What to Watch For From NY Wrestlers at the World Team Trials Beginning on Friday

 
 
On Friday and Saturday, many of the nation’s top wrestlers will take the mat at the World Team Trials in Oklahoma. A number of New York wrestlers will see action during the two-day competition, with representatives in most of the men’s freestyle classes and qualifiers in women’s freestyle and Greco Roman.  For a preview of what to look for from the Empire State grapplers, read on.

Men’s Freestyle

55 kg/121 pounds:

The Frontrunners: 2012 Olympian Sam Hazewinkel and US Open champion Obe Blanc are among the favorites in a deep field.

The New York Connection: Former Cornell All-American Frank Perrelli went all the way to the championship bout at the US Open earlier in the spring and has registered a number of quality victories at 55 kg/121 pounds recently.  He also took bronze in 2013 at the Cerro Pelado International and looks to challenge for the title in Stillwater. In addition, Mark McKnight, a wrestler who spent some time in the Empire State while wrestling for Buffalo, was the Pan American Championships gold medalist earlier this year and the fourth place finisher at the US Open.

Also taking the mat will be Army assistant coach Danny Mitcheff, who gained entry via a sixth place showing at the U.S. Open at 60 kg/132 pounds.  He is currently seventh in the Senior National rankings at that class, but is in the field at the lightest weight for this weekend. Lucas Malmberg, a state champion for Marathon High, who trained with the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club this season, qualified for the event by virtue of winning the Northeast Regional Championship but was not registered as of Thursday morning.

60 kg/132 pounds:

The Frontrunners: Coleman Scott earned Olympic bronze in London, but he’ll be challenged by US Open champion Reece Humphrey (who goes right into the championship series) and two-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber, who looked impressive in beating the World’s number one ranked grappler Opan Sat of Russia this spring.

The New York Connection: Cornell freshman Mark Grey captured the Northeast Regional title to earn a spot at the event, however, he will instead compete at the Junior World Team Trials on Sunday at 60 kg.

 66 kg/145.5 pounds:

The Frontrunners: Kellen Russell clinched a spot in the championship series with his title at the US Open. In that event, he defeated another two-time NCAA champion, Jordan Oliver, in the finals.  Oliver will again be a threat, as will former World Team member Brent Metcalf.

The New York Connection: At the US Open, current EIWA assistants made the podium with Columbia’s Adam Hall notching fourth and American’s Kyle Borshoff, a Section 5 native, grabbing seventh. In addition, Army graduate Phillip Simpson was sixth.

74 kg/163 pounds:

The Frontrunners: This bracket has a huge ‘wow’ factor.  Jordan Burroughs, perhaps the world’s best wrestler over the past year or two, comes in as the favorite.  He is still a flawless 54-0 in Senior level freestyle action.  The weight boasts a number of impressive challengers, however, including Kyle Dake, Andrew Howe, Trent Paulson and David Taylor.

Dake, Phototrens.com

The New York Connection:  Dake made a successful international debut against Iran at the Rumble on the Rails and will look to continue his freestyle success. A year ago at the Olympic Trials, Dake defeated solid freestylers Colt Sponseller and Nick Marable and pinned Taylor.  He also dropped a three-period contest to former World Team member Trent Paulson. Dake will get a chance to avenge that outcome right away, as Paulson will be his opening round opponent on Friday. If he wins that one, his next bout could be a rematch with David Taylor.

Speaking of Taylor, the Nittany Lion will open action against the winner of the Moza Fay vs. Dan Vallimont tilt. Vallimont, a Hofstra assistant coach, registered a seventh place showing at the US Open and a Northeast Regional crown.  He will look to make his presence felt in Oklahoma at 74 kg, while Monsignor Farrell alum Kevin Hartnett, who competes for Bloomsburg, is also eligible join the fray after taking the Northeast Regional championship at 70 kg.

84 kg/185 pounds:

The Frontrunners: Keith Gavin won the US Open and will be challenged by a solid field, including those who finished right behind him in Vegas –  Clayton Foster, Jon Reader, Ed Ruth and Phil Keddy.

The New York Connection: Cam Simaz and Enock Francois battled at the US Open and at the Northeast Regionals. Francois, an assistant at West Point, won the first meeting on the way to a seventh place finish, however, Simaz rebounded to control the rematch.  In the interim, Simaz, the former Cornell NCAA champion, recorded a silver finish at the University Nationals. Both wrestlers have the potential to make noise in this bracket over the weekend. The same could be said for former Section 1 resident Max Askren, who placed second at the Dmitry Korkin International in 2012.

96 kg/211 pounds:

The Frontrunners: London gold medalist Jake Varner isn’t registered for the event. JD Bergman, the US Open champion, will go directly to the best of three championship series, where he could face the foe he defeated for the title in Las Vegas – Chris Pendleton. Another name to watch, Wynn Michalak, took third at the US Open behind Bergman and Pendleton.

The New York Connection: Former Buffalo All-American Kyle Cerminara, who is currently 9th in the US Senior rankings, qualified for the tournament with a Northeast Regional championship. However, he is not in the brackets.

