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 . . .


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:


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


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

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

Vito Arujau (Syosset) over Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton)



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


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 with further results.



Gomez Captures 125-Pound Title at the NCAA Division III Championships; Ithaca and Cortland Finish in the Top 10

Last weekend, Cornell brought the EIWA trophy back home. Now, more hardware is on its way to Ithaca, this time from Division III, as three of the four national qualifiers from the Ithaca Bombers made the medal stand in Iowa, including champion Ricardo Gomez at 125 pounds and runner up Jules Doliscar at 174.

R. Gomez, Photo by BV

Gomez, the #1 seed at his weight, opened with a 3-1 victory and added a pin in his second match. In the semifinals, he recorded a 2-1 triumph in the tiebreakers to move on to the title bout, where he topped Jimmy Gotto of Coe 4-2 to capture the national crown.

Doliscar, a returning All-American, began with a dominant 14-2 major decision before winning by fall in round two. He outpointed fellow New Yorker Lou Puca of Cortland in the semis to earn a meeting with top seeded Kyle Kwiat of Ohio Northern. Kwiat collected his second straight 174-pound gold medal with an 8-0 major.

With Alex Gomez’s sixth place finish at 133 factored in, the Bombers took fifth in the team standings.

Also making the top 10 overall was Cortland, which boasted multiple All-Americans. Leading the way were bronze medalists Bobby Dierna (149) and Jared Myhrberg (197). The two grapplers took different paths to the third position. Dierna won his opening two bouts to make the semifinals, where he lost a tight match to top-seeded Kodie Silvestri of Wartburg. He followed up with a pair of wins in the wrestlebacks. Meanwhile, Myhrberg, the #1 seed at 197, dropped a 3-2 bout to Andrew Lovins in his second contest, but then won five in a row, including a pin over Lovins.

Also on the podium for the Red Dragons was Lou Puca, who grabbed sixth at 174.

Those weren’t the only All-Americans representing New York. Brandon Jones of NYU earned fifth at 133, while Brockport’s Matthias Ellis notched eighth at 125. Empire State native Joseph Grippi of Fox Lane High School also made his mark in Cedar Rapids with a sixth place showing at 141 for Springfield.

For a summary of performances from New York schools, see below:

125: Matthias Ellis, 8th
141: Jordan Dyer 2-2
285: John Wilkinson 1-2

133: Alec Dierna 0-2
149: Bobby Dierna, 3rd
157: Troy Sterling 1-2
174: Lou Puca, 6th
197: Jared Myhrberg, 3rd
285: Corey James 1-2

197: Musa De’Reese 0-2

125: Ricardo Gomez, Champion
133: Alex Gomez, 6th
141: Dominick Giacolone 0-2
174: Jules Doliscar, 2nd

New York University
133: Brandon Jones, 5th
184: Patrick Sheehan 2-2

Oneonta State
165: Shaun Gillen 0-2

157: Blake Fisher 0-2

Bold italic = All-Americans

NCAA DIII Championships Update: Ithaca and Cortland Each Send Multiple Wrestlers to Tomorrow's Semifinals

New York has a number of wrestlers in the running for national titles after Day 1 of the Division III National Championships in Iowa.

Punching their tickets to the semifinal round on Saturday were:

  • Ithaca’s Ricardo Gomez (125), Alex Gomez (133) and Jules Doliscar (174)
  • Cortland’s Bobby Dierna (149) and Lou Puca (174)
  • NYU’s Brandon Jones (133)
  • Former Fox Lane standout Joseph Grippi at 141 for Springfield

Full brackets and results are available on

For a summary of the wrestlers from New York colleges on Day 1, see below.

125: Matthias Ellis 2-1
141: Jordan Dyer 2-2
285: John Wilkinson 1-2

133: Alec Dierna 0-2
149: Bobby Dierna (Semifinalist)
157: Troy Sterling 1-2
174: Lou Puca (Semifinalist)
197: Jared Myhrberg 3-1
285: Corey James 1-2

197: Musa De’Reese 0-2

125: Ricardo Gomez (Semifinalist)
133: Alex Gomez (Semifinalist)
141: Dominick Giacolone 0-2
174: Jules Doliscar (Semifinalist)

New York University
133: Brandon Jones (Semifinalist)
184: Patrick Sheehan 2-2

Oneonta State
165: Shaun Gillen 0-2

157: Blake Fisher 0-2

NCAA Division III Brackets Released; Ithaca's R. Gomez (125) and Cortland's Myhrberg (197) Earn Top Seeds

New York will be well represented at the NCAA Division III Championships this weekend in Iowa.  Cortland, Ithaca, Oneonta State and Oswego State will all have participant(s) on the mat.

