s Derek Spann] on his feet.  He’s been wrestling a lot and doing really well.  He’s definitely a legitimate title threat again.”

DeVincenzo has some other teammates who will look to break through as well.  They include Tristan DeVincenzo, who was third in the county at 120 a year ago with close to 25 wins and also has done significant travel and competition this offseason.  In addition, Ryan Woodward made an appearance in Albany representing Suffolk after a 27-7 regular season and looks for another trip to the state capital.  Reilly mentioned Tyler D’Accordo and Paul Cavanagh as two other wrestlers who will be in contention for titles.  Both were second in the county in 2013, however, Cavanagh wrestled at the Times Union Center in 2012.

Two other wrestlers that stayed very active after the end of the high school slate were Southampton teammates Rafal Rokosz and Peter Strassfield.  Rokosz earned All-America status in Greco Roman at Fargo this summer, while both competed at other tournaments, including the Super 32 Challenge.  After getting experience at the NYS tournament in 2013, both are looking to get their hand raised in Albany this time around.  Strassfield was 25-2 with 21 pins going into the Times Union Center, while Rokosz had 30 wins.

“Southampton doesn’t have a lot of kids on the team, but the ones they have are talented,” Reilly said. “They’re doing a great job, taking the guys around and working to get better. Rokosz and Strassfield have been wrestling all over and improving.”

One wrestler who did get his hand raised at the Times Union Center in 2013 was Cody Nolan of Hampton Bays.  After he took second at the Suffolk qualifier, it looked like his season was over. However, he got a ticket to Albany when Babylon’s Brian Loskamp was unable to attend.  And he took full advantage of the opportunity, coming within one win of placing at the state level. After losing to eventual champion Zack Zupan in round one, Nolan earned a pin and then a decision over returning medalist Andy Martinez.  He then dropped a double overtime bout to Brad Burns of Hoosick Falls, a wrestler who has made the medal stand two straight years.

“Nolan did a nice job,” Reilly said. “He went from not qualifying to almost placing.  He wrestled well and should do well again this year.”

Like Nolan, William Hamilton took second in the Section 11 tournament. (He was at 195 pounds). The Center Moriches grappler looks to climb a spot higher this time around.

“Hamilton will be very tough to beat,” Reilly said.

In addition, Dominick Mazzella of Babylon collected a win at the state tournament in a 29-5 year at 106.  He and teammate Brett Frole (second behind DeVincenzo at 99) are wrestlers to keep tabs on, according to Reilly.

“They’re both very talented, tough kids,” Reilly said. “Wherever we go, we see Frole – he works really hard.”

Speaking of lightweights, Ayan Mandal of Stony Brook, the silver medalist at 106 at the qualifier, was also mentioned as a “tough, scrappy” wrestler.  (State qualifier Hunter Hulse is no longer at Stony Brook, according to Reilly).

Like Hulse, the previously mentioned Bobby Becker of Mattituck collected a win in Albany.  He’ll be looking for more after a 25-win campaign at 138 pounds.  Expectations are also high for his teammates James Hoeg and Brian Pelan.

“Bobby Becker is a key guy for them,” Reilly said. “They also have Hoeg and Pelan, who came on really strong in the sectional tournament.  I really like them and think they’ll do very well.  Lucas Webb was a state qualifier [in 2012] and he’s tough and talented and will be in the mix too.”

Always in the mix is Bayport Blue Point’s Joey Palma, a three-time Suffolk DII silver medalist.

“Joey unfortunately has come close but hasn’t won it yet,” Reilly said.  “He’s a senior now and his main goal is to get up to Albany after falling short three times in the finals.  He’ll make a jump in weight from 120 to 138 or 145.  He’s a very good wrestler and we’d like to see him have that chance in his last year.”

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Thank you to all the contributors to this article.  Special thanks to  John Passaro and Rich Reilly.

 

We will continue to post Section previews as the season approaches.  Here are some others already released:

Section 3

Section 6

Section 7

Section 8

Section 9

Section 10

PSAL

USA and Russia Split a Pair of Dual Meets in New York; Plus Cornell Wrestle-Offs, Hofstra in Oklahoma and More

World class international wrestling came to the Empire State this weekend, as Team Russia visited New York for a pair of duals against the USA.  On Saturday in Clifton Park, the visiting team captured a 4-3 victory, but the Americans returned the favor on Sunday in Ithaca by winning four of the seven bouts.

In the latter dual, three former Cornell stars represented the Red, White and Blue in front of the home crowd – Frank Perrelli, Kyle Dake and Cam Simaz.

Perrelli took the mat at 55 kg in the opening contest of the meet against Omak Syuryun.  Both wrestlers placed a week ago at the NYAC Holiday International (Syuryun second, Perrelli fourth).  It was the Russian that took charge early with a takedown shortly after the opening whistle.  He continued to add to his lead and finished with a 7-0 win.

