Cam Simaz Grabs Championship, $2500 at Inaugural Tour ACW Event; Kyle Borshoff Takes Second

Simaz, Photo by BV

On Sunday, Cam Simaz was the ‘First 2 ten’ and he earned $2500 in the process.

In the inaugural event of Tour ACW (Association of Career Wrestlers) in the Grand Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Pittsburgh, the former Cornell NCAA titlewinner was one of five champions. Each winner received a $2500 check. (Those victors were Daniel Dennis at 135 pounds, Frank Molinaro at 155, Nick Marable at 170, Simaz at 205 and Dom Bradley at 265).

How do you win in Tour ACW?  Quite simply, you score 10 points.  There are no time limits or periods and some freestyle elements, such as a point for a pushout, are combined with typical folkstyle rules.

Simaz had a bye in the first round and then defeated Division III national champion Evan Brown 11-3 in just over four minutes in his first action.  In the title bout, he jumped out to an 8-0 advantage against Deron Winn after just over two minutes with a takedown and a pair of three-point near falls. He closed out a 10-5 victory with two escapes.

In addition to Simaz, there were several other participants with New York ties, including 155-pound runner up Kyle Borshoff.  The Pittsford native, who is currently an assistant coach at American, beat Danny Sheehan and Jake Patacsil before dropping the final against Frank Molinaro at 155 by a 10-1 score.

At 135 pounds, Chris Notte and Jeffrey Streu competed.  Notte attended Nassau Community College while Streu went to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Former Ithaca College standout Jeremy Stierly entered at 155, as did Kirk Landon, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.  In addition, former Lehigh grappler Trevor Chinn, a multiple-time New York state champion from Canandaigua, wrestled in that class.

For more on Tour ACW, see touracw.com.

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What to Watch For From NY Wrestlers at the World Team Trials Beginning on Friday

 
 
On Friday and Saturday, many of the nation’s top wrestlers will take the mat at the World Team Trials in Oklahoma. A number of New York wrestlers will see action during the two-day competition, with representatives in most of the men’s freestyle classes and qualifiers in women’s freestyle and Greco Roman.  For a preview of what to look for from the Empire State grapplers, read on.

Men’s Freestyle

55 kg/121 pounds:

The Frontrunners: 2012 Olympian Sam Hazewinkel and US Open champion Obe Blanc are among the favorites in a deep field.

The New York Connection: Former Cornell All-American Frank Perrelli went all the way to the championship bout at the US Open earlier in the spring and has registered a number of quality victories at 55 kg/121 pounds recently.  He also took bronze in 2013 at the Cerro Pelado International and looks to challenge for the title in Stillwater. In addition, Mark McKnight, a wrestler who spent some time in the Empire State while wrestling for Buffalo, was the Pan American Championships gold medalist earlier this year and the fourth place finisher at the US Open.

Also taking the mat will be Army assistant coach Danny Mitcheff, who gained entry via a sixth place showing at the U.S. Open at 60 kg/132 pounds.  He is currently seventh in the Senior National rankings at that class, but is in the field at the lightest weight for this weekend. Lucas Malmberg, a state champion for Marathon High, who trained with the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club this season, qualified for the event by virtue of winning the Northeast Regional Championship but was not registered as of Thursday morning.

60 kg/132 pounds:

The Frontrunners: Coleman Scott earned Olympic bronze in London, but he’ll be challenged by US Open champion Reece Humphrey (who goes right into the championship series) and two-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber, who looked impressive in beating the World’s number one ranked grappler Opan Sat of Russia this spring.

The New York Connection: Cornell freshman Mark Grey captured the Northeast Regional title to earn a spot at the event, however, he will instead compete at the Junior World Team Trials on Sunday at 60 kg.

 66 kg/145.5 pounds:

The Frontrunners: Kellen Russell clinched a spot in the championship series with his title at the US Open. In that event, he defeated another two-time NCAA champion, Jordan Oliver, in the finals.  Oliver will again be a threat, as will former World Team member Brent Metcalf.

The New York Connection: At the US Open, current EIWA assistants made the podium with Columbia’s Adam Hall notching fourth and American’s Kyle Borshoff, a Section 5 native, grabbing seventh. In addition, Army graduate Phillip Simpson was sixth.

74 kg/163 pounds:

The Frontrunners: This bracket has a huge ‘wow’ factor.  Jordan Burroughs, perhaps the world’s best wrestler over the past year or two, comes in as the favorite.  He is still a flawless 54-0 in Senior level freestyle action.  The weight boasts a number of impressive challengers, however, including Kyle Dake, Andrew Howe, Trent Paulson and David Taylor.

Dake, Phototrens.com

The New York Connection:  Dake made a successful international debut against Iran at the Rumble on the Rails and will look to continue his freestyle success. A year ago at the Olympic Trials, Dake defeated solid freestylers Colt Sponseller and Nick Marable and pinned Taylor.  He also dropped a three-period contest to former World Team member Trent Paulson. Dake will get a chance to avenge that outcome right away, as Paulson will be his opening round opponent on Friday. If he wins that one, his next bout could be a rematch with David Taylor.