For the Red Dragons, 197-pounder Jared Myhrberg will be the top seed.  Joining him as high seeds will be Lou Puca (third at 174), Bobby Dierna (fifth at 149) and Troy Sterling (fifth at 157).

Like Myhrberg, Ithaca’s Ricardo Gomez (125) will be in the top line in the bracket.  Other Bombers to pick up high seeds are Alex Gomez (third at 133) and Jules Doliscar (second at 174).

The full brackets for the tournament can be found here.


Cortland Wins DIII Northeast Regional With Four Champions; Stony Brook Earns First National Qualifiers as NCWA Program

On to Nationals! A number of wrestlers from New York schools punched their tickets this weekend in Division III and the NCWA on Saturday and Sunday.

In a field consisting of 18 squads, Cortland took top honors at the Division III Northeast Regional in Massachusetts, with four champions. It was the first year of the new Regional format in which the top three finishers move on to Nationals.

B. Dierna, Photo by BV

Leading the way for the Red Dragons were gold medalists Bobby Dierna (149), Troy Sterling (157), Lou Puca (174) and Jared Myhrberg (197). Also getting a bid to the NCAAs in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on March 15 and 16 were Alec Dierna (third at 133) and Corey James (third at 285).

Ithaca also had a strong showing at the event, earning bronze in the team race. Ricardo Gomez (125) and Alex Gomez (133) won titles for the Bombers, while Jules Doliscar (second at 174) and Dominick Giacolone (third at 141) are also heading to the NCAAs after notching spots high on the podium.

A few additional Empire State representatives will be joining those wrestlers in Cedar Rapids – Oswego State’s Blake Fisher grabbed second at 157, while Oneonta State’s Shaun Gillen was the bronze placer at 165.

Full brackets and results are available on

First Qualifiers for Stony Brook . . . And Many for RPI

It may be Stony Brook’s first season in competition, but that didn’t stop the Seawolves from making their presence felt at the NCWA Northeast Regional tournament in New Hampshire.

The Suffolk County school took sixth place in the team standings and qualified six wrestlers for the Nationals, which will take place in Allen, Texas on March 14-15. Mike Shimer was the runner up at 149 pounds while Bobby Beneventano (133) and Juan Velasquez (heavyweight) were third. Also locking up spots for the big show were a trio of fifth placers, Scott Dunkirk (165), Mike Lloyd (197) and Kyle Folk-Freund (235).*

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) will take seven placers to the NCWA Nationals, according to head coach Brad Nelson. Automatically qualifying by finishing in the top five in New Hampshire this weekend were: Will Bonagura (second at 165), Alec Vogel (third at 125), Stuart Curtis (fourth at 184), Omar Abdoun (fourth at 197) and Enrico Cascio (fifth at 174).

Earning wildcard spots were Brad Huzinga at 285 and Ray Douglas at 197. RPI finished seventh out of 22 teams despite not having scorers in five weight classes.


*Results from Stony Brook’s Facebook page

** RPI results from head coach Brad Nelson



Stony Brook Brings College Wrestling to Section 11 With Dual at Ward Melville on Saturday

Suffolk County’s prominence in high school wrestling is obvious. After all, Section 11 has won the Division I title at the state championships each of the past four years, including outscoring runner up Nassau by almost 80 points in 2012.

Courtesy of Stony Brook wrestling Facebook

However, when it comes to college wrestling in Suffolk, things have been a bit more quiet. In fact, according to first-year Stony Brook coach Shaun Lally, there hasn’t been a collegiate wrestling event in Section 11 in well over a decade.

That’s about to change. On Feburary 16 at 1 p.m., the Seawolves will host Cortland in an NCWA dual at Ward Melville High School that will mark the first home event for Lally’s team and an opportunity for Long Island wrestling fans to see what the Stony Brook program is all about.

“We’re so excited about this event,” Lally said. “From day one, we knew we wanted to have a home dual and pack the gym. We want to get as many people there as possible to show the university and Long Island how much we want this and how much we need this. We want to show what we’re building at Stony Brook.”