It was a similar story at 60 kg, where Aleksandr Bogomoev got on the board first and controlled the remainder of the bout, defeating Jimmy Kennedy by technical fall to give the Russians a 2-0 dual lead.

However, in a back-and-forth affair, Kellen Russell shifted momentum at 66 kg.  The former Michigan NCAA champion fell behind 3-0 early, but fought back to take a 4-3 advantage at the end of the opening period.  The wrestlers exchanged leads for much of the second, with the score tied at 11 late in the period.  Russell then picked up two points for exposure and recorded the fall with just seconds remaining to get the USA on the board.

Photo by BV

It was then time for the second Big Red grappler – Dake – to take center stage.  He registered a pair of pushouts in the opening stanza to take a 2-0 lead after one. The only scoring in the second period was a pushout by the Russian with less than 30 ticks to go, giving Dake a 2-1 victory and knotting the dual at two matches apiece.

Clayton Foster kept things moving forward for the USA in a strong performance at 84 kg.  The former Oklahoma State upperweight attacked throughout the bout and for his efforts came away with a 9-1 triumph over Vladislav Gabaraev to make the team score 3-1 in favor of the Americans.

Next up was another Cornell graduate – Cam Simaz.  At last weekend’s NYAC Holiday International, Simaz met Georgii Gogaev.   The Russian took a 7-1 lead in that match before Simaz rebounded to win 14-7.  On Sunday, the two had a similar beginning, as Gogaev jumped out to an early 6-0 lead.  This time, there wasn’t a comeback, as the Russian notched a 9-0 win.

With each team having captured three matches, it all came down to the heavyweights —  Zach Rey of the USA and Aleksandr Kusraev of Russia. A passivity point and a pushout fueled Rey to the 2-0 victory and clinched the dual for the United States.

Prior to the main event, there were a trio of freestyle exhibition matches featuring New York wrestlers.

In the first, General Brown’s multi-time state placer Ryan Snow topped Ithaca’s Julian Korfine by a 9-2 score.  Next up was Lansing’s two-time NYS champion William Koll, who cruised to an 8-0 technical fall over Carl Rouse of Chenango Forks.

The third bout was a rematch of the 2013 Division I NYS finals at 99 pounds – Yianni Diakomhalis of Hilton and Vito Arujau of Syosset.  The two have met this offseason, with Diakomihalis, the #1 wrestler in the nation at 106 pounds, coming out on top.  However, on Sunday, Arujau earned a seven-point victory in an action-packed bout between two of the best freshmen in the country.

There were also bonus matches including Empire State standouts on Saturday at Shenendehowa High School before the first USA vs. Russia dual meet (aka, the Resurrection).

Porter, Photo by Justin Cummings/Spotlight News Sports Photographer

Women’s world team members Alexis Porter and Jenna Burkert were both totally dominant against Canadian opponents.  Porter, a high school senior, earned a 7-0 technical fall at 65 kg on familiar turf in her own high school gym over Keagin Collie.  After the first period, Porter led 6-0 and it didn’t take her long into the second stanza to end the match.

Burkert’s appearance on the mat was brief against last weekend’s second place finisher at the NYAC Holiday International, Michelle Fazzari, at 59 kg.  [Burkert was third at that event at 63 kg].  Burkert took control from the opening whistle and recorded a first period fall.

Then, it was time for the men’s competition.  Russia got off to a good start, capturing the 55 and 60 kg matches as Omak Syuryun topped Sam Hazewinkel 8-4 and Aleksandr Bogomoev picked up an 8-0 technical fall over Nick Simmons.

However, 16-year old phenom Aaron Pico of California turned the tide when he registered an 8-0 win over Alibeggediz Emeev, a wrestler who was the 66 kg runner up at the NYAC Holiday International last weekend.  In his senior level debut, Pico began with a pushout for a 1-0 lead about a minute into the match. That’s how the initial stanza ended, however, it wasn’t close for much longer as Pico notched a takedown shortly into the second period, added a pushout and then tacked on two more takedowns to clinch the victory.

Fay, Photo by Justin Cummings/Spotlight News Sports Photographer

Moza Fay then kept the momentum going for the USA, pinning Boris Makoev at 74 kg. But the visiting squad responded. At 84 kg, Keith Gavin controlled most of the contest against Vladislav Gabaraev and held a 4-2 lead late into the match.  It was the Russian, however, who owned the final minute, tying the score with 46 seconds to go and tacking on two more takedowns in the final 30 seconds to win 8-4.  Georgii Gogaev then made quick work of Dustin Kilgore at 96 kg with a 10-2 technical fall before Tyrell Fortune ended the dual on a positive note for the USA with a 2-0 win over Aleksandr Kusraev at heavyweight.

