Top Talent Comes Together for Fourth Annual Adam Frey Classic On Sunday

Adam Frey

It’s hard not to be excited about the Adam Frey Classic this year.  Just ask Penn State National Champion Ed Ruth.

According to Adam Frey Foundation Board Member Josh Liebman, Ruth was in the middle of a special family occasion when he was contacted about the event.

“Ed had a lot going on, but he called back right away and said he definitely wanted to do it,”  Liebman said. “It was on his mind enough that he couldn’t wait until the next day to call.”

In the fourth annual event for the Adam Frey Foundation, Ruth will square off against Lehigh’s two-time All-American Robert Hamlin in the feature bout in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

“We were trying to think of matchups that would be really exciting for wrestling fans and we knew [Hamlin] would be involved,” Liebman said. “He and his family have been really supportive of the Foundation and with the event being at Lehigh this year, it was a great fit.”

Ruth has posted first and third place finishes at NCAAs, while Hamlin has taken second and fourth.

After holding the first three Adam Frey Classics at Rider, Liebman is excited for the new location at Grace Hall on Lehigh’s campus.

“So far, it’s been nothing but great,” he said. “Everyone has been very supportive and interested in being part of the event and helping it grow.  The sports marketing staff has helped out and the coaches have too. I really wanted to get Pennsylvania involved since Adam was from there.  It’s like he’ll be closer to home, at least for a year.”

Besides the new arena, another addition in 2012 is a match of high school stars with the top rising junior in the country, Chance Marstellar, taking on New Jersey state champion Johnny Sebastian.

“We’ve never done a high school vs. high school match before,” Liebman said. “Last year, because of an injury, [Blair Academy’s] Brooks Black stepped in to wrestle Zach Rey.  But this year, Marstellar really wanted to be a part of it.  The college kids weren’t in a hurry to wrestle him, but [Sebastian] was excited.  He loves to test himself.  I expect Johnny to start next season ranked in the top 5 or 10 at his weight, so I think it’s a premiere matchup.”

It’s one of many bouts Liebman is looking forward to viewing.  (The full lineup is listed below). He believes the tilt between 141 pound All-Americans Boris Novachkov (Cal Poly) and Perry, NY native Mike Nevinger (Cornell) will be one to watch.

“That match may not jump out at people, but I can’t wait for it,” Liebman said. “They’re both so tough on top and a little funky on their feet.  I think it could steal the show.”

While heavyweight battles aren’t typically the most entertaining affairs, Liebman is anticipating 2012 All-American Nick Gwiazdowski’s meeting with former Pittsburgh Panther Ryan Tomei. He predicts good action and “not a lot of the hanging on you often see at heavy.”

Liebman added that having Gwiazdowski, a former star at Duanesburg High, in the event is exciting for another reason.  When he was a senior in high school, the recent NC State transfer participated in the New York-New Jersey Charity Challenge, which benefitted the Adam Frey Foundation.  In fact, Gwiazdowski’s pin sealed the victory for the Empire State.

“It’s something I’d like to have on a regular basis — having guys be a part of an event in high school and staying involved with our organization in college.  It feels like watching guys grow up through your peewee program,” Liebman said. “That’s what’s great about the wrestling community.  Everyone, even if they didn’t know Adam personally, wants to know his story and get involved.”

Adam Frey’s alma mater, Blair Academy, has been very involved from the start.  This year, the event will be set up as a dual meet between Blair and Angry Fish with several alums of those squads coaching and competing.  As a bonus, Monroe Woodbury’s Vinny Vespa, who is fighting Stage 4 cancer, may serve as an honorary coach.

Nevinger and Gwiazdowski won’t be the only representatives from the Empire State.  All-American Justin Accordino of Hofstra will take the mat, as will John Jay graduate Billy Watterson (Brown), Brockport native Christian Boley, Columbia’s Jake O’Hara, Cornell’s Caleb Richardson and Binghamton’s Pat Hunter and Cody Reed.  In addition, Beat the Streets (BTS) wrestlers from New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore will participate in exhibition bouts between 1 and 2 p.m. before the main event begins.