120 kg/265.5 pounds:

The Frontrunners: Tervel Dlagnev was the 2012 Olympian, but he was upended by Dominique Bradley at the US Open. (Bradley will not compete). Taking third at that event was Tyrell Fortune, who was impressive in winning the University Nationals.  And what about competitors like Zach Rey and Tony Nelson? All could challenge for the top spot, along with Nick Gwiazdowski (see below) and others.

The New York Connection:  Former Duanesburg standout (and current North Carolina State wrestler) Nick Gwiazdowski was seventh at the US Open and third at the University Nationals.  He’ll look to be in the thick of things in a talented heavyweight class.

Women’s Freestyle

Since only the four Olympic weights will be contested in Stillwater (48, 55, 63, 72 kg), a number of wrestlers may move up or down in weight to challenge for World Team positions. This should add excitement to the competition and could lead to some surprises.

At least three New York natives are eligible to compete over the weekend.  Suffolk County’s Jenna Burkert recently earned a fourth place finish at the US Open at 59 kg. There won’t be competition at that weight this weekend, but Burkert, who will represent the USA at the Junior Worlds again this summer, will wrestle at 63 kg.

Mary Westman of Cattaraugas picked up a sixth place finish in Las Vegas at 72 kg, and will look to climb the ladder in that bracket in Oklahoma.

In the lightweights, Fredonia’s Carlene Sluberski recently represented the United States at the “Battle of the Falls” showcase at the end of May. Her third place finish at 51 kg at the US Open qualified her for the weekend, although she was not in the field as of Thursday morning.

Greco Roman

At 55 kg, Brooklyn’s Dmitry Ryabchinsky is always in the mix.  He recently notched fifth at the US Open and will be looking to move up to challenge frontrunners Spenser Mango and Max Nowry.

William Simpson, an Army alum, is entered at 60 kg, while fellow West Point grad Jon Anderson will be at 74 kg. Anderson has seen a lot of success in recent years and has represented the United States in international action. He was third at the Olympic Trials, the 2013 US Open and the Haparanda Cup. He may be joined in the field by another Empire State grappler, Joe Uccellini of Troy, the 79 kg champion at the Northeast Regionals.

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World Team Trials action begins on Friday, June 21 with competition in men’s freestyle (60 kg, 74 kg and 96 kg); Greco (55 kg, 66 kg, 84 kg and 120 kg) and women’s freestyle (55 kg and 72 kg).

World Wrestling Month Comes to an End With "Battle at the Falls" in Canada

 
 
World Wrestling Month is about to come to an end, but not before one last celebration of the sport in Niagara Falls, Canada on Friday.

The “Battle at the Falls”, featuring some of the best women’s grapplers in the world, took place with the United States, Canada and Ukraine facing off in dual meets.

The host nation went 2-0, while the USA split its two duals, defeating the Ukraine.  Two members of the Fredonia wrestling community represented the Red, White and Blue. Former Hillbillies star Carlene Sluberski competed at 48 kg while coach Alex Conti was part of the Team USA staff.

The full results from the Battle at the Falls:

USA 16, UKRAINE 13

48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Maria Livach (Ukraine) dec. Carlene Sluberski (USA), 15-3
51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Yulia Blahinya (Ukraine) dec. Jessica Medina (USA), 6-1
55 kg/121 lbs. – Katherine Fulp-Allen (USA) dec. Irina Husyak (Ukraine), 8-6
59 kg/130 lbs. – Alli Ragan (USA) dec. Natalya Synyshyn (Ukraine), 12-4
63 kg/138.75 lbs. – Elena Pirozhkova (USA) dec. Ganna Vasilenko (Ukraine), 10-0
67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Alina Stadnik-Makinya (Ukraine) dec. Veronica Carlson (USA), 13-6
72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Brittney Roberts (USA) dec. Katerina Burmistrova (Ukraine), 5-4

CANADA 20, UKRAINE 11
48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Maria Livach (Ukraine) dec. Natasha Kramble (Canada), 10-4
51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Jessica MacDonald (Canada) dec. Yulia Blahinya (Ukraine), 15-4
55 kg/121 lbs. – Irina Husyak (Ukraine) pinned Jillian Gallays (Canada), 0:59
59 kg/130 lbs. – Braxton Papadopoulus (Canada) pinned Natalya Synyshyn (Ukraine), 2:56
63 kg/138.75 lbs. – Justine Bouchard (Canada) dec. Ganna Vasilenko (Ukraine), 8-7
67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Stacie Anaka (Canada) dec. Alina Stadnik-Makinya (Ukraine), 9-7
72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Erica Wiebe (Canada) dec. Katerina Burmistrova (Ukraine), 11-0

