Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open Recap: Garrett Defeats Megaludis; Cornell Sends Eight to the Finals and Much More

Around 400 wrestlers competed on Sunday at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open at Binghamton, including some of the best wrestlers in the country.  In one of the most highly anticipated matches of the weekend, #3 Nahshon Garrett of Cornell topped #2 Nico Megaludis of Penn State in the championship bout at 125 pounds.  The Big Red and Nittany Lion wrestlers saw a lot of each other, meeting in six of the finals matches.  In fact, the two schools accounted for nine of the 10 champions (six for Penn State and three for Cornell).

(A recap of many other weekend events is here).

Here’s a quick glance at the weights:

125 Pounds:

Garrett, Photo by BV

Last year at the NCAAs, Nahshon Garrett avenged earlier losses to Iowa’s Matt McDonough and Missouri’s Alan Waters.  After dropping a close decision to Megaludis at the Southern Scuffle last year, however, Garrett didn’t get another shot at the Nittany Lion.  That opportunity came on Sunday and Garrett took full advantage with a 7-4* decision that ended a 5-0 day for the Big Red sophomore.  Garrett also had two majors and two technical falls along his path.

New York Note: Binghamton’s David White earned fourth, winning four times on Sunday.  In addition, Connetquot’s Sean McCabe (Rutgers) made the top six.  (Only first and third place matches were contested).

133 Pounds:

The talk prior to the tournament was about a showdown between Cornell’s Mark Grey and Penn State’s Jimmy Gulibon, two wrestlers currently in the top 10 nationally.  However, Grey capped off a strong tournament with a 3-1 finals victory over another Nittany Lion – Jordan Conaway.  (Conaway topped Gulibon in the semis, the same round during which Grey beat #16, Geoff Alexander of Maryland, by a 7-0 score).

New York Note: Two 2013 NYS champions looked solid in their first college tournaments.  Sacred Heart’s TJ Fabian (Shoreham Wading River) went to the top 6, racking up a 4-2 mark with two majors and a fall.  He beat Bobby Rehm of Lock Haven, a placer at this event in 2012, along the way.  Meanwhile, Binghamton’s Nick Tighe also captured four victories in his debut for the Bearcats.

141 Pounds:

Penn State freshman Zain Retherford had a strong start to his career with a title at this weight, defeating Lehigh’s Will Switzer for gold.

New York Note: Binghamton’s Dylan Caruana lost his initial contest on Sunday morning, but came back to win four straight in the consolations before losing to eventual third place finisher Adam Krop of Princeton.  New York native Patrick Hogan followed a similar road, losing his first match before taking five in a row, including over highly-regarded Rutgers rookie Anthony Ashnault.

149 Pounds:

It came down to Big Red vs. Big Red.  Cornell teammates Chris Villalonga and Alex Cisneros both won their first five matches of the day to make the title bout.  Villalonga had two pins and two majors, while Cisneros also collected four bonus wins.  Villalonga took the title by forfeit.

New York Note: Binghamton’s Joe Bonaldi followed up a first place showing at 141 at last year’s Bearcat Open with a bronze finish in 2013 at his new weight.  To earn a spot in the bronze bout, he topped Cortland’s Bobby Dierna, another New York wrestler who had a solid day.  Dierna, a Division III All-American in 2013, had two pins and two majors.

157 Pounds:

Boston’s Nestor Taffur was the only champion not from Cornell or Penn State on Sunday.  He edged James Vollrath of the Nittany Lions, after placing second at this event last year to Cornell’s Brian Realbuto.

New York Note: Speaking of Realbuto, the Big Red freshman had an eventful day, beginning with a technical fall and pin.  He was then upset by Anthony Perrotti of Rutgers, but bounced back well, with four consecutive falls in the consolations and then a six-point decision over Perrotti to reach the third place match. Also reaching that match was Cornell’s Taylor Simaz, who won five bouts (four by bonus).  There was no contest, however, as Realbuto and Simaz double forfeited. Perhaps we will see them compete at next weekend’s Big Red wrestle-offs.

2013 NYS state champion Tyler Grimaldi of Harvard (and Half Hollow Hills West) looked good in the opening event of his career for the Crimson, grabbing four victories.  He earned his way to the quarterfinals before dropping an 11-10 decision to eventual champion Taffur.