“I’m really excited about having BTS,” Liebman said. “It’s a chance for kids to get outside the city.  One of the important parts of the BTS program is for kids to strive for a college education, even if it’s outside of wrestling.  This is a great chance for the kids to visit a college campus and see that it’s something they may want.”

What Liebman wants is to fill Grace Hall as close to capacity as possible.  He wants the wrestling community to come together to support the Foundation and celebrate Adam Frey’s life.

“In the past, our events have had a fun atmosphere,” he said. “Top talent comes but since it’s not a pressure situation, the guys go out there and relax and wrestle.  It’s more open, more fun. It quickly becomes a feeling of reunion rather than a somber event where we’re memorializing Adam.  Adam wouldn’t have wanted that; he wouldn’t want a moment of silence.  He’d rather have everyone having a good time.”

Exhibition Matches 1-2 p.m. – Beat the Streets New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore

Main Event Matches, Beginning at 2 p.m.

Chuck Zeisloft (Rider) vs. Billy Watterson (Brown)

Nic Bedelyon (Kent State) vs. Steve Mytych (Drexel)

Mike Nevinger (Cornell) vs. Boris Novachkov (Cal Poly)

Tyler Small (Kent State) vs. Vinnie Fava (Rider)

Caleb Richardson (Cornell) vs. Pat Hunter (Binghamton)

BJ Young (Newberry) vs. CJ Cobb (UPenn)

Justin Accordino (Hofstra) vs. Jake O’Hara (Columbia)

James Fleming (Clarion) vs. Joey Napoli (Lehigh)

Ian Miller (Kent State) vs. Shane Welch (Lehigh)

Chance Marsteller vs. Johnny Sebastian*

Bekzod Abduakhmanov (Clarion) vs. Josh Asper (Maryland)

Nathaniel Brown (Lehigh) vs. Jimmy Resnick (Rider)

Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland) vs. Ricky McDonald (Brown)

Christian Boley (Maryland) vs. Andrew Campolattano (Ohio State)

Nick Gwiazdowski (NC State) vs. Ryan Tomei (Pitt/ OTC)

Max Wessell (Lehigh) vs. Cody Reed (Binghamton)

Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) vs. Ed Ruth (Penn State)**

*High School match

**Featured bout

***Match-ups provided by Josh Liebman

To purchase tickets in advance: http://ev6.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventList?groupCode=S&linkID=global-lehigh&shopperContev6.evenue.net

For more information, please visit adamfrey.us

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Big Red Bound: State Champion Dylan Palacio Chooses Cornell

By Betsy Veysman

Before participating in the NY/NJ Charity Challenge in late March, Dylan Palacio was discussing his college decision-making process.  He said he was undecided but volunteered that “the Cornell coaches feel like family.”

With the importance Palacio places on family, it’s no surprise that he announced after a trip to Ithaca this weekend that he has chosen the Big Red for his academic and wrestling future.

“I felt like I belonged there,” he said. “There’s definitely a feeling that I won’t be just another wrestler.  I’m a family member.  All the coaches  – they care about me and want me to thrive. Besides, what’s not to love about Cornell?  It’s a beautiful campus with great academics and people.  It felt like home to me.”

The Long Beach senior comes from a long line of successful wrestlers.  His father Leo was a county title winner.  His uncle Al (a teammate of Rob Koll at North Carolina) was a three-time state champion and a two-time NCAA All-American for the Tar Heels, while his uncle Luis also earned All-State honors and was a multi-time league champion.

“I wrestle with them all the time and sometimes we don’t talk for weeks it’s so competitive,” he said.  “When I was in the state finals, I looked at my family.  That’s who prepared me; that’s who made me a champion.  I had to win for them.”

Palacio did a lot of winning in 2011-12.  In fact, he was an undefeated state champion, topping fellow Big Red recruit Brian Realbuto to win the Eastern States title in January at 152 pounds.

He steadily climbed the national rankings with a dominant campaign, going 41-0 with 37 bonus victories.  If his 11-4 triumph over Tyler Grimaldi in the 160 pound title bout in Albany wasn’t enough, Palacio followed it up with a pin over unbeaten New Jersey champion Raamiah Bethea in the Charity Challenge and then a National Title at the NHSCA tournament in Virginia Beach.