 

Also in Ithaca . . . the Cornell Wrestle-Offs

While Sunday allowed some of Cornell’s recent greats to take the mat on campus one more time, Saturday showcased some of the Big Red’s future stars in the Red/White Eliminations (wrestle-offs). The first five bouts of the afternoon resulted in major decisions, beginning with All-American Nahshon Garrett, who started the day off with a 17-6 victory over Bricker Dixon at 125 pounds.  Like Garrett, Mark Grey won a title last weekend at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open.  Grey continued his strong start to the season, piling up points during a 15-4 win over Logan David at 133.

With Mike Nevinger recovering from an injury, freshman Corey Dake took the spotlight at 141, notching a 9-1 triumph over Josh Kennedy.  Fellow rookies Alex Cisneros and Brian Realbuto then came out on top decisively at 149 and 157.  Cisneros defeated Conner David 10-0 while Realbuto bested Taylor Simaz 11-1.

Palacio, Photo by BV

At 165, fans saw the first close bout of the day.  It didn’t look like it would be tight initially, as freshman Dylan Palacio took control early against Bearcat Open runner up Craig Eifert.  Palacio led 6-1 in the second period after a pair of takedowns and a reversal.  But Eifert stormed back, knotting the score in the third to force overtime.  In the extra session, Palacio struck with a takedown to capture the 9-7 victory.

After grabbing third at the Bearcat Open, Jesse Shanaman followed up with a 10-1 major over Jake George at 174 while freshman Gabe Dean, who entered the national polls this week after beating two ranked foes in Binghamton, topped Billy George 7-2 with a late takedown and near fall at 184.  197 pounders Jace Bennett and Steve Congenie then endured a back-and-forth battle. Congenie had two takedowns but Bennett reversed him both times.  The difference was a pair of back points, as Bennett collected the 6-4 win.

Finishing off the wrestle-offs at heavyweight were Stryker Lane and Jacob Aiken-Phillips.  After a scoreless first period, Lane scored five straight points on an escape, takedown and reversal to win 5-0.

Cornell returns to action next weekend at home with a dual against Binghamton and the New York State Intercollegiates.

Hofstra in the Sooner State . . .

Vaith

The Pride wrestlers have certainly taken on a number of challenges early in the season, facing multiple ranked teams last weekend. Hofstra squared off with another tough opponent on Sunday, dropping a 36-6 dual on the road against Oklahoma.

The home team went ahead early with a decision by returning NCAA champion Kendric Maple over Cody Ruggirello at 149 and a major by Justin DeAngelis against Nick Terdick at 157.  The Pride got on the board with a 1-0 win by Joe Booth at 165 over Clark Glass, but the Sooners then went on tear, capturing six consecutive matches.  In a meeting of ranked wrestlers, Luke Vaith ended the dual on a positive note for the Pride with a 6-3 win over 2012 All-American Nick Lester at 141.

And Results from a Few Additional Tournaments . . .

Several New York wrestlers made the top four at the East Stroudsburg Open on Sunday.  Binghamton’s Jack McKeever nabbed the title at 174 pounds with six victories.  His Bearcat teammate Nick Tighe, a three-time New York state champion, earned third at 133 in his second-ever college tournament.  In the bronze bout, he topped Hofstra’s Kyle Krasavage.  (A few other Empire State natives placed, including Brown’s Billy Watterson (champion at 125) and Anthony Finocchiaro (second at 133).  Two other New York high school wrestlers made the finals – Harrison Cook of Penn and Patrick Hogan, wrestling unattached.  Sean Badura of USMAPS was fourth at 125.

Brockport traveled to the Wolverine State for the Eastern Michigan Open on Saturday.  Making the podium for the squad was 197 pounder Paul Glover, who finished first.  He began with three decisions, before coming out on top in the championship round against Kenneth Hayden of Michigan.

At the Roger Williams Invitational, Cortland took third place, driven by champion Lance Moore (285), second placers Brian Bistis (141) and Joey Giaramita (197) and bronze medalists Jacob Green (125), Brendan Dent (157) and Lou Puca (174).

 

In non-college action, three wrestlers from New York took top four medals at the Suplay Kickoff Classic in Tulsa.  For a recap of that event, see here.

Here are the results from the USA vs. Russia Duals:

USA VS RUSSIA RESULTS at Ithaca (Sunday) USA 4, RUSSIA 3

55 kg/121 lbs. – Omak Syuryun (Russia) tech fall Frank Perrelli (USA) 7-0
60 kg/132 lbs. – Aleksandr Bogomoev (Russia) tech fall Jimmy Kennedy (USA) 8-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Kellen Russell (USA) fall Alibeggediz Emeev (Russia)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Kyle Dake (USA) dec Boris Makoev (Russia) 2-1
84 kg/185 lbs. – Clayton Foster (USA) tech fall Vladislav Gabaraev (Russia)  9-1
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Georgii Gogaev (Russia) tech fall Cam Simaz (USA) 9-0
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Zach Rey (USA) dec Aleksandr Kusraev (Russia) 2-0

HIGH SCHOOL EXHIBITIONS (FREESTYLE)