165 Pounds:

#1 David Taylor blitzed his way through the field as expected.  In the championship match, he pinned Cornell’s Craig Eifert.  Eifert had won three straight to make the finals, including over Mitch Wightman of Boston and Jake Kemerer of Lock Haven.  Of the three candidates mentioned by head coach Rob Koll a few weeks ago for the 165 starting job, Eifert was the only one to take the mat on Sunday. (Dylan Palacio and Marshall Peppelman are the others).

New York Note: The previously mentioned Wightman, from Warwick Valley in Section 9, earned a fourth place finish on Sunday with five victories.

174 Pounds:

Returning NCAA finalist Matt Brown of Penn State took care of business, defeating Cornell’s Owen Scott to win the bracket.  Scott, a sophomore who missed all of last season with injuries, went 5-1 for the Big Red in his return to the mat.

New York Note: Scott wasn’t the only Cornell wrestler at 174 to end the day with only one loss.  Jesse Shanaman, moving up from 157 pounds a year ago, nabbed third with a 6-1 mark.

184 Pounds:

Like fellow top-ranked teammate David Taylor, Ed Ruth won it all on Sunday.  His finals opponent was Cornell’s Gabe Dean, a freshman who topped a pair of nationally-ranked competitors – Nathaniel Brown of Lehigh and Fred Garcia of Lock Haven.

New York Note: Cortland’s Nick Bellanza, a 2012 New York State champion for John Glenn, had two wins on the backside to make the final six of the tournament.  Bellanza is in his first season with the Red Dragons.

197 Pounds:

For the fourth straight weight class, the championship match pitted Penn State versus Cornell. This time, it was Nittany Lion Morgan McIntosh over Jace Bennett for the crown at 197 by a major decision.

New York Note: Bennett was joined by teammate Steve Congenie in the top four.  The freshman from Illinois won five times, including three pins, to notch fourth place.

285 Pounds:

Penn State’s Jimmy Lawson won in a field consisting of multiple nationally-ranked competitors.  He defeated one of those grapplers, Billy Smith of Rutgers, in the championship match.

New York Note: Tyler Deuel of the Bearcats earned fourth place with four victories during the day.  That included a pin of Cornell’s Stryker Lane, an opponent who had defeated him last season.  Lane also reached the top six.

 

* The score of the 125 pound finals is a typo in the brackets, according to the Big Red staff.

For full results, see http://www.trackwrestling.com and search for the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open.  For the top four at each weight, see below:

NCAA – 125
1st Place – Nahshon Garrett of Cornell
2nd Place – Nico Megaludis of Penn State
3rd Place – Scott Delvecchio of Rutgers
4th Place – David White of Binghamton

NCAA – 133
1st Place – Mark Grey of Cornell
2nd Place – Jordan Conaway of Penn State
3rd Place – Geoffrey Alexander of Maryland
4th Place – James Gulibon of Penn State

NCAA – 141
1st Place – Zain Retherford of Penn State
2nd Place – Will Switzer of Lehigh
3rd Place – Adam Krop of Princeton
4th Place – Casey Stasenko of Rutgers

NCAA – 149
1st Place – Chris Villalonga of Cornell
2nd Place – Alex Cisneros of Cornell
3rd Place – Joe Bonaldi of Binghamton
4th Place – Kevin Moylan of Princeton

NCAA – 157
1st Place – Nestor Taffur of Boston University
2nd Place – Jimmy Vollrath of Penn State
3rd Place – Forfeit Forfeit of Unattached
4th Place – Brian Realbuto of Cornell
4th Place – Taylor Simaz of Cornell

NCAA – 165
1st Place – David Taylor of Penn State
2nd Place – Craig Eifert of Cornell
3rd Place – Garett Hammond of Penn State
4th Place – Mitch Wightman of Boston University

NCAA – 174
1st Place – Matthew Brown of Penn State
2nd Place – Owen Scott of Cornell
3rd Place – Jesse Shanaman of Cornell
4th Place – Eric Morris of Harvard

NCAA – 184
1st Place – Edward Ruth of Penn State
2nd Place – Gabe Dean of Cornell
3rd Place – Nathaniel Brown of Lehigh
4th Place – Fred Garcia of Lock Haven

NCAA – 197
1st Place – Morgan McIntosh of Penn State
2nd Place – Jace Bennett of Cornell
3rd Place – Hayden Hrymack of Rutgers
4th Place – Steve Congenie of Cornell

NCAA – 285
1st Place – James Lawson of Penn State
2nd Place – William Smith of Rutgers
3rd Place – Jon Gingrich of Penn State
4th Place – Tyler Deuel of Binghamton


Cornell's Mark Grey Earns Second Trip to Junior World Championships … And More from the Junior World Team Trials

 
 
Mark Grey represented the United States at the Junior World Championships in 2011, taking fifth at 55 kg. After his stellar performance in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Sunday, he’ll once again aim for a Junior World title as he earned the 60 kg spot on Team USA with a perfect day in a loaded field.