Now, Intermat’s #64 recruit in the nation will turn his focus to a new challenge – the Junior Nationals in Freestyle and Greco in Fargo, North Dakota in July.

While he has made the podium there in the past, he is looking to do more than that this time around.

“I’m humble about Fargo, but very hungry,” he said.  “I’m not going out there to place.  I want to be under the spotlight with New York on my back, adding championships in Greco and Freestyle to the one I won in Virginia Beach.”

According to a recent article in WIN Magazine, Cornell has the #2 recruiting class in the country this year (before Palacio’s commitment).  The Big Red will bring in highly regarded talents such as Blair Academy’s Mark Grey, four-time California state finalist Alex Cisneros, three-time Empire State victor Realbuto, and state champions from Illinois (Steve Congenie and Angelo Silvestro) and Michigan (Gabe Dean and Taylor Simaz).

Palacio is excited to be joining such a distinguished group.

“I think we’ll be like murderers row,” he said. “I think we’re the best class in the country and I’m not afraid to say it.”

The All-State soccer player will enroll at Cornell in the fall of 2013, spending the next year training with the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club in Ithaca under the tutelage of coaches such as All-Americans Clint Wattenberg, Cam Simaz and Frank Perrelli and competing in open tournaments.

He came into his final high school campaign with goals of winning at both the state and national levels.  He accomplished those things and said he’s sure of what he hopes to achieve wearing a Big Red singlet.

“My next dream is to be a national champ in college,” he said.  “I know it’s a totally different world in college.  I know I’m at the bottom and I’ll need to climb back to the top.  I know I’ll have to earn every win I get.  But I’ve told myself, ‘don’t get bitter, just get better’ and I’ve lived by that. I believe I’ll outwork everyone.  I’m willing to put in the blood, sweat and tears to get to my goals like I did this year.”

It’s unclear at what weight class he will attempt to make his mark.

“I never lifted weights in my life.  I could wake up next year and be wrestling at heavyweight,” he said with a laugh. “Who knows where I’ll end up?”

Whatever weight it turns out to be, Dylan Palacio feels confident that he will be spending his next several years among family.

 

——————————————————————————————

Palacio was the second 2012 New York State champion to commit to a Division I program in the last week, with Phoenix’s Tyler Button making a pledge to Edinboro a few days ago.

Here are the college destinations of the graduating 2012 New York State titlewinners:

Buffalo: James Kloc (DI-145), Chris Nevinger (DII-160), Tony Lock (DII-182)

Cornell: Dylan Palacio (DI-160), Brian Realbuto (DI-152)

Drexel: Kyle Stanton (DII-220)

Hofstra: Jamel Hudson (DI-132), Dan Spurgeon (DI-170)

Indiana: Quinton Murphy (DII-138)

Edinboro: Tyler Button (DII-145), Sam Recco (DII-120)

Lehigh: Zack Diekel (DII-195), Ben Haas (DII-152)

Rutgers: Sean McCabe (DI-120), Maverick Passaro (DI-126)

Football: Tony Fusco (DI-195, Albany), Evan Kappatos (DI-285, Princeton)

Lacrosse: Nick Bellanza (DI-182, Jacksonville)

Dake Comes Through in the Clinch at the Olympic Trials

By Betsy Veysman

The winner of the ball draw wins a freestyle period more than 80% of the time, according to the announcers of this past weekend’s Olympic Trials.

When the draw doesn’t go his way, Kyle Dake believes he’s in that 20%.

“Kyle is so hard to score on, he’s not at as much of a disadvantage as most people in the clinch situation,” said Cornell assistant coach Jeremy Spates.  “Watching him this weekend honestly made me feel a little better because I can never finish on him.”

“I’m pretty good at defending my leg,” Dake added.  “I work on it a lot, even during the college season, just messing around with Frank Perrelli.  I have pretty good balance and that seems to help in those situations.”