Speaking of Taylor, the Nittany Lion will open action against the winner of the Moza Fay vs. Dan Vallimont tilt. Vallimont, a Hofstra assistant coach, registered a seventh place showing at the US Open and a Northeast Regional crown.  He will look to make his presence felt in Oklahoma at 74 kg, while Monsignor Farrell alum Kevin Hartnett, who competes for Bloomsburg, is also eligible join the fray after taking the Northeast Regional championship at 70 kg.

84 kg/185 pounds:

The Frontrunners: Keith Gavin won the US Open and will be challenged by a solid field, including those who finished right behind him in Vegas –  Clayton Foster, Jon Reader, Ed Ruth and Phil Keddy.

The New York Connection: Cam Simaz and Enock Francois battled at the US Open and at the Northeast Regionals. Francois, an assistant at West Point, won the first meeting on the way to a seventh place finish, however, Simaz rebounded to control the rematch.  In the interim, Simaz, the former Cornell NCAA champion, recorded a silver finish at the University Nationals. Both wrestlers have the potential to make noise in this bracket over the weekend. The same could be said for former Section 1 resident Max Askren, who placed second at the Dmitry Korkin International in 2012.

96 kg/211 pounds:

The Frontrunners: London gold medalist Jake Varner isn’t registered for the event. JD Bergman, the US Open champion, will go directly to the best of three championship series, where he could face the foe he defeated for the title in Las Vegas – Chris Pendleton. Another name to watch, Wynn Michalak, took third at the US Open behind Bergman and Pendleton.

The New York Connection: Former Buffalo All-American Kyle Cerminara, who is currently 9th in the US Senior rankings, qualified for the tournament with a Northeast Regional championship. However, he is not in the brackets.

120 kg/265.5 pounds:

The Frontrunners: Tervel Dlagnev was the 2012 Olympian, but he was upended by Dominique Bradley at the US Open. (Bradley will not compete). Taking third at that event was Tyrell Fortune, who was impressive in winning the University Nationals.  And what about competitors like Zach Rey and Tony Nelson? All could challenge for the top spot, along with Nick Gwiazdowski (see below) and others.

The New York Connection:  Former Duanesburg standout (and current North Carolina State wrestler) Nick Gwiazdowski was seventh at the US Open and third at the University Nationals.  He’ll look to be in the thick of things in a talented heavyweight class.

Women’s Freestyle

Since only the four Olympic weights will be contested in Stillwater (48, 55, 63, 72 kg), a number of wrestlers may move up or down in weight to challenge for World Team positions. This should add excitement to the competition and could lead to some surprises.

At least three New York natives are eligible to compete over the weekend.  Suffolk County’s Jenna Burkert recently earned a fourth place finish at the US Open at 59 kg. There won’t be competition at that weight this weekend, but Burkert, who will represent the USA at the Junior Worlds again this summer, will wrestle at 63 kg.

Mary Westman of Cattaraugas picked up a sixth place finish in Las Vegas at 72 kg, and will look to climb the ladder in that bracket in Oklahoma.

In the lightweights, Fredonia’s Carlene Sluberski recently represented the United States at the “Battle of the Falls” showcase at the end of May. Her third place finish at 51 kg at the US Open qualified her for the weekend, although she was not in the field as of Thursday morning.

Greco Roman

At 55 kg, Brooklyn’s Dmitry Ryabchinsky is always in the mix.  He recently notched fifth at the US Open and will be looking to move up to challenge frontrunners Spenser Mango and Max Nowry.

William Simpson, an Army alum, is entered at 60 kg, while fellow West Point grad Jon Anderson will be at 74 kg. Anderson has seen a lot of success in recent years and has represented the United States in international action. He was third at the Olympic Trials, the 2013 US Open and the Haparanda Cup. He may be joined in the field by another Empire State grappler, Joe Uccellini of Troy, the 79 kg champion at the Northeast Regionals.

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World Team Trials action begins on Friday, June 21 with competition in men’s freestyle (60 kg, 74 kg and 96 kg); Greco (55 kg, 66 kg, 84 kg and 120 kg) and women’s freestyle (55 kg and 72 kg).

Vegas Recap for Thurs: Goldman Wins Another Title; Sluberski, Anderson and Koll Take Third

 
 
Jason Goldman of Thorobred made it two-for-two at the Veterans Nationals in Las Vegas, winning the 58 kg freestyle title a day after grabbing the championship in the Greco competition. On Thursday, Goldman won all four of his bouts, including two pins and a technical fall. He has now been a double champion at this event for three consecutive years.

At the U.S. Open:

A number of wrestlers with connections to the Empire State participated in the third place matches at the U.S. Open on Thursday.