Grey began with an 8-3 decision over Earl Hall, a 2012 World Team member who spent the last year at the Olympic Training Center. He followed with a hard fought 6-4 triumph over former Blair Academy teammate Joey McKenna, the eventual third place finisher.

Grey, photos.nj.com

That put Grey into the best-of-three championship series against Zane Richards of Illinois. At the recent FILA Junior Nationals in Las Vegas in the spring, the two grapplers met for bronze, with Richards coming away with a 2-0, 5-1 victory.

Grey turned the tables on Sunday, capturing the opening bout 5-4. In the second contest, Richards got off to a strong start, but Grey rebounded to win 6-4 and punch his ticket to Bulgaria, where the World championships will be held in August.

Grey will be a freshman at Cornell in the fall, as will three other wrestlers who placed at the event, including a pair at 74 kg/163 pounds.

Dylan Palacio went directly to the championship series after his FILA Junior National crown in Las Vegas. He faced Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State, who took third at the NCAAs in March. On Sunday, the Cowboy defeated Palacio in two matches to take the World Team slot.

In order to get to the championship series against Palacio, Dieringer squared off with another future Big Red wrestler in the title bout of the Challenge Tournament – Brian Realbuto. Realbuto had a strong showing with a 4-1 record. He started with a 7-0 win over McCoy Newburg and followed with a 6-4 decision over Yoanse Mejias. He then came out on top of two high scoring affairs, a 20-13 triumph over Dylan Reel and a 15-10 victory over Isaiah Martinez.

Another Cornellian, Gabe Dean, dropped his opener at 84 kg/185 pounds, but bounced back with three consecutive wins, by a combined score of 24-4, to get to the bronze bout before taking fourth in the Challenge Tournament.

Those weren’t the only Ivy Leaguers to have success on Sunday. Columbia recruit Garrett Ryan notched second in the 120 kg Challenge bracket after defeating the second seed, Brooks Black, 8-6 in the semifinals.

On the Greco side, a pair of New Yorkers took third place in the Challenge event. Jessy Williams, a Section 4 native, grabbed bronze at 60 kg, while Warsaw state champion Burke Paddock did the same at 74 kg. Paddock came back from a first round loss to score 22 points in his consolation matches on his way to third.

Hofstra’s Jamel Hudson recorded two technical falls at 60 kg in freestyle during a 2-2 day in which both setbacks came against third placer Joey McKenna.

For full results, see here.

Palacio Captures the Championship; Grey, Realbuto, Hudson and Dean All Place at the FILA Junior Freestyle Nationals

 
 
Dylan Palacio captured a FILA Juniors National championship on Saturday at 74 kg (163 pounds) after collecting five victories in Las Vegas, including a three period win in the title bout against Matthew Gray of Bison Wrestling Club.

Joining him on the medal stand were three additional grapplers from the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club – Mark Grey (4th at 60 kg), Brian Realbuto (6th at 74 kg) and Gabe Dean (8th at 84 kg).

Also representing the Empire State with a medal was Blue and Gold Wrestling Club’s Jamel Hudson, who earned sixth place at 66 kg.

Palacio, Photo by BV

Palacio’s title run opened with a pair of pins before he took out returning placer Isaac Jordan of the Badger Wrestling Club 5-2, 6-1.  In the semifinals against Hawkeye Wrestling Club’s Patrick Rhoads, he dropped the opening period 3-0 but rebounded to grab the second 3-1, fueled by some early pushouts.  In the third, he fell behind again but came back to win 6-3 and punch his ticket to the finals.

In that first place contest, Palacio lost the first stanza 3-0, and gave up a takedown early in the second to fall behind.  However, the former Section 8 standout took over from there, tying it up with about 1:30 left.  He then tiptoed the line to avoid a late pushout by Gray to win the stanza 1-1 (by virtue of scoring last).