CANADA 18, USA 10
48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Carlene Sluberski (USA) dec. Natasha Kramble (Canada), 11-0
72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Erica Wiebe (Canada) dec. Brittney Roberts (USA), 12-4
55 kg/121 lbs. – Jillian Gallays (Canada) dec. Katherine Fulp-Allen (USA), 9-2
67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Veronica Carlson (USA) dec. Stacie Anaka (Canada), 9-0
59 kg/130 lbs. – Braxton Papadopoulos (Canada) pinned Alli Ragan (USA), 1:13
63 kg/138.75 lbs. – Justine Bouchard (Canada) dec. Erin Clodgo (USA), 7-4
51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Jessica MacDonald (Canada) dec. Jessica Medina (USA), 10-0

What Happened in Vegas: US Open Recap for NY, Including Runner Up Finish for Perrelli

 
 
Many of the nation’s top wrestlers descended upon Las Vegas this weekend for the U.S. Open. New York wrestlers certainly made an impact, with placers in both the men’s and women’s freestyle and Greco Roman competitions. In addition, the Empire State had success in the FILA Juniors tournaments that also took place in the same location. (For more on the Juniors competition, see here.)

Perrelli, Photo by BV

Going all the way to the finals was former Cornell All-American Frank Perrelli at 55 kg. Perrelli entered the event as the #7 seed, but won his first three bouts over Britain Longmire, Zach Sanders and Ben Kjar to earn his spot in the championship contest. In that match, top seeded Obe Blanc came out on top.

Also making the podium in freestyle were a number of coaches with ties to New York. At 66 kg, Columbia assistant Adam Hall took fourth while American assistant Kyle Borshoff (a former Section 5 star) grabbed seventh. In that same bracket, Army graduate Philip Simpson was sixth.

In addition, a pair of coaches notched seventh place (Hofstra’s Dan Vallimont at 74 kg and Army’s Enock Francois at 84 kg) while Duanesburg High School graduate (and current North Carolina State grappler) Nick Gwiazdowski was also seventh, at 120 kg.

In Greco, a pair of former New York high schoolers – Dmitry Riabchinsky of New Utrecht and Jason Chudzinski of Colonie – placed in the lightweights. Riabchinsky was fifth at 55 kg while Chudzinski took eighth at 60. Meanwhile, Army graduate Jon Anderson picked up bronze at 74 kg.

In women’s action, Carlene Sluberski recorded a third place finish at 51 kg while Jenna Burkert was fourth at 59. Joining them on the medal stand was Mary Westman, who was sixth at 72.

 

U.S. Open

Men’s Freestyle

55 kg: Frank Perrelli (NYAC/FLWC, Cornell graduate) – 2nd place

66 kg: Adam Hall (NYAC, Columbia assistant coach) – 4th place

66 kg: Philip Simpson (Army WCAP, Army graduate) – 6th place

66 kg: Kyle Borshoff (DCAC, Pittsford) – 7th place

74 kg: Dan Vallimont (Blue & Gold WC, Hofstra assistant coach) – 7th place

84 kg: Enock Francois (West Point WC, Army assistant coach) – 7th place

120 kg: Nick Gwiazdowski (NYAC, Duanesburg) – 7th place

Greco

55 kg: Dmitry Riabchinsky (NYAC/USOEC, New Utrecht) – 5th place

60 kg: Jason Chudzinski (USEOC, Colonie) – 8th place

74 kg: Jon Anderson (Army WCAP, Army graduate) – 3rd place

Women’s Freestyle

51 kg: Carlene Sluberski (NYAC, Fredonia) – 3rd place

59 kg: Jenna Burkert (NYAC, Rocky Point) – 4th place

72 kg: Mary Westman (Jimmie Wrestling Club, Cattaraugus) – 6th place

Vegas Recap for Thurs: Goldman Wins Another Title; Sluberski, Anderson and Koll Take Third

 
 
Jason Goldman of Thorobred made it two-for-two at the Veterans Nationals in Las Vegas, winning the 58 kg freestyle title a day after grabbing the championship in the Greco competition. On Thursday, Goldman won all four of his bouts, including two pins and a technical fall. He has now been a double champion at this event for three consecutive years.

At the U.S. Open:

A number of wrestlers with connections to the Empire State participated in the third place matches at the U.S. Open on Thursday.

Former Fredonia star Carlene Sluberski earned the bronze at 51 kg in women’s action, pinning Amy Fearnside of Jimmie Wrestling Club in her final contest. Also taking third was Army graduate Jon Anderson at 74 kg in Greco Roman, while Long Island native Jenna Burkert picked up fourth at 59 kg.

Two grapplers with New York ties – Kyle Borshoff and Army assistant coach Enock Francois advanced to Friday’s freestyle action at 66 and 84kg, respectively, with their showings in the Challenge tournaments on Thursday.

Western Junior Freestyle

Koll, Photo by BV

Lansing’s two-time state champion William Koll took third at 126 pounds, racking up a 6-1 record with three technical falls. His only setback was to the eventual champion, Zahid Valencia of California, in three periods. Koll only surrendered one point in his victories and defeated Jens Lantz of Wisconsin 3-0, 1-0 for the bronze.

For full results, see http://www.trackwrestling.com