The building process is very important to Lally. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, he stayed involved in wrestling, coaching or officiating in a number of places in Pennsylvania, New York and Texas before buying a home in Suffolk County.

“With my roots laid down, I knew I wanted to build a program,” he said. “Stony Brook had a wrestling club for at least 10 years but it was more of a bunch of guys getting together to drill. It was time to start to get into competition.”

When he took over, Lally began by asking the wrestlers a question. (The same question he asked the author of this article when they began their interview).

Can you cook a cheeseburger better than McDonald’s?

“Of course you can cook a cheeseburger better,” Lally explained. “But you’re not a multi-billion dollar business like McDonald’s. That’s because it’s not really about the quality of the cheeseburger, it’s about the quality of the system. McDonald’s has a proven system in place that works all over the world. I’m a man of the system and I think it’s really important in wrestling.”

That system was instilled into Lally throughout his life in the sport.

“I was never an All-American in college. I was a .500 wrestler,” he said. “But I was around a lot of All-Americans and national champions. My coaches achieved those things. My high school coaches accomplished great things. In the summers, I practiced with teams at Lehigh and East Stroudsburg. I was always around the right systems and I didn’t know it at the time, but I was being educated on the right way to run a program. I’m trying to put all those things I learned in place here.”

That system seems to have yielded some big gains in a short period of time.

For one thing, the days of practicing in a racquetball court without a high quality mat will be over soon. The Stony Brook grapplers will have significantly more space, a (shared) locker room area and a brand new mat. They’ll even get laundry service.

“We actually like our wrestling room in the racquetball court,” Lally said. “It’s pretty thin, but it’s ample with its padded walls. But we’re definitely moving in a positive direction. The school let us know with these changes that they’re behind us now. They want to support us and see us do well and win.”

That sentiment goes beyond the Stony Brook Athletics department. Lally said he has seen the awareness of the Stony Brook program go up significantly within the surrounding wrestling community as well.

Courtesy of Stony Brook wrestling Facebook

“I’m constantly recruiting,” he said. “At the mall, I’m shopping with a Stony Brook wrestling t-shirt and talking to people with wrestling t-shirts on. I attend the high school coaches meetings and talk about our program. It’s rewarding that I’ve been getting a slew of e-mails from parents and kids, telling me they’re interested. It’s really exciting.”

So far, there have been some solid victories on the mat, as well as some setbacks that would be expected in the earlygoing. However, Lally likes a lot of what he’s seen to date.

“We’ve really stretched our dollars and made it work on a $3,000 budget,” he said. “We’ve had some good matches and some that weren’t good, but we’ve seen some competition which will help us in March.”

March 1 is when the regional tournament takes place at the University of New Hampshire. That event determines who makes the trip to Dallas for the NCWA championships.

“We’re really looking forward to regionals,” he said. “We’ll find out who our first national qualifier will be. We expect to have several guys qualify.”

Sending as many wrestlers to the Nationals in Dallas is one of the main goals for the squad, according to Lally. Another is to have a great golf outing fundraiser on August 19. But right now the focus is on having a successful first home dual meet in front of a packed audience this weekend.

“I remember watching some of the best high school wrestling in the country in Pennsylvania and wanting to be a part of it,” Lally said. “As a little kid, you see someone out there and maybe they’re your neighbor or a family friend or someone you know about and you start thinking about how much you want to do it too. We want kids to realize they can wrestle for Stony Brook. We have great wrestling on Long Island and not everyone wants to go upstate or can afford Hofstra. Not everyone will get a scholarship. At the college level, wrestling programs are dissolving left and right. We’re excited to be providing another opportunity for wrestlers to continue after high school in a great school and great environment. There’s really a melting pot of kids here. You come on campus now and you can feel that it’s on the up and up. New buildings are being built, money is being pumped into athletics. It’s a great place to be.”

Courtesy of Stony Brook wrestling Facebook

One of the reasons for the influx of investment in sports is the recent success of the baseball team, which went from being a Division III school just over a decade ago to the College World Series in 2012. Lally believes the journey that the Seawolves took on the diamond is a real inspiration.