In the decisive final period, Palacio moved ahead with a takedown and tacked on two points for exposure to grab a 3-0 advantage.  Gray responded with a pushout to make it 3-1, but the Long Beach native shot a single leg and drove his opponent out of bounds to take a 4-1 lead with about 40 seconds to go.  A late takedown made the final score closer, but Palacio got his hand raised and a national title.

His future Cornell teammates Grey and Dean earned their spots on the podium the hard way, as both lost in the opening round before going on long winning streaks during the day.

In a back-and-forth match with a lot of scoring, Grey began the tournament with a loss to eventual champion Ben Whitford of Michigan. However, he bounced back with a technical fall over Jake Marr, followed by six more victories to earn his spot in the third place bout, where he was defeated by Zane Richards.  Along the way, he notched a number of impressive wins, including a 6-1, 6-0 decision over highly regarded Cory Clark of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club.

Meanwhile, Dean also faced a high placer in Round 1 – Sam Brooks of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club (4th). After that tilt, Dean captured five in a row, including four in straight periods, to get onto the medal stand at 84 kg (185 pounds).

Realbuto opened with a win over Patriot Elite’s Ryan Forrest before dropping a decision to Micah Barnes of NWTC.  The Section 1 native then went on winning streak, picking up four consecutive victories on his way to sixth place.

In 2012, both Palacio and Realbuto were New York State champions as seniors in high school.  The same was true of Jamel Hudson, who redshirted for Hofstra this year.

Hudson also stood out in Nevada on Saturday, grabbing sixth at 66 kg (145.5 pounds). The former St. Anthony’s grappler began with a technical fall before falling to eventual champion Jason Tsirtsis.  However, he went on a tear in the consolations, winning six in a row and not yielding a single point in four of those matches.

FILA Junior Freestyle Placers (Saturday)

60 kg: Mark Grey (Finger Lakes Wrestling Club) – 4th

66 kg: Jamel Hudson (Blue and Gold Wrestling Club) – 6th

74 kg: Dylan Palacio (Finger Lakes Wrestling Club) – 1st

74 kg: Brian Realbuto (Finger Lakes Wrestling Club) – 6th

84 kg: Gabe Dean (Finger Lakes Wrestling Club) – 8th

In Friday’s FILA Junior Greco competition, Columbia University had several representatives on the podium as Connor Sutton, Chris Loew and Matthew Idelson all placed in the top six.  Also making their presence felt were Cheektowoga’s Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, who was fifth at 63 kg and former Section 4 wrestler Jessy Williams, who notched 6th.

FILA Junior Greco Placers (Friday)

60 kg: Jessy Williams (NYAC/USOEC, Windsor) – 6th Place
63 kg: Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (Buffalo Grapplers, Cheektowoga) – 5th Place
70 kg: Connor Sutton (NYAC Harlem, Columbia) – 4th Place
84 kg: Chris Loew (NYAC Harlem, Columbia) – 6th Place
96 kg: Matthew Idelson (NYAC Harlem, Columbia) – 5th Place

Catching Up With Cornell's Cam Simaz as He Returns to Competition at the U.S. Open

 
 
In his last match in a Cornell singlet, Cam Simaz defeated Edinboro’s Chris Honeycutt to capture the 2012 197-pound NCAA crown. The title capped off a stellar career for the Michigan native, who was a four-time All American and a four-time EIWA champion.

This week, Simaz will return to competition as he takes the mat at the U.S. Open in Las Vegas in freestyle. We caught up with Cam to hear more about what he’s been doing for the past year and what the future may hold.

New York Wrestling News (NYWN): You’re entered in the U.S. Open Freestyle tournament this week at 84 kg (185 pounds). I know at some point you were considering going up to 96 kg (211.5 pounds) for freestyle competition. What were the big factors in your decision?

Cam Simaz (CS): I thought I was going up. I lifted and ate and did that whole thing, but I just didn’t get that much bigger. I felt like I got pretty fat when I tipped the scales at 205, maybe at 208. It’s easy for ’84’ pounders and ’65’ pounders, who know exactly what freestyle weights they’ll go. But most of us ’97s’ are tweeners anyway. We have to make a decision. Unfortunately, for me and my diet, I felt like I had to go down to give myself the best chance to compete. I’m working on cutting weight right now. The first time it feels like a lot. But with freestyle, you weigh in the day before and then you can eat all night and all morning and then wrestle.

NYWN: You spent the last year in Ithaca, coaching at the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club. How much time have you spent training in freestyle?