Ryan Snow (General Brown) over Julian Korfine (Ithaca)

William Koll (Lansing) over Carl Rouse (Chenango Forks)

Vito Arujau (Syosset) over Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton)

 

THE RESURRECTION – USA VS RUSSIA RESULTS (Saturday) at Clifton Park, RUSSIA 4, USA 3

55 kg/121 lbs. – Omak Syuryun (Russia) dec Sam Hazewinkel (USA) 8-4
60 kg/132 lbs. – Aleksandr Bogomoev (Russia) tech fall Nick Simmons (USA) 8-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Aaron Pico (USA) tech fall Alibeggediz Emeev (Russia) 8-0
74 kg/163 lbs. – Moza Fay (USA) fall Boris Makoev (Russia) 1:34
84 kg/185 lbs. – Vladislav Gabaraev (Russia) dec Keith Gavin (USA) 8-4
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Georgii Gogaev (Russia) tech fall Dustin Kilgore (USA) 10-2
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Tyrell Fortune (USA) dec Aleksandr Kusraev (Russia) 2-0

WOMEN’S EXHIBITION

59 kg/130 lbs. – Jenna Burkert (USA) fall Michelle Fazzari (Canada) 1:27
65 kg/143 lbs. – Alexis Porter (USA) tech fall Keagin Collie (Canada) 7-0

 

E-mail newyorkwrestlingnews@gmail.com with further results.

 

Hector Colom, Dylan Ryder and Ivan Garcia Finish in the Top Four at the Suplay Kickoff Classic in Tulsa

BY MATT DIANO

With the start of the 2013-2014 high school season right around the corner, a quartet of Empire Staters would make the trek all the way to Tulsa, Oklahoma to compete in the 2013 Suplay Kickoff Classic.  When the dust had settled after two fierce days of battle, three-fourths of the New Yorkers would find themselves in the top-four as Hector Colom would take second and Dylan Ryder would emerge with a third place finish in the 15 & Under division while youngster Ivan Garcia would claim a strong fourth in 10 U competition.

Ryder, a Candlewood resident who was representing the 631 Elite Wrestling Club, would post five wins at 75 pounds. He began with a defeat at the hands of the eventual champion, Kyle Biscoglia of Iowa, in the opening round of the tournament.  (Biscoglia is Flo’s #42 overall junior high prospect and was second at the 2013 Super 32 Middle School Tournament).  Up against a proverbial wall, finding himself in the consolation bracket a lot sooner than he is accustomed, the young Suffolk County stud would respond in a big way, pitching the 7-0 shutout over Oklahoman Spencer Edwards, and then following it up with back-to-back pins in a combined 3:37 against five-time Georgia Kids State Champion, Trevor Burdick (2:59) and 2013 Ohio Junior High State qualifier, Kyle Ryan (0:38).  In the consolation semifinals, Ryder would keep the momentum going, jumping out to a 5-0 lead before surrendering a late takedown to win 5-2 over 2013 Ohio Grade School State Champion, Gabriel Tagg.  In the bronze medal bout, Ryder would be in control from the opening whistle to the final buzzer, recording the only points of the match in a 5-0 decision over Pennsylvania’s Brandon Seidman. (He would lose his true second bout to Malik Heinselman).

Like Ryder, Hectom Colom’s tournament would begin on a bit of a sour note as he too would find himself on the short end of a decision (3-1) in the first round.  In a 101-pound match versus the host state’s Colton Denney, the Dunkirk eighth grader created multiple scramble positions in the third period in an attempt to even the score with a takedown.  To the credit of his foe, Colom would be unable to get himself sufficiently untangled to score the much needed points.  This hard fought loss would be the only one of the weekend for the Buffalo Wrestling Club representative as he would go on to utilize his excellent skills from the top position to reel off seven consecutive wins. Commencing his comeback effort with a 15-0 technical fall over Kansas’s Dante Rodd, Colom would find himself in a bit of a dogfight in his next bout against another opponent from the Jayhawk State, two-time Youth State placewinner (2nd in 2012; 3rd in 2013), Kaj Perez.  With the score all deadlocked at two apiece heading into the third period and Perez having choice, the New Yorker would come up clutch, breaking the tie with a tilt for three near-fall points.  This would prove to be the difference as he would ride out the full 90 second duration to advance with the 5-2 decision. Colom would have a much easier time of it in his next match, dominating Derek Holschlag to the tune of a 4-0 decision.  The runaway train of success would refuse to stop in the consolation quarterfinals when Colom earned a third period reversal to get a 6-4 win over 2013 Missouri Kids bronze medalist, Jackson Henson.

