It may not be a surprise after he captured the Super 32 Challenge title in a loaded field. But on Wednesday, it became official. Hilton’s Yianni Diakomihalis is the top ranked wrestler in the country at 106 pounds (according to FloWrestling).
Diakomihalis defeated the now-#2 grappler, Gage Curry of Pennsylvania, in the championship match in Greensboro, North Carolina and also beat current #3, Tyler Warner of Ohio, by a 14-3 score in the semifinals at the Super 32. He’ll look to capture his second consecutive New York state crown in 2013-14 after winning gold at 99 pounds as an eighth grader last year.
Diakomihalis is one of 10 Empire State wrestlers in the rankings, including six others in the top 10 at their respective weights. Here’s the list of New Yorkers:
Last week, Flowrestling released updated national rankings. 10 New Yorkers are included, with five grapplers positioned in the top 10 in their weight classes. The highest ranking for an Empire State wrestler is fourth – Nick Piccininni of Ward Melville at 120.
The New Yorkers ranked are:
7th at 106 pounds: Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton, Section 5, Freshman)
4th at 120 pounds: Nick Piccininni (Ward Melville, Section 11, Junior)
19th at 132 pounds: Tristan Rifanburg (Norwich, Section 4, Junior)
6th at 138 pounds: Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (Cheektowaga, Section 6, Senior)
12th at 152 pounds: Louis Hernandez (Mepham, Section 8, Senior)
9th at 160 pounds: Corey Rasheed (Longwood, Section 11, Senior)
11th at 160 pounds: Burke Paddock (Warsaw, Section 5, Senior)
11th at 170 pounds: Christian Dietrich (Greene, Section 4, Sophomore)
15th at 220 pounds: Rich Sisti (Monsignor Farrell, CHSAA, Senior)
8th at 285 pounds: James O’Hagan (Seaford, Section 8, Senior)
Last week, Flowrestling released the post-Fargo national rankings. 10 New Yorkers are currently included, with two grapplers positioned sixth in their weight classes — Nick Piccininni of Ward Melville at 120 and James O’Hagan of Seaford at 285. The Empire State grapplers have combined for nine state titles at this point in their careers.
The New Yorkers ranked are:
8th at 106 pounds: Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton, Section 5, Freshman)
6th at 120 pounds: Nick Piccininni (Ward Melville, Section 11, Junior)
17th at 132 pounds: Tristan Rifanburg (Norwich, Section 4, Junior)
8th at 138 pounds: Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (Cheektowoga, Section 6, Senior)
10th at 152 pounds: Louis Hernandez (Mepham, Section 8, Senior)
11th at 160 pounds: Corey Rasheed (Longwood, Section 11, Senior)
13th at 160 pounds: Burke Paddock (Warsaw, Section 5, Senior)
9th at 170 pounds: Christian Dietrich (Greene, Section 4, Sophomore)
15th at 220 pounds: Rich Sisti (Monsignor Farrell, CHSAA, Senior)
6th at 285 pounds: James O’Hagan (Seaford, Section 8, Senior)
Flowrestling has been posting updated high school rankings, removing wrestlers from the graduating Class of 2013 to give a glimpse of what next season could look like. Many New York grapplers made the cut, including eight state champions from February of 2013. Ward Melville’s Nick Piccininni is the highest ranked of the Empire State representatives, sitting fifth at 120 pounds.
To see which competitors have been included in the national top 20, see below:
Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton, Section 5) – 11th at 106
Nick Piccininni (Ward Melville, Section 11) – 5th at 120
Tristan Rifanburg (Norwich, Section 4) – 19th at 132
Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (Cheektowaga, Section 6) – 10th at 138
Louis Hernandez (Mepham, Section 8 ) – 9th at 152
Corey Rasheed (Longwood, Section 11) – 10th at 160
Burke Paddock (Warsaw, Section 5) – 11th at 160
Christian Dietrich (Greene, Section 4) – 9th at 170
Adis Radoncic (RKA, PSAL) – 17th at 170
Reggie Williams (Johnson City, Section 4) – 16th at 195
Rich Sisti (Monsignor Farrell, CHSAA) – 16th at 220
James O’Hagan (Seaford, Section 8 ) – 7th at 285
Although not in the latest edition, two-time state champion William Koll of Lansing and 2013 third placer Travis Passaro of Eastport South Manor were recently in the rankings as well.
Freestyle season is well underway. That much was clear on Sunday at Messa Rink on the campus of Union College as some of the top teams in the region clashed at the Journeymen Freestyle Club Duals.
When it was all said and done, it was Vougar’s Honors Wrestling (VHW) taking top billing after going 4-0 on the day.
“This is a very hard tournament with very good competition,” said Vougar Oroudjov. “It was our first freestyle tournament this year. We had a few guys get hurt right before it and we didn’t have a 220 pounder, but we were committed to coming and getting some good matches. Our team had a variety of wrestlers – some guys who are first and second year wrestlers, some who have not been all-county and also a state champion and other state placers. All the guys came together and wrestled hard and did a great job.”
VHW began action against the host squad from Journeymen in a contest Oroudjov called “a great dual against a very tough team.” The score was all tied up going into the final bout (at heavyweight).