Former Fredonia star Carlene Sluberski earned the bronze at 51 kg in women’s action, pinning Amy Fearnside of Jimmie Wrestling Club in her final contest. Also taking third was Army graduate Jon Anderson at 74 kg in Greco Roman, while Long Island native Jenna Burkert picked up fourth at 59 kg.

Two grapplers with New York ties – Kyle Borshoff and Army assistant coach Enock Francois advanced to Friday’s freestyle action at 66 and 84kg, respectively, with their showings in the Challenge tournaments on Thursday.

Western Junior Freestyle

Koll, Photo by BV

Lansing’s two-time state champion William Koll took third at 126 pounds, racking up a 6-1 record with three technical falls. His only setback was to the eventual champion, Zahid Valencia of California, in three periods. Koll only surrendered one point in his victories and defeated Jens Lantz of Wisconsin 3-0, 1-0 for the bronze.

For full results, see http://www.trackwrestling.com

Army Graduate Jon Anderson Wins World University Team Trials; Cornell's Perrelli, Hofstra Recruit Howes Finish Third in Challenge Event

West Point graduate Jon Anderson’s ultimate wrestling goal is to win a gold medal while representing the United States in Greco Roman action at the Olympics.   While he was an alternate for the Red, White and Blue this summer during the London Games, he assured himself of a chance to represent his country in 2012 international competition when he captured the 74 kg title at the World University Team Trials in Colorado on Saturday.   (For a closer look at Anderson and his Army background, see this article.)

Anderson earned his ticket to October’s World University Championships in Finland in dominating fashion, outscoring his opponents 41-1 on the day.   He began by sweeping his three bouts in the morning Challenge Tournament without yielding a point to make it into the best two-out-of-three championship series.

“I had a lot of fun every match,” Anderson said. “My technique felt great and I stayed in control. Coach Lewis said right before the tournament to take it one period at a time, one match at time.  I knew that I had to be in the moment for every moment that I was on the mat, and that’s what I did.”

Anderson’s opponent in the finals was Tanner Andrews, who earned an automatic bid after winning the University Nationals crown a few months ago.  The two certainly aren’t strangers. Andrews defeated Anderson at the Dave Schultz Memorial early in 2012 and Anderson returned the favor at the Olympic Trials in the consolation bracket, pinning Andrews on his way to a third place finish and a spot as an Olympic alternate.

The Army graduate was in control from the start and took the first bout, 1-0, 7-0.  In the second match, Anderson dropped the first period when he was unable to turn Andrews in par terre, however he won the second and third stanzas 3-0 and 4-0 on the strength of multiple takedowns and turns.

“Tanner’s a great competitor,” Anderson said of his opponent. “He always comes out and fights hard.  I knew it would be a scrap.  But I thought I was able to win it with my positioning, strength and conditioning.”

For Anderson, who thanked his family and friends for their “continuous awesome support”, the work has just begun.

“I had high aspirations for this weekend,” he said. “I’ve been training really hard without let up since the Olympic Trials.  I feel like I still have a lot of room to improve and I want to improve every day.  Things are continuing to click for me.”

He’ll keep that progress going, starting with a new training cycle at Fort Carson this week.

“I’ll be doing two workouts a day, with strength training, cardio and lots of wrestling.  My focus now is on winning the gold medal in Finland.  I feel like it makes no difference where I’m wrestling or who I’m wrestling.  I need to focus on my technique and my match every time.  That’s my mentality.  If I make my opponent wrestle my game, I don’t think anyone can hang with me.”

While Anderson spent time abroad during his military service, the trip to Finland will be his first overseas tour wrestling for his country.  He feels confident that it will be the first of many appearances for the United States.

“I’m very excited to represent my country in a world championship, whatever level that is,” he said. “In October, it will be in Finland for the World Universities, then I expect next summer it will be at the Senior Worlds.  And in 2016, I expect it to be in Rio, winning the gold medal there.”

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Frank Perrelli, Photo by Boris Veysman

Anderson wasn’t the only wrestler with New York ties on the mats in Colorado on Saturday.  Cornell All-American Frank Perrelli took third in the 55 kg Freestyle Challenge tournament, avenging his three period opening round loss to Kyle Hutter by defeating the former Old Dominion grappler 5-0, 1-0 in the bronze medal bout.  Perrelli pinned Panther Wrestling Club’s Cruse Aarhus to earn his shot at third.

Also taking third was Hofstra signee Dwight Howes, who more than held his own in a loaded 84 kg Freestyle Challenge bracket that included four NCAA All-Americans.  The Colorado native, who will spend this season at the Olympic Training Center, was tested right away, topping 2012 NCAA 184-pound third place finisher Austin Trotman in the first round before dropping a tight match to former Oklahoma State national runner up Clayton Foster.  Howes responded with a two-period decision over Navy’s Peter Huntley before defeating Trotman a second time for bronze.

Another Empire State native battling for third place in the