In the consolation semis, a rematch with Denney would await him.  However, unlike the first matchup, Colom would never allow himself to fall behind, fighting off a deep shot attempt in the first period, earning an escape in the second, and then riding out the entire third to walk away with the 1-0 decision.  In the third place match, it would be a case of déjà vu against New Jersey’s Christopher Cannon.  In identical fashion to his previous victory over Denney, a second period escape would be all Colom would need as he rode his way to victory, working a crab ride for much of the last 45 seconds and just missing near-fall on at least two occasions in the last half minute.

He then tackled one more challenge – a true second bout against Tanner Ward.  He emerged victorious in that contest by a 6-4 score to nab silver, a finish that caps off what has been an unbelievable offseason for Colom, as he adds this medal to the gold he won at the Journeymen Classic in September and the bronze he won in the Middle School division of the Super 32 tournament last month.

Last, but by no means least, would be Port Chester’s Ivan Garcia, who went 5-2 with both of his losses coming to the same opponent, California’s Alex M. Ramirez (3-1 decision in the quarterfinals; by fall in 2:27 in the third place bout).  Aside from his inability to master his rival from the West Coast, Garcia would cruise this weekend, using his excellent defensive skills to limit the offense of his foes. He would outscore his five victims by a cumulative tally of 22-2, beginning with 5-0 and 7-1 decisions in the first two rounds over Isaac Klinkhammer (2013 South Dakota Novice State runner-up) and Mitchell Mesenbrink (5th in the 2013 Wisconsin Kids State Tournament), respectively. Garcia would then shake off the disappointment of his first loss to Ramirez by going on a mini winning streak, beating back-to-back Arkansas wrestlers, Tristan Stafford (2-0) and Tripp Mays (1-0), before getting his hand raised one final time in the consolation semifinals, 7-1 over Jackson Eller.  The win over Eller would have to be considered one of the best of Garcia’s career when you consider that the former entered the tournament as a six-time ASICS/USA Wrestling Kids All-American in the international styles (including an Intermediate National Title in Greco-Roman in 2012).  While the weekend would end in defeat, there is no question that the Section I wrestler should be very proud of his effort as his top-4 finish here surpasses the sixth place showing he put forth last month at the Super 32 Tournament.

Tito Colom of Dunkirk was also in action this weekend, going 2-2 at 108 pounds.

For Full results, please visit Trackwrestling.com.

St. Anthony's "Renaissance Man" Freddie Dunau, a Two-Time State Placer, Chooses Penn

Freddie Dunau is a national champion.

In 2011, he and his cousin captured a title at the Hershey Nationals – in hip hop dancing.

That’s the just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to extra curricular activities for the St. Anthony’s senior, a student with a weighted average over 100 and a 2220 SAT score.  He coaches a breakdancing team and a gymnastics squad.  (Dunau is a gymnast as well).  He rides unicycles.  And, of course, he’s an accomplished wrestler.

“He’s a very special kid,” said his club coach, Craig Vitagliano of Ascend. “He’s a Renaissance man.”

Indeed he is.  A number of elite schools noticed his impressive resume during the recruiting process.  However, he’s now off the market as he announced recently that he will attend the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania after considering colleges such as Columbia, Harvard and NYU.

Photo courtesy of Freddie Dunau

“After my visit to Penn, I felt like I knew where I wanted to be,” the future Division I 149-pounder said. “Everyone was very welcoming and it seemed like a really good environment for me. It’s nice to know where I’m going.  Now I have a lot of pressure off for the rest of the year.”

Dunau will be joining another CHSAA alum, Andrew Lenzi (Fordham Prep), in Philadelphia. Lenzi was a New York State champion, an accomplishment that Dunau hopes to repeat.  But first, he has another goal in mind.

“I want to be a four-time Catholic [CHSAA] state champion this year,” Dunau said. “A few people placed four times, but not many have won it all four years.  I would be part of a select group to accomplish that.”

He’ll be the favorite to do so, likely at 138 pounds.  He won his first CHSAA title as a freshman 96 pounder and then went on to make an impact at the state tournament.

“I knew I wanted to wrestle in Albany,” he said of his ninth grade campaign. “Getting there was awesome.  When I first got there, I was a little bit nervous, but once I was on the mat, I blocked everything out and it was just like any other match.  I didn’t pay attention to the crowd.”

It’s no surprise that a loud arena didn’t faze Dunau. After all, he performed in front of larger audiences at Madison Square Garden as a four-year member of the Knicks City Kids.

“I was on the dance team that performed at Knicks home games until I was 13,” he said. “We’d do hip hop routines, flips and all kinds of tricks.”

No tricks were needed by Dunau in that first appearance in the state capital in 2011 as he took fifth place at 96 pounds as a freshman with three wins, including a major and a pin.

He expected to achieve more as a sophomore at 106 pounds.  However, Dunau’s return trip to Albany didn’t quite go as planned.

“I thought I had a really good shot to win the state championship that year,” he said. “I wasn’t feeling well and when it came time to weigh in, I had 102 fever.  It was extremely challenging to make weight.”

He did, and actually pinned his first opponent.  However, he lost his next two bouts and went home without a second medal.

