Weekend Recap: From Cornell and Army in Vegas to the Nittany Lion to High School Action, Including the Andersen and the Return of Vespa and Paddock

For the second consecutive year, Kyle Dake was atop the podium at the prestigious Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas.  The three-time NCAA champion eased his way through the tournament, pinning his first two opponents and then outscoring his foes 32-4 in his remaining three matches.

Kyle Dake, Photo by BV

Dake wasn’t the only finalist for the Big Red, which took third as a team behind Ohio State and Missouri with six total placers.  Also making the finals was freshman Nahshon Garrett, who continued his strong start in a Big Red singlet with a runner up finish to #4 Alan Waters of the Tigers.  The two will meet again in a few weeks in New York City at the “Grapple at the Garden” event.

All-American Mike Nevinger made the medal stand for the second year in a row in Vegas, as he took fourth at 141.  Chris Villalonga and Stryker Lane were both unseeded coming into the event, but both earned sixth place spots (at 149 and 285, respectively), while Jace Bennett took seventh at 197.

Joining the Cornell grapplers on the podium were a pair of Army wrestlers.  Nationally-ranked Daniel Young took eighth at 149 while Paul Hancock was seventh at 165.  The Black Knights stood 24th in the team standings.

Former Suffolk county standout Steven Keith of Harvard was fifth at 141 while Johnson City’s Pete Capone notched fourth at heavyweight for Ohio State.  For full brackets, see here

Cornell, Buffalo Each With Three Placers at the Nittany Lion Open

Photo by BV

The Cliff Keen Invitational wasn’t the only significant college tournament this weekend.  On the East Coast, Penn State hosted the Nittany Lion Open, an event with some brackets of more than 60 entrants.  A number of wrestlers representing Empire State teams impressed, with Mark Lewandowski of Buffalo taking second at 165 pounds behind last year’s NCAA champion, David Taylor.  Lewandowski’s teammates Max Soria (seventh at 125) and Wally Maziarz (eighth at 157) also placed.

For Cornell, Billy George and Joe Stanzione were both fourth, at 197 and 141, respectively while Ryan Dunphy took seventh at 149.

For the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club, Brian Realbuto continued his stellar year on the mat, making the semifinals before being disqualified. Mark Grey took sixth at 133, winning four straight after a second round loss in sudden victory to eventual runner up Jimmy Gulibon.  In the fifth place contest, Nassau’s Anthony Abidin, headed to Nebraska next year, defeated Grey, 9-3.

Former Duanesburg star Nick Gwiazdowski continued his successful redshirt campaign, taking first at heavyweight with a convincing major decision over Penn State’s Jimmy Lawson in the title bout.

For full results from the Nittany Lion Open, see here.

High School Weekend Watch – Andersen Tournament

In the high school ranks, there were a number of quality events throughout the state.  One was up North in Section 3, as the Bill Andersen Tournament was host to squads from Sections 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10.  When the brackets were released, fans were intrigued by the possibility of returning state champion Zack Zupan of Canastota meeting Christian Dietrich, an All-State wrestler from Greene who missed all of last season with injury.  The match came to fruition in the 182-pound finals, but there wasn’t much drama. Zupan notched a number of takedowns in a 13-5 victory.

Brandon Lapi, Photo by BV

Two-time state champion Kyle Kelly of Chenango Forks looked strong at his new weight, capturing the title at 113 pounds with two pins, followed by major decision in the finals.  Other New York state tournament veterans such as multi-time placer Brandon Lapi of Amsterdam and four-time qualifier Isaiah Perry of Massena earned gold at 132 and 138, respectively.

Section 4 power Greene showed that it will be very tough in the middle to upperweights with finalists in four straight weights, starting at 152. All-State wrestler Dan Dickman began the run with the title at 152, edging Tommy Quinlan of Fayetteville-Manlius in a 6-5 decision.  Mike Beckwith (160) didn’t have any close matches as he earned two pins and didn’t give up any points in his other contests while Joel Roselle (170) also had a pair of falls (and a technical fall) in addition to a 1-0 title bout victory over Daniel Smith of South Jefferson.

Smith and South Jefferson finished atop the team standings, led by a host of top three placers, including champions Jared Carroll (99) and Caleb Beach (106).  In addition, Jon Crast was second at 132 while Antonio Diaz was the runner up at 220.  In bronze position were Ryan Charlebois (195) and Trevor Cowles (160).