“22 years ago, [head baseball] coach [Matt] Senk was kind of in the same position as me right now,” Lally said. “He had a club team that went Division III. And then in 2000, they went to Division I. Then last year, they made the College World Series and had a bunch of guys that were taken in the Major League Baseball draft. So they’ve come a long way and put Stony Brook on the map nationwide. We’re thinking the same way. We don’t have alumni or history in wrestling, but that’s attractive in some ways because everyone wants to be the first. Someone is going to be Stony Brook’s first All-American and Stony Brook’s first National Champion. I was talking to a friend who coaches at Mount St. Vincent [also a first-year program, but in Division III]. We were saying that this will probably be the toughest year for our programs wrestling wise but we’re building. Things are only going to keep getting better.”


Admission is free for kids for the Stony Brook vs. Cortland NCWA Dual at Ward Melville High School. Regular admission is $5.

For more information on the dual, see here.

The expected starting lineups for the dual are:


125 Pounds: Andy Levanti (Ward Melville) vs. Justin Altro (New Paltz)

133 Pounds: Bobby Beneventano* (Hicksville) vs. Julian Staiano (Saugerties)

141 Pounds: Mase Kochath (Sachem East) vs. Anthony Padulo (Baruch)

149 Pounds: Dylan Clay (Smithtown East) vs. Nicholas Wolff (Monroe Woodbury)

157 Pounds: Mike Shimer* (Mepham) vs. Daniel Tammaro (Valley Stream South)

165 Pounds: Scott Dunkirk (Central Moriches) vs Joseph Byrne (West Islip)

174 Pounds: Matt Frey (Ward Melville) vs. Nicholas Olson (Glen Cove)

184 Pounds: Frank Modica* (Jericho) vs. Tyler Cobe (Northport)

197 Pounds: Mike Lloyd* (Hampton Bays) vs. Thomas Merenyi (Goshen)

235 Pounds: Kyle Folk-Freund (Ward Melville) vs Andrew Westman (Long Island Lutheran)

Heavyweight: Latauro Epstein (Miller Place) vs. Daniel Paulan (Raritan, NJ)
* Denotes seniors

Dake, Garrett, Doliscar, Myhrberg Among Leaders in NCAA "Most Dominant" Standings

At the end of the season, the NCAA will present awards to the Most Dominant Wrestler in Divisions I, II and III as well as the wrestlers with the most pins and technical falls. On Wednesday, the NCAA announced the current standings for each of those categories.

A pair of Cornell wrestlers appear in the Division I rankings. Three-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake sits eighth in the Most Dominant standings and second in pins, with 10. (Ohio State’s Logan Stieber and Kent State’s Dustin Kilgore lead those categories, respectively).

Dake’s freshman teammate Nahshon Garrett is tied for the lead with six technical falls but stands second in that race behind Penn State’s David Taylor because the Nittany Lion has taken less total time to record those tech falls.

In Division III, two New York wrestlers appear in the Most Dominant rankings.  Ithaca’s 174-pound starter Jules Doliscar is seventh while Cortland’s 197-pounder Jared Myhrberg is tied for eighth.

For more details on the standings and the formula for calculating “Most Dominant”, see here for Division I and here for Division III.



Weekend Recap: Garrett Earns MOW as Cornell Wins New York State Collegiate Title; Columbia Crowns Three Champions


This weekend, the focus of New York college wrestling was in Ithaca.

First, on Friday night, Cornell defeated Binghamton 30-7 in a rematch of the dual won on criteria by the Big Red a year ago in Vestal.  For full results of the meet between the Big Red and the Bearcats, see here.

On Saturday and Sunday, most of the Empire State’s squads across all divisions competed in the New York State Championships, with the varsity competition on the first day and the “B” event on Sunday.

For final brackets from Saturday’s event, see:

NYS Tournament Final Brackets

To watch a video replay of the championship matches, see here.


Here are a few quick observations from Saturday’s action:

Cornell Freshmen Didn’t Look Like Rookies

Craig Scott, Photo by BV

Without two defending NCAA champions (Kyle Dake and Steve Bosak) and a number of other starters, the Big Red won the team title on Saturday by more than 30 points.  Contributing significantly were freshmen such as Nahshon Garrett, Chris Dowdy and Craig Scott.  All three won their debuts in a Cornell singlet against the Bearcats on Friday night and they all followed up with strong showings in the tournament.

Nahshon Garrett, Photo by Boris V

Garrett earned Most Outstanding Wrestler honors after capturing the 125-pound title with a 13-9 victory over returning All-American Steve Bonanno of Hofstra.   It was the second week in a row on top of the podium for the California native, who won the Binghamton Open during the season’s opening weekend.