“One of the things I always pride myself on is good endurance,” he said. “I don’t think up to that point I had ever lost a match because I got tired. But I felt like I had no energy whatsoever.  When I watch the videos of myself, it was like I was crawling to the center of the mat.  It was disappointing. It made me angry that I didn’t wrestle the way I knew I could. It definitely motivated me.”

That motivation paid off in a 24-3 record as a junior in 2012-13 at 126 pounds.

When the brackets were released for the New York championships, Dunau saw that he was set to face former NYS champion and fourth seed Mark West of Hauppauge in round one.  West was one of the favorites after capturing the Suffolk County crown in a loaded bracket in which eventual state champion TJ Fabian (now at Sacred Heart) took third.

“At first, I was a little bit nervous, but then I figured if I was going to wrestle [West] at some point, it might as well be first,” Dunau said. “I found that my style works well against his because he did a lot of moves that I have counters for. It worked out well.”

It did, as Dunau came out on top by a 7-3 score.  He continued on with a 1-0 victory over Mike Raccioppi of Minisink Valley before losing in the semifinals to Fabian.  Dunau then split a pair of bouts in the consolations to earn fifth place for the second time in his career.

But despite the podium finish, that contest against Fabian remains fresh in his mind.  Especially since he estimates that he’s viewed it at least 60 times.

“I watched that match over and over and over again and I know what mistakes I made,” he said. “I’ve been working hard to correct them and hopefully that leads me to win it this year.”

Adding a state title to the resume?  It would just be another achievement for a “Renaissance Man” heading to the Ivy League.

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Freddie Dunau wanted to thank the members of his family.  He said “they take me everywhere I need to go, support me at all my matches, whether they’re in Ohio or Long Island, and are just great people.”

"A New Level of Connectedness to the State": NYWAY Develops Long Island Board; Opens Development Tourneys to Non-Members

Connecting all areas of New York wrestling is something NYWAY President Clint Wattenberg has talked about from the first day the organization started.

He believes another significant step has been taken toward that goal with the recent development of a NYWAY Long Island regional board.

“We’ve been looking to bring a new level of connectedness to the state,” Wattenberg said. “One of our main agenda items over the past year has been developing boards in all the regions around New York.  This board in Long Island is bringing together some great people and will build upon the collaboration between upstate and downstate.”

Taking charge of the new board is Gary Redding, who is involved in youth sports as the Director of Middle Country girls lacrosse.

“Gary is really motivated and has a great understanding of youth sports and the educational component of wrestling,” Wattenberg said. “He understands what youth sports can provide kids to support their growth.”

Redding said he got involved partially because of the experience he had with the organization last year.

“I did the NYWAY state tournament with my son and I thought it was phenomenal,” he said. “The way they ran it was great – with the right idea that it’s about the kids. Everyone wants to have a unified, true state tournament with participation from everywhere and if NYWAY can facilitate that, that’s great.  I want to help Long Island be a big part of that.”

For this year, Redding said he is looking to solidify the board, which currently includes five members and another five or six who are “Friends of the Board.” The hope is to have one or two tournaments on Long Island this year and continue to build that number over time.

In the short term, Redding is excited to work toward strong Nassau and Suffolk involvement in the major NYWAY events this year.

“We’ve already started putting together our dual team for the NYWAY Kickoff in late December,” he said. “We anticipate having a lot of kids at the Kickoff events, the regional qualifier (especially because it shouldn’t conflict with the Freestyle and Greco states this year) and the state tournament.”

Having a lot of kids at events all over New York is something NYWAY is hoping to encourage with a new initiative.

From the 2013 NYWAY State championships, Photo courtesy of John Drew/cnywrestling.com

“We’re doing something different this year that’s very simple but could make a world of difference,” Wattenberg said.  “We’re enabling any wrestler to enroll in NYWAY development tournaments (which does not include the Kickoff, state qualifiers or state championships) without being a NYWAY member.  Both NYS wrestlers without a NYWAY membership and out of state wrestlers can simply register for tournaments through our website nyway.org for a day-insurance fee ($5 for NYS and $2 for out-of-state).   We’re looking to reduce barriers to participation and to provide opportunities rather than force people to choose one organization over another.  Once we get young wrestlers and families in the door, we are confident that the expanding opportunities and consistency of these experiences will help retain and grow participation in the sport we all love.”