For full results see here.

Returns for Vespa and Paddock

Seeing the names Vinny Vespa and Aaron Paddock in the box scores from events this weekend was a welcome site.  Aaron Paddock recorded a fall at 170 in Warsaw’s meet with Campbell-Savona.

Meanwhile Vespa wrestled at 99 pounds for Monroe Woodbury, taking MOW honors at the Carlucci Duals at SUNY Purchase.  Monroe Woodbury won the title at the event with a finals victory over Section 1 power Fox Lane.  For a detailed account of that event, see here.

Battle at the Beach

In the weekend preview, we spoke about the Battle at the Beach taking place despite severe damage to host Long Beach High School.  (The event was moved to Lynbrook High).

Dan McDevitt, Photo by BV

Wantagh won the event convincingly, with an improved Hewlett squad taking second and Syosset grabbing third.  NHSCA Nationals All-American Kyle Quinn of the Warriors earned Most Outstanding Wrestler honors after defeating Long Beach’s Steven Sewkumar in an exciting 113-pound final.  Also capturing titles for the Warriors were Jonathan Loew at 99 pounds, Chris Araoz at 132, Vinny Turano at 138, Nick Vines at 145, returning All-Stater Dan McDevitt at 170 and James Corbett at 182.  Turano and McDevitt beat teammates in the finals –  Matthew Langan and Richard Grillo, respectively.

Several other wrestlers stood out.  Vito Arujau made a successful debut for Syosset at 106, dominating his way to the title.   According to NYWN contributor Irwin Loew, 160-pound winner Tim Davidson of Kellenberg had a stellar day on his way to the top of the podium.  Other champions were: Mike Petrone of South Side (120), Simon Greebel (Hewlett, 126), Konstantin Parfiyev (James Madison, 152), Dan Choi (Syosset, 195), Matt Mott (Lynbrook, 220) and Lester Enriquez (Hewlett, 285).  For more results from this event, see below.

Team Scores

1. Wantagh 357.5

2. Hewlett 210.5

3. Syosset 200

4. Clarke 150.5

5. Long Beach 133.5

Championship Finals

99 – Jonathan Loew (Wan) TF Alex Vargas (Syo) TF 18-2 3:46
106 – Vito Arujau (Syo) pinned Jack Nicholas (Syo) F 1:06
113 – Kyle Quinn (Wan) dec. Steven Sewkumar (LB) 6-4
120 – Michael Petrone (SS) md. Tyler Constantine (Clk) 12-1
126 – Simon Greebel (Hew) dec. Joe Hoffman (Clk) 4-1
132 – Chris Araoz (Wan) TF Charlie Curcio (Lyn) 16-0
138 – Vinny Turano (Wan) dec. Matt Langan (Wan) 7-3
145 – Nick Vines (Wan) dec. Rob Rosenberg (Hew) 3-2
152 – Konstantin Parfiryeva (Mad) def. Michael Tropiano (EM) by dflt
160 – Tim Davison (KM) pinned Joe Truono (Clk) F 0:48
170 – Dan McDevitt (Wan) TF Rich Grillo (Wan) 16-0
182 – James Corbett (Wan) TF Cedrick Stephens (Win) 15-0
195 – Dan Choi (Syo) pinned Zamarr Allen (LB) F 3:19
220 – Matt Mott (Lyn) pinned Enndy Nunez (Clk) F 0:35
285 – Lester Enriquez (Hew) dec. Mark Ifraimov (Mad) 7-0

Most Outstanding Wrestler: Kyle Quinn (Wantagh, 113)

Most Falls, Least Time: Matt Mott (Lynbrook, 220) – 4 in 7:19


For details on more of the high school action this weekend, see here.

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



Weekend Watch: "Battle at the Beach" Goes on Despite Severe Hurricane Damage, Plus Andersen Tournament and the Cliff Keen Invite in Vegas

While the first tournament of the season is always something to look forward to, it’s a little more special for some of those headed to the Lynbrook High School this weekend.

“The start of competition is exciting every year,” said Long Beach head coach Ray Adams. “But this year, it’s definitely a little more exciting than usual.”

That has a lot to do with Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, as Long Beach was one of the many communities devastated by the storm.

“Every kid was impacted in one way or another,” Adams said. “We had kids whose homes were destroyed, who lost cars, clothes, heat and so much more.  Families were displaced.  Not a good situation at all.”