It definitely helped last year at the World Team Trials when Dake faced NCAA champion JP O’Connor in the first round.  After splitting the first two periods, the Empire State grapplers ended the third scoreless, meaning the winner would be decided in the clinch.

O’Connor had the advantage, at least according to the statistics, when the ball picked out of the bag was his color, meaning he started the 30 second stanza holding one of Dake’s legs.

To capture the period, and the bout, O’Connor simply had to score.  However, with Dake, that wasn’t so simple.  Dake fought off the Harvard graduate’s attempts for the full 30 seconds, initially in a full split and for the last several seconds withstanding O’Connor’s throw attempts from a body lock.

This past Saturday at the Olympic Trials, Dake once again beat the odds (and almost did it twice) in his quarterfinal bout against third-seeded Nick Marable.   After a scoreless first period, Marable won the ball draw, but Dake stymied the Sunkist Kids wrestler’s attack for 25 seconds before Marable broke through to take the period 1-0.

Dake got another chance after a 0-0 third stanza when Marable again got the advantageous starting position.  This time, Dake not only warded off the former Missouri All-American’s scoring attempts, he also found a way to put a point on the board for himself, pushing his opponent out of bounds while hopping, to notch the 1-0 victory.

“Kyle pushed him all the way from the center of the mat while on one foot,” Spates said. “Marable’s a pretty strong kid.  That was just impressive.”

“I was pretty upset after the first period when he scored with just a few seconds left,” Dake added.  “In the third, I backhooked his leg and kept pushing him.  In that position, if he didn’t go backwards, he was going to his back.  It was a different situation that I found myself in, and it really worked out.”

While not in a clinch, the Saturday moment many wrestling fans were talking about also started from a compromising situation for Dake in a match with Hodge Trophy winner David Taylor.

Dake decisively took the first period, 5-0.  In the second, Taylor hit a low single and looked to be in ideal shape to either push Dake out or get the takedown.

However, as he has done countless times in his Cornell career, Dake found a way to turn a precarious scenario to his advantage.  While balancing on one leg, the Big Red grappler picked Taylor’s knee and drove him to the mat for a dramatic pin.

“I thought Kyle would win, but I didn’t think he’d do it in such dominating fashion,” Spates said of the highly anticipated meeting between NCAA champions.  “Beforehand, I don’t think Kyle was any more excited than if he was wrestling anyone else. But afterwards, he was pretty excited that he had the chance to show what he could do.  People were talking about that matchup quite a bit since NCAAs, and I think we were all kind of tired of hearing about it.  It was nice to have it happen on the mat.”

Dake agreed, noting that he was excited to wrestle Taylor, but “wanted to do it on the front side, not in the consis.”

Dake found himself in the consolations after dropping a three-period bout to veteran freestyler Trent Paulson.   He now hopes to get another chance against the Cyclone Wrestling Club grappler.

“I’d like to face him again,” Dake said. “He was really strong and has been on the senior level for a long time.  He’s been thinking freestyle for a while and that’s where his techniques are.  With a little more time to work and prepare, I feel like I could do better next time.”

A year ago, Dake was saying the same thing about Marable after dropping a bout against him in June of 2011.

“Kyle goes into every match with the mentality that he will beat whoever he wrestles,” Spates said.  “When he loses a match, he says, ‘I don’t think I’ll lose to that guy ever again.’  Last year he lost to Marable at the World Team Trials.  This weekend, he beat him twice – in three periods and then more convincingly the second time.”

That second victory earned Dake third place in the Challenge Tournament at 74 kg, a performance the fans seemed to appreciate.

“The funny thing is that people flock to [Dake],” Spates said. “Everyone wanted to congratulate him.  He handles it great.  He likes to interact with everyone. I told him we should throw a shirt over his head and walk him out like they do with the paparazzi.”

The attention on Dake won’t go away as he goes for his fourth national championship next season.  And when his college days are over, he showed this weekend that he will be a force to reckon with on the freestyle scene.

According to Spates, Dake’s smooth transition to freestyle comes from the solid base he developed when he was younger as well as his combination of explosiveness and great defense.

But Dake’s ability and belief that he can win the tiebreaking clinch no matter what ball is pulled out of the bag is significant as well.