CS: Probably a couple of weeks. I’m a coach now and I’ve been focused on that. My priority was to get the Finger Lakes college kids ready to go for tournaments. So most of what I did was wrestling collegiate style. I have the itch to wrestle again and I’m excited to get back on the mat. But I know it will be a learning curve for me and that there will be a lot of adapting and transitioning. I hope to catch on quickly.

NYWN: So this will be your first freestyle tournament in a while. What kind of outcome will you be happy with?

Photo by BV

CS: It is going to be business and pleasure for me. I’m going out to wrestle myself and to coach the Finger Lakes guys, who I think will do really well.

For me, the results will be a byproduct of wrestling well. I’m guessing whatever results I get are probably what they should be at this point. This is the beginning. I plan to spend the rest of the summer wrestling freestyle and going to as many tournaments as I can. I hope I’ll get shipped around the world a little bit to compete against wrestlers from all over.

NYWN: Who have been your primary training partners?

CS: I’ve done some training with Clint Wattenberg, Damion Hahn, Duke Pickett, Steve Bosak. But I mostly wrestled with my college guys, especially [incoming Cornell freshman] Gabe Dean. I think he’s as good as I am in freestyle already.

NYWN: You mentioned Gabe Dean, who placed in a number of open tournaments this year. Other Finger Lakes wrestlers such as Mark Grey and Brian Realbuto won some events as well. What has the experience been like coaching some future Big Red wrestlers this year?

CS: It has been awesome, all the time. All of the guys are grossly talented. It’s the best recruiting class ever at Cornell without a doubt. All those guys are freaks already. My job was to not screw them up.

NYWN: Among the wrestlers you coached was your brother Taylor. What was that experience like?

CS: He’s been awesome. People always say things are better with family around and that’s definitely true. When we were growing up, my brothers were my best friends and things haven’t changed. It wasn’t hard for me to coach him because I’ve been doing it my whole life. I feel like I have a pretty critical eye, and it may be more critical when there’s blood involved. It’s been great with Taylor here.

NYWN: You spent a year at the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club after high school like some of the guys you coached this year. Is the experience now different than it was for you?

CS: Definitely. It has changed so much over the years. Now there’s organization, a lifting regimen, a plan. Corey Manson and I were kind of guinea pigs. It was the two of us and we’d just wrestle each other when we had free time. We were working full time jobs and I’d just call him and ask him if he wanted to wrestle and that was about it. It was a fun experience, but things have come a long way and I think the results have shown that.

NYWN: So after freestyle this summer, what’s next for you?

CS: When I look into my Magic 8 Ball and ask about my future, it comes back pretty cloudy. I don’t really know, but whatever it is, I’m sure it will be good. I have nothing to complain about here at Cornell. I guess other than the weather sometimes. I’ve had the time of my life here and am enjoying the ride.
———–

Frank Perrelli will also be competing at the Freestyle U.S. Open after coaching at the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club (FLWC) this year. Perrelli will be at 55 kg (121.5 pounds).

Wrestling for the FLWC in the ASICS FILA Junior Nationals freestyle tournament:
Mark Grey 60 kg (132.25 pounds)
Dylan Palacio 74 kg (163)
Duke Pickett 74 kg (163)
Brian Realbuto 74 kg (163)
Taylor Simaz 74 kg (163)
Gabe Dean 84 kg (185)

Coverage from the Binghamton Open: Match Video with Champions Vinson and Realbuto (and More) and Update with Steve Bosak

Donnie Vinson, Photo by Boris V

Check out some videos from the Binghamton Open, including the 149 and 157 pound champions – Binghamton’s Donnie Vinson and Finger Lakes Wrestling Club’s Brian Realbuto, respectively.  In addition, Cornell NCAA champion Steve Bosak provides an update on when he expects to get back on the mat.

 

 

 

Steve Bosak  – Update on His Return

 

Brian Realbuto  (FLWC) vs. Mike Simmons (Rutgers)

 

Donnie Vinson (Binghamton) vs. Curt Delia (Rider)

 

Mark Grey (FLWC) vs. Dan Riggi (Binghamton)

 

Jesse Shanaman (Cornell) vs. Zac Cibula (Rider)

 

Jimmy Gulibon (Penn State) vs. Garrett Frey (Princeton)

 

Mike Nevinger (Cornell) vs. David Batkowski (Penn State)

 

Gabe Dean (FLWC) vs Ophir Bernstein (NCAA qualifier, Brown)