Long Beach High School also suffered significant damage to the gym, wrestling room, team uniforms and much more.

It was unclear whether the ninth annual Long Beach “Battle at the Beach” would be held.

“We knew we couldn’t have it at our school,” Adams said. “But we really still wanted to keep the tournament going to start off the season.  We knew a lot of teams would be looking forward to coming.  We are thankful to Lynbrook coach Richie Renz and Athletic Director Tom Graham who have done so much.  They stepped up and offered to run it there.”

While the tournament will be in a new location, it will still have the same tough competition.  In addition to Long Beach and Lynbrook, a number of Long Island squads will be in attendance, including one of the state’s best teams – Wantagh.  They will be joined by East Meadow, Clarke, South Side, Syosset and Hewlett. Representatives from the PSAL will also make the trip, including Eagle Academy, Wingate and a PSAL All-Star team as well as the CHSAA’s Kellenberg.

The full entry list hadn’t been submitted at the time of the interview, but Adams pointed to the 113-pound class as one that would feature many accomplished wrestlers.  Adams mentioned the possibilty of Long Beach’s Steven Sewkumar, Wantagh’s Kyle Quinn and Syosset’s Nick Rondino competing in that bracket, among others.

“Practice has been really good for the kids after everything that happened,” Adams said.  “It helped get everyone back with their friends and into a normal routine again. We’ve been traveling about 20 minutes to Calhoun every day to practice and everyone is working really hard.  We’ve been trying to make the best out of the situation.  We can’t wait to get the season started.”

In addition to the Battle at the Beach, there are a large number of high quality high school tournaments taking place this weekend as wrestling season kicks into high gear, including one not too far away at MacArthur which will include teams from Sections 1, 8, 9, the CHSAA and PSAL.

In fact, there are too many events to mention.  However, one to keep an eye on is the Andersen Tournament at Cicero North Syracuse High in Section 3, featuring not only several strong programs in that Section, such as the host school, Canastota, Fulton and South Jefferson, (among many others), but also squads from Section 2 (Amsterdam), 4 (Chenango Forks, Greene, Windsor, Elmira), 5 (Canandaigua, Rush-Henrietta) and 10 (Massena, Canton-Potsdam).

Zack Zupan, Photo by BV

Among the many storylines will be tournament debut of defending state champions Kyle Kelly and Zack Zupan at new weight classes and the start of a new era at Fulton under Chris Stalker after the departure of longtime coach Mike Connors.  In addition, fans will have a chance to watch Christian Dietrich of Greene, who accomplished a rare feat when he was All-State as a seventh grader in the middleweights (152 pounds).  After missing a full year due to injury, Dietrich made a successful return this week up at 195 pounds, with a pin against Dryden in just over a minute.

College Action

On the college scene, the biggest tournament of the weekend takes place in Nevada.  Two of the Empire State’s squads, Cornell and Army, will participate in the 32-team Cliff Keen Invitational, which features close to 70 ranked wrestlers this year.

Kyle Dake was the champion in Vegas a year ago at 157 and will look to repeat at 165.  In the 2011 version of the competition, the Big Red also had finalists at 125 (Frank Perrelli) and 184 (Steve Bosak).

Cornell’s new starting 125 pounder, Nahshon Garrett, is off to a 13-0 start in his freshman campaign and will look to go deep into the tournament in a class featuring six of the nation’s top 20.  With Bosak not ready to return to the lineup yet, former Palmyra Macedon star Craig Scott will look to keep the Big Red on the podium at 184 and improve upon his 10-2 rookie record.

Both Mike Nevinger and Chris Villalonga have placed at this event in the past and will aim to do so again, at 141 and 149 pounds, respectively.  The Big Red captured the tournament title in 2010.

Army will take part in the Cliff Keen for the second consecutive year.  The Black Knights will be led by nationally-ranked 149 pounder Daniel Young and 184 pounder Collin Wittmeyer, who has compiled a 10-5 record to date.  In his rookie campaign, Bryce Barnes has picked up nine wins at 197 pounds, matching the victory total of 165 pounder Paul Hancock.

In other Division I action, both Hofstra and Binghamton will be looking for their first ‘W” of the season when the Pride take on Penn, Lehigh and Drexel and Binghamton faces Oklahoma.  Meanwhile, Buffalo will participate in the Nittany Lion Open in Pennsylvania.


To report results of weekend events, please contact: newyorkwrestlingnews@gmail.com