“Kyle’s just ‘game time’,” Spates said.  “He likes those situations when his back is against the wall.  A lot of people might be nervous when it all comes down to that clinch, but he’s not.”

Cornell's Frank Perrelli Does "Dirty" Work as Olympic Trials Approach

By Betsy Veysman

Frank Perrelli took care of business on the mat at the NCAA tournament in St. Louis, earning his first All-American honors with a fourth place showing.

But when he returned to Ithaca, there was still a lot of business left to do.

While the senior captain poured most of his focus into wrestling and academics at Cornell over the past year, he also spent considerable time on the business he co-owns with sophomore teammate Brett Henderson.

Henderson founded Dirty Surf & Skate, a company that produces all types of apparel, several years ago but took a break until he decided to re-start operations this past fall with Perrelli.

“I was really interested in the company, so when the opportunity arose, I hopped on board,” Perrelli said.  “Brett’s from California and I’m from New Jersey and spent my summers at the Jersey Shore. We’ve both spent a lot of time around the surf and skate community, so we’re using our roots and producing clothes for that community.”

The grapplers, both students in the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell, are responsible for nearly all aspects of the business at this point.

“We’re doing all the grunt work and the designing, producing, marketing and promotion right now,” Perrelli said.  “There isn’t that much that we aren’t taking care of.”

The Hackettstown, New Jersey native admits that the venture took a bit of a backseat during the Big Red’s season.

It has likely done the same in recent weeks since late March, when Perrelli was granted a wildcard to the Olympic Trials, which will take place next Sunday, April 22 in Iowa City.

While the former University Nationals champion attained success in folkstyle for the Big Red, it’s no secret that freestyle, which takes advantage of his strengths in neutral, is his favorite type of wrestling.

“I really feel like freestyle complements my wrestling well,” he said. “I’ve done pretty well in competition the past couple of years while training only two months a year or less in freestyle.  Now that I’ll be able to dedicate all my wrestling time to freestyle rather than folk, I feel like I can make the big jumps and improve the way I want to.  When I can focus on freestyle, I think I’ll be among the best in the country, if not the best.  But I’m actually hoping to make that kind of statement next week at the Olympic Trials.”

He won’t enter the event as a favorite, but he is unlikely to be overlooked.  In the past few years, the two-time EIWA champion has defeated Nick Simmons (fifth at the 2011 World Championships) and former World Team Member Obe Blanc, while taking fifth at the 2011 US Senior Open.  In short, he has demonstrated that he can compete with the best the USA has to offer.

“Having beaten those guys definitely gives me confidence,” he said. “I know that I’m right there with them. Obviously, whoever has the best day next Sunday will make the Olympic team. I think that if I have a good day, I’m one of the guys that can make the team.”

He has had a lot of help in his preparation.  Big Red teammates Kyle Dake and Mack Lewnes have also been training for the Trials.  Dake received an at large bid after his third NCAA title in three years and Lewnes qualified in December of 2011 at an event in Las Vegas.   Many members of the Cornell staff have significant freestyle experience, as does Finger Lakes Wrestling Club head Clint Wattenberg.  Experienced freestyle coach Steve Knight of Excel Wrestling has also been in town assisting.

“There a ton of people for me to train with here,” Perrelli said. “We all try to help each other out.  Kyle and I had to make the switch from folkstyle pretty quickly and I think we have been able to do it in a short period of time because of our great staff.”

In addition to the great staff, Perrelli will be bringing a little Dirty Surf & Skate with him on his quest for London.

“We’re producing some Olympic Trials shirts for Mack, Kyle, and me.  We’re going to wear the shirts and my family is as well.  Obviously, the first priority for all of us is wrestling.  But we might as well promote the business as well on that stage.”

No matter what occurs in Iowa City, Perrelli is committed to the sport for the long haul.   He will remain in Ithaca next year, along with fellow senior Cam Simaz, to coach at the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club.

“I’m definitely not ready to leave Cornell yet,” he said.  “I call Ithaca home now.  And I really believe it is the best training situation for me, so it works out perfectly.  I am focused on the here and now, but no matter how much success I have this year, I see myself wrestling at least until 2016, if not longer.”

While competing in the sport will remain tops on his list, Perrelli is also glad that he will be able to continue his “Dirty” work.

“Wrestling will still come first, but I will have a lot more time to dedicate to the company,” he said. “It will definitely be a big part of my life.  Brett has a few more years around here, so we’ll have time to grow and build the company, which is really exciting.”

Also exciting to Perrelli is the opportunity to achieve more in the sport he loves.  While he was proud of making the podium this season, he said he wasn’t really satisfied.

“I honestly haven’t given too much thought to NCAAs since coming back,” he said. “Both losses I had were really close and in overtime.  There’s nothing I can do about that now, so I don’t dwell on it.  Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to be an All-American, but I was really close to more than that and it’s disappointing.  I guess I’ll have to make up for it in freestyle.”

 

For more information on Dirty Surf & Skate, see the website at:

http://dirtysurfnskate.com/

State Champ Steven Rodrigues Wins FILA Junior Freestyle Title; FLWC Places Four

By Betsy Veysman

Steven Rodrigues ended his high school career at Fox Lane with a state championship.

This weekend, at the FILA Juniors, he added a national title to his resume.

“Going into any tournament, my expectation is to win,” he said.  “Whether it’s a local tournament back home or a tournament like FILA Juniors, I’m looking to perform my best and win it.”

The University of Illinois freshman did just that at 63 kg (138.75 pounds), going 5-0 on the day.

He began with a 3-2, 3-0 victory over Zach Stepan of the Minnesota Storm before dropping the first period to Badger Wrestling Club’s Tommy Glenn in his next bout.  However, Rodrigues dominated the remainder of the match with the Wisconsin wrestler, winning the final two periods 5-2 and 6-0 to move on to the quarterfinals where he faced Jack Clark of Raw 241.

“I got off to a slow start [against Clark], like I did in a lot of my matches,” he said. “I knew if I just kept my pace going, guys weren’t going to be able to hang around.  I won in the clinch in the second and then got to my offense and got a takedown to win it in the third.”

After that 1-1, 1-0, 1-0 triumph, Rodrigues topped Old Dominion’s Taylor Moeder to earn a berth in the title bout against Northwestern’s Jameson Oster.

The Wildcat grappler took the lead early, but Rodrigues responded, picking up two points for exposure in a scramble to capture the first period.  The second stanza had a similar beginning as Oster grabbed a 1-0 advantage, but the former Section I star took his opponent down with less than 15 seconds remaining to earn the victory, 2-2, 1-1. (The wrestler to score last wins a tied period in freestyle in most cases).

“I knew he was really funky,” Rodrigues said. “I knew he did a lot of crotch lifts and tried to stay away from that as much as possible. I fell behind both times and knew I had to keep attacking.  I didn’t think he could handle my pace.”

The winners of the seven Olympic weight classes earned automatic bids into the best of three finals of the FILA World Team Trails on May 25 in Colorado Springs.   The champions of those seven classes were: Joey Dance (55 kg), Mark Grey (60 kg), Destin McCauley (66 kg), Nazar Kulchytskyy (74 kg), Pat Downey (84 kg), Andrew Campolattano (96 kg) and Austin Marsden (120 kg).

63 kg is not one of those Olympic weights, so Rodrigues did not get an automatic finals berth.  However, he still plans to battle for a spot on the Junior World Team.

“I wanted to see how I would feel at 63 kg first and I felt pretty good,” he said. “I’m definitely going to the World Team Trials, either at 60 or 66 kg. The Trials are about six weeks away, and I will decide with my coaches which weight will be best for me and give me the best chance to make this World Team. Both weights are really tough, so I’ll have to prepare hard for this.  But I love to wrestle and compete and freestyle is really fun for me.  It’s something I’ve worked on the last couple of years, back in New York with Max Askren and Brian Realbuto.”

Rodrigues has continued that training in the Midwest and feels that the environment in the Illini room has already helped him step up his game since transferring in from Rutgers for the second semester.

“It’s been great at Illinois,” he said.  “I idolized [Associate Head Coach] Mark Perry growing up, watching him as a Hawkeye.  Wrestling in the Big 10 at a big time program really caught my eye.  I get along great with the team and the coaches and I’ve gotten a lot better.  But there’s still lots more to go.”

Rodrigues said he will compete at either 133 or 141 pounds as a redshirt freshman for Illinois next season.  But his freestyle goals are most important right now.

“[FILA Juniors] was great competition,” Rodrigues said.  “It was definitely a stepping stone in the right direction for me.  It was great to get my first national title and hopefully there are more to come in the future.”

Empire State Makes Its Presence Felt

Rodrigues wasn’t the only wrestler with Empire State connections to stand on the podium this weekend, as several grapplers who will suit up for New York colleges also had successful tournaments.

Four future Cornell wrestlers, who spent this campaign at the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club (FLWC), earned medals in freestyle.

At 55 kg (121.25 pounds), two candidates to join the Big Red’s lightweight corps in 2012-13, Caleb Richardson and Nahshon Garrett, took fourth and sixth, respectively.  The future teammates met in the consolation semifinals, with Richardson earning the three-period victory.

Also making the trip from Ithaca was Chris Dowdy, who notched fourth at 70 kg (154.25 lbs) with both of his losses coming to Isaac Jordan of Ohio.  His FLWC teammate Duke Pickett went 6-2 on the day and stood fifth at 74 kg (163 pounds) in a bracket with nearly 50 competitors.

While not Empire State residents yet, 2012 high school graduates Mark Grey (Cornell) and Dwight Howes (Hofstra) had impressive showings.

Grey, who was fifth at the Junior World Championships a year ago at 55 kg, earned the championship at 60 kg (132.25 lbs).  The Blair Academy wrestler won all five of his bouts in straight periods.

Howes, a Colorado native, took third at 84 kg (185 pounds) with a 5-1 mark.  Four of his wins were by bonus as he registered a forfeit, a pin and two technical falls.

On Sunday, five current Columbia wrestlers made the podium in the Greco Roman competition while representing the New York Athletic Club.  Eric Fajardo was the highest placer of the Lion wrestlers, taking second at 74 kg/163 pounds.

In addition, multiple New York high school wrestlers placed, including a runner up showing from Jessy Williams (Windsor) at 60 kg (132.25 lbs).

New York Placewinners – FILA Juniors Freestyle

 55kg/121.5 lbs:

Fourth place – Caleb Richardson, Finger Lakes Wrestling Club (Ithaca, NY)

Sixth place – Nahshon Garrett, Finger Lakes Wrestling Club (Ithaca, NY)

60 kg/132.25 lbs:

Champion – Mark Grey, Blair Academy (Cornell recruit)

63 kg/138.75 lbs:

Champion – Steven Rodrigues, Illini Wrestling Club (Fox Lane High School)

70 kg/154.25 lbs:

Fourth place: Chris Dowdy, Finger Lakes Wrestling Club (Ithaca, NY)

74 kg/163 lbs:

Fifth place: Duke Pickett, Finger Lakes Wrestling Club (Ithaca, NY)

84 kg/185 lbs:

Third place – Dwight Howes, Colorado (Hofstra recruit)

New York Placewinners – FILA Juniors Greco Roman

60 kg/132.25 lbs:

Second place – Jessy Williams (USOEC)

Fourth place – Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (Buffalo Grapplers)

Seventh place – Jason Chudzinski (ATWA/USOEC)

Eighth place – Jesse Holton (Shamrock)

63 kg/138.75 lbs:

Second place – Tyrel White (Shamrock)

66 kg/145.5 lbs:

Fifth place – Matt Bystol (NYAC) – Columbia

74 kg/163 lbs:

Second place – Eric Fajardo (NYAC) – Columbia

Seventh place – Connor Sutton (Happy Yo)

79 kg/174 lbs:

Fourth place – Drew Rebling (NYAC) – Columbia

96 kg/211.5 lbs:

Sixth place – Matt Idelson (NYAC) – Columbia

120 kg/264.5 lbs:

Third place: Wyatt Baker (NYAC) – Columbia