In that match, Seaford’s James O’Hagan, the third place finisher at the state tournament this year in Division I, got his hand raised to give VHW the victory. It was the first triumph of an unbeaten day for the Nassau County 285 pounder.
It came down to the wire once again against Shamrock, with the final bout once again decisive. (This time it was a forfeit). VHW also had a strong performance against Iowa Style and wrestled well in a win against Ascend.
In that matchup of Long Island powers, Oroudjov pointed to some key victories from his squad, including bonus wins by Ben Lamantia, Steve Schneider and Carlos Toribio. According to Oroudjov, Toribio, in his first-ever freestyle event, dropped the first period and was trailing in the second when he recorded a fall. In addition, in a meeting of two of the state’s top lightweights, Vito Arujau topped John Arceri.
Santiago, Photo by BV
The wrestlers that came up big in that dual were strong throughout the day. Lamantia, Toribio and Arujau all had unblemished records, as did the previously mentioned O’Hagan and a pair of Sachem wrestlers – East’s Jakob Restrepo and North’s Gio Santiago, according to Oroudjov.
“Restrepo wrestled really great,” Oroudjov said. “He lost by pin to one of his opponents last week, but came back and beat him this week. I have a lot of respect for Gio Santiago. He kept the team together; he was a leader. He pumped everyone up and kept everyone going. It was just one tournament, but it was a good experience for us.”
It clearly was a good experience for the squad. And several other teams also had strong showings, with Journeymen taking second, and Shamrock and Ascend next in the overall standings, according to Frank Popolizio.
Freestyle season has begun and with the New York States only a few weeks away, the chance to watch many of the Empire State’s best compete in the international styles again is fast approaching.
Who ended the 2012-13 campaign in the national rankings? We took a look at the most recent postings by Intermat, Flowrestling, Amateur Wrestling News and WIN to see which New Yorkers were included. The rankings by the former two sites were updated after the NHSCA/Flowrestling events, while the others are from before those tournaments occured.
A number of wrestlers were named on one or more of the websites, with sophomore Nick Piccininni of Ward Melville, junior Burke Paddock of Warsaw and senior Tyler Grimaldi of Half Hollow Hills West ranked in the top 20 at their weights by all four of those publications.
Piccinnini, Photo by BV
Piccininni, a two-time state champion, is Flo’s #7 113 pounder in the nation. He ranges from #15-18 on the other sites. He is also a top 30 recruit in the Class of 2015 according to both Intermat and Flo.
Grimaldi and Paddock ensured that the Empire State is well represented in the 160-pound standings. Paddock ranges between #10 (Intermat) and #15 (Flo) and is also a top 100 recruit in the class of 2014, according to Intermat and Flo. Meanwhile, Grimaldi is #12 by both Intermat and WIN and #14 and 16 on the other sites.
While not in the top 20 at their weights at this point, Intermat believes both Greene’s Christian Dietrich and Hilton’s Yianni Diakomihalis are among the elite wrestlers at their grade levels. In addition, Flowrestling ranks Diakomihalis and Eastport South Manor’s Adam Busiello among the country’s best at the junior high level.
For the full list of rankings, see below: (Please comment with any changes or additions).
Zach Bacon (Hornell) #17 at 220 (Intermat), #18 at 220 (AWN)
TJ Fabian (Shoreham Wading River) Top 100 Senior recruit (Intermat), #9 at 126 (Intermat), #12 at 126 (Flo)
Tyler Grimaldi (Half Hollow Hills West) Top 100 Senior in the Nation (Flo), #12 at 160 (both Intermat and WIN), #14 at 160 (AWN), #16 at 160 (Flo)
Mike Hughes (Smithtown West) #18 at 285 (Intermat)
Nick Kelley (Shenendehowa) #13 at 138 (WIN)
Nick Tighe (Phoenix) #17 at 138 (AWN)
Zack Zupan (Canastota) Top 100 Senior in the Nation (Intermat and Flo), #8 at 182 (Intermat), #16 at 182 (AWN), #15 at 182 (Flo)
James O’Hagan (Seaford) #20 at 285 (Intermat)
Burke Paddock (Warsaw) Top 100 Junior in the Nation (Intermat and Flo), #10 at 160 (Intermat), #11 (WIN), #13 (AWN), #15 (Flo)
Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (Cheektowoga) Top 100 Junior in the Nation (Intermat and Flo), #13 at 132 (Intermat), #18 at 132 (Flo)
Corey Rasheed (Longwood) Top 100 Junior in the Nation (Flo), #13 at 152 (Flo), #16 (WIN)
Nick Piccininni (Ward Melville) Top 50 Sophomore in the Nation (Intermat and Flo), #7 at 113 (Flo), #15 (Intermat), #17 (WIN), #18 (AWN)
Christian Dietrich (Greene) Top 20 Freshman in the Nation (Intermat)
Adam Busiello (Eastport South Manor) Top 50 Junior High Wrestler in the Nation (Flo)
Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton) Top 10 Junior High Wrestler in the Nation (Intermat and Flo)
**AWN Rankings are from March 14; WIN rankings are from April 2, Flo and Intermat rankings more recent