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Wattenberg also noted that NYWAY regional boards across the state are continuing to build and welcome input.  Other Regional Directors/Contacts:

Capital: Michael LaPorte- michaellaporte202@yahoo.com

Central: Mel Cutrie- mscutrie@gmail.com

Far Western- Kevin Lucinski- kslucinski@yahoo.com

Hudson Valley: Jeff Jones- jjones987@yahoo.com

Long Island: Gary Redding- nywayli@gmail.com

Northern: Randy Morrison- nnyywl@hotmail.com

Southern Tier: Kent Maslin- kent.maslin@gmail.com

Western: Adam Burgos- adamburgos@g2wrestling.com

 

Some Key NYWAY Dates for 2013-14

Kickoff Classic Dual Team Tournament, December 28 (SUNY Sullivan)

Kickoff Classic Individual Tournament, December 29 (SUNY Sullivan)

State Tournament, March 15-16 (Onondaga County Community College)

 

For more information on NYWAY, see NYWAY Flyer Year 3 Update(1)

Weekend Recap: News and Notes from Brockport, the NYAC International, Hofstra's Trip to Virginia and Much More

The following is some of the action that took place this weekend involving New York teams.  It was a busy weekend inside the Empire State borders, with events such as the Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational, the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open, the NYAC Holiday International and the Ithaca Invitational.  And it was also action-packed outside the state, as several New York teams took the mat elsewhere, including Virginia and Michigan.

The recap for the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open is here.

Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational: Tompkins Wins for Army; NCAA Champion Kendric Maple Upset

For the 15th consecutive year, Oklahoma took the title at the Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational.  The Sooners won on the strength of six champions.  However, perhaps the biggest story for the Big 12 school was one of the first big upsets of the college wrestling season.  2013 NCAA champion Kendric Maple was defeated 5-3 in overtime in the 149-pound title bout by Bloomsburg’s Bryce Busler.

Busler, named the event’s Outstanding Wrestler, was one of two titlewinners for the Huskies.  Several of his teammates finished high on the medal stand Saturday, including three who did their high school wrestling in New York.  Josh Veltre won the 165-pound bracket, while Greene graduate Nick Wilcox was second at 133 and Monsignor Farrell’s Kevin Hartnett notched third at 157.

The New York teams at the event — Army, Buffalo and Brockport — finished third, fourth and sixth overall.  The Black Knights were led by 184-pound champion Ryan Tompkins as well as second placers Paul Hancock (157) and Brian Harvey (174) and bronze medalists Logan Everett (133) and Chandler Smith (165).  Meanwhile, Buffalo received solid performances from Nick Flannery and Tony Lock (second at 141 and 184, respectively) as well as Max Soria (third at 125).  The host squad from Brockport had four placers, led by Cole Tristram, who was fourth at heavyweight.

 

Simaz, Francois and Burkert Take Third, Perrelli Grabs Fourth at the NYAC Holiday International

There was more than just folkstyle competition in New York this weekend.  Wrestlers from around the world came to take the mat at the 2013 NYAC Holiday International tournament.

Simaz, Photo by BV

On Saturday, a pair of former Cornell stars made the top four at the event.  Cam Simaz capped off a 4-1 day with an 8-1 victory over Jack Jensen for bronze at 96 kg.  Simaz recorded a fall and his other three wins were all by at least a seven-point margin.  Frank Perrelli lost his first contest to eventual champion Samat Nadyrbek Uulu from Kyrgyzstan, but rebounded with four straight consolation victories over tough foes before dropping the third place bout to Kyle Hutter.  On his winning streak, he topped Mark McKnight, Zach Sanders, Steven Takahashi and Olympian Sam Hazewinkel.

At 84 kg, Army assistant coach Enock Francois earned bronze with a 3-1 record.  His only loss came against the champion, Raymond Jordan.  He outscored his opponents 16-2 in his three victories.

On the first day of action on Friday, Long Island native Jenna Burkert notched third at 63 kg in women’s freestyle competition after going 5-1.  She lost to the first place finisher Yurika Itou in round two, but then finished strong with two falls and two 8-0 wins on the backside.

 

Hofstra Splits Four Duals in Virginia; Ends on a High Note With a Win Over #22 North Carolina

There was quite a bit of action within the New York borders, however, some New York squads went elsewhere over the weekend, including Hofstra.

Vaith, Photo by BV

The Pride traveled to Virginia, where they began with a dual on Friday against nationally-ranked Virginia Tech.  Freshman Jamel Hudson (133), Nick Terdick (157) and Joe Booth (165) all won, however, the Hokies came out on top 28-9.

On Sunday, Hofstra resumed action with a trio of meets.  While Luke Vaith (141) and Dwight Howes (184) picked up major decisions in the opener against Tennessee-Chattanooga, the Mocs captured a 19-14 victory.

The Pride turned things around in a big way in their next competition, besting VMI, 43-3.  The first eight wrestlers in the lineup scored bonus points for head coach Rob Anspach’s squad, giving the team its first dual triumph of the season.

And the momentum continued later in the day, when Hofstra improved to 2-3 for the year with a 25-15 win over #22 North Carolina.  After falling behind 3-0, Hudson tied things up with an overtime victory and then Vaith followed with an extra session win of his own – over #5 Evan Henderson, to put Hofstra in the lead for good.

The Pride returns to the mat next weekend at #5 Oklahoma.

 

Matt Bystol Takes Second, Josh Houldsworth Nabs Third for Columbia at the Michigan State Open; Zach Hernandez Wins the Freshman/Sophomore Division

While Hofstra went South, much of Columbia’s roster traveled to the Wolverine State for the Michigan State Open.  In the Open division, Matt Bystol went to the finals at 141, taking second behind Zach Horan of Central Michigan with a 4-1 mark on the day. Fellow NCAA qualifier Josh Houldsworth also had a strong performance, nabbing third at 165.

Also losing just once at the event was freshman Markus Schiedel, who had a strong debut at 157, taking fifth (only semifinal losers can enter the third place match at the event).  In his last bout, Schiedel beat Edinboro’s Johnny Greisheimer, a nationally ranked opponent (and Wantagh native) by a point.  Another New York high school wrestler, Ernest James of Edinboro, was fifth at heavyweight.

The Michigan State Open also offers a Freshman/Sophomore division and Columbia grapplers saw success there as well, including a championship showing by 184-pounder Zach Hernandez.  He was joined on the podium by a pair of 141 pounders – Ryan Murdock (second) and Matt Leshinger (fourth) as well as fifth placers Britain Carter (125) and Troy Hembury (184).  In addition, Frewsburg High School graduate Nick Mitchell (Edinboro) was the runner up at 174.

 

Also in Michigan . . .

Speaking of Michigan, Jamestown Community College and Niagara CCC traveled there as well.  Jamestown swept a pair of duals on Friday night over Triton (Illinois) and Mott (Michigan), led by Mike Southwick, Austin Lynn, Jake Nicholson, Pat McCarthy and Kevin Mulcahy, who each won twice. At the Ben McMullen Open in Muskegon, Niagara featured a number of placers, including champions Kevin Strong and El Shaddai Van Hoesen (285). Tyler Bruce grabbed second, Eric Velez was third and a trio of grapplers – Jude Gardner, Max Antone and Shane Currey, were fourth.

 

Bombers Win The Ithaca Invitational With Five Champions

Ithaca started the season off strong at home, capturing first in the standings with five champions at the Ithaca Invitational.  Earning first for the host squad were Alex Gomez (133), Dominick Giacolone (141), Kris Schimek (165), Carlos Toribio (174) and Mathew Booth (197). Both Gomez and Giacolone are currently nationally ranked while Schimek was an All-American last season for Niagara County Community College. Freshmen Toribio and Booth were both All-State wrestlers in high school in 2013 – Toribio a state champion for Brentwood and Booth a third place finisher for Cattaraugus Little Valley.

Last year’s team champion, Johnson & Wales, nabbed second with a pair of titlewinners –  Everet Desilets (157) and Colin Lenhardt (184), while Springfield was third with Tom Casper (125) and Irakli Kakauridze (285) capturing their brackets.  Former PSAL wrestler Abubakarr Sow of Oswego won the 149 pound class.

NYU took fourth, while Oswego (fifth), Alfred State (seventh) and Sullivan (eighth) also competed.

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For full results from the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open, Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational, NYAC Holiday International, Michigan State Open and Ithaca Invitational, see http://www.trackwrestling.com and search for those tournament names.

To report results, e-mail newyorkwrestlingnews@gmail.com

 

Who's #1? Yianni Diakomihalis Ascends to the Top of the National Rankings at 106; 10 NYers Included in the Polls

Diakomihalis, Photo by BV

It may not be a surprise after he captured the Super 32 Challenge title in a loaded field.  But on Wednesday, it became official.  Hilton’s Yianni Diakomihalis is the top ranked wrestler in the country at 106 pounds (according to FloWrestling).

Diakomihalis defeated the now-#2 grappler, Gage Curry of Pennsylvania, in the championship match in Greensboro, North Carolina and also beat current #3, Tyler Warner of Ohio, by a 14-3 score in the semifinals at the Super 32.  He’ll look to capture his second consecutive New York state crown in 2013-14 after winning gold at 99 pounds as an eighth grader last year.

Diakomihalis is one of 10 Empire State wrestlers in the rankings, including six others in the top 10 at their respective weights. Here’s the list of New Yorkers:

Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton, Freshman, Section 5) – 1st at 106

Nick Piccininni (Ward Melville, Junior, Section 11) – 6th at 120

Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (Cheektowaga, Senior, Section 6) – 5th at 138

Tristan Rifanburg (Norwich, Junior, Section 4) – 20th at 138

Louis Hernandez (Mepham, Senior, Section 8 ) – 6th at 152

Corey Rasheed (Longwood, Senior, Section 11) – 8th at 160

Burke Paddock (Warsaw, Senior, Section 5) – 9th at 160

Christian Dietrich (Greene, Sophomore, Section 4) – 14th at 182

Rich Sisti (Monsignor Farrell, Senior, CHSAA) – 15th at 220

James O’Hagan (Seaford, Senior, Section 8 ) – 8th at 285