Scott beat NCAA qualifier Cody Reed of the Bearcats in the dual on Friday and then did it again, by a larger margin, on Saturday.  That victory put him in the finals, where he upended Tyler Beckwith to win the tournament a week after taking second at the Binghamton Open.

The finals of the Cornell wrestle-offs at 157 pounds featured Craig Eifert and Jesse Shanaman, but with both out due to injuries, Chris Dowdy made sure the Big Red remained strong at the weight class.  Dowdy notched a convincing 5-0 shutout in the meet against Binghamton and then fought his way to the finals on Saturday, where he took silver behind NCAA qualifier Jake O’Hara of Columbia.

The performances of the three first-year Cornell students bodes well for the future of the Ivy League squad, as does the work of 141-pounder Mike Nevinger who didn’t yield a point all day.  He recorded three pins and outscored his opponents 13-0 in his other two bouts to win the tournament.  Similarly dominant was 197-pounder Jace Bennett, who pinned his way to the championship match, where he notched a major decision.


Champions from Columbia

The Lions led the team race for portions of the day on Saturday and boasted three champions – Steve Santos (149), Jake O’Hara (157) and Stephen West (174).  There’s no question that the trio will make the Lions tough in the middleweights in 2012-13.  Santos and O’Hara both won multiple matches at the NCAA tournament last year and West was on the verge of receiving an at large bid. All three were in control throughout the day, but they weren’t alone in excelling for the Lions.  The New York City-based team also had other top four finishers — Penn Gottfried (fourth at 125), Joe Moita (fourth at 133), Josh Houldsworth (third at 165) and Nick Mills (second at 197).


Hofstra Takes Third

Luke Vaith, Photo by Boris V

Hofstra had one champion on the way to third place in the team competition, but it wasn’t one of the Pride’s returning 2012 NCAA qualifiers.  It was Paul Snyder, who breezed through the early rounds before a 3-1 decision over Buffalo’s Justin Heiserman in the title match.  Rob Anspach’s squad had five other representatives earn top four spots, with Steve Bonanno (125) and Jermaine John (174) taking second; Jamie Franco (133) and Luke Vaith (141) grabbing third; and Nick Terdick notching fourth.


Standout Performances for Cortland

Tyler Beckwith, Photo by Boris V

Only one non-Division I wrestler made the finals – Tyler Beckwith of Cortland at 184 pounds.  But Beckwith wasn’t the only grappler from the Red Dragons to impress.  Bobby Dierna took third at 149 with his only loss coming by a point to champion Steve Santos.  Jared Myhrberg  was fourth at 197 and Corey James rebounded from a first round loss to take fourth at 285.  Brad Bruhn’s squad finished sixth in the team standings, the highest finish for a non-Division I team.

Another DIII team, Ithaca, had some strong showings, including bronze finishes for both Jules Doliscar at 174 and Ricardo Gomez at 125.


Mark Lewandowski Knows How to Pile Up the Points

Photo by Boris V

You could say Lewandowski was dominant on his way to the crown at 165 pounds.  In his first four matches, he outscored his opponents by a combined 62-1 tally, winning each bout by technical fall.  Two of the matches ended in less than one period.  His prowess in winning by at least 15 points wasn’t surprising – he had the most technical falls in the nation last year.  But we saw first hand that if you look away for too long, you can miss a lot of points when the Buffalo senior is on the mat. (He won 12-6 in the finals).

Lewandowski’s teammates Andrew Schutt and Justin Heiserman also went to the championship bout before taking second.  None of Schutt’s matches went the distance.  He won his first three by fall and then was pinned in the finale by Cornell’s Mike Nevinger.


The “B” Tournament

Cornell had four champions on Saturday and another three on Sunday in the “B” tournament.  Ryan Dunphy (149), Michael Alexander (174) and Jacob Aiken-Phillips (285) all captured first place for the Big Red.

In addition, two more more Ithaca-based grapplers earned gold with Taylor Simaz (157) and Gabe Dean (184) winning for the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club.

Buffalo and Columbia each boasted a pair of victors. Sean Walton (133) and Dominic Montesanti (165) won for the Bulls while Robert Dyar (125) and Matt Idelson (197) were champions for the Lions.  Army’s Tyler Rauenzahn rounded out the champions as he stood on top of the medal stand at 141 pounds.

Final brackets for the “B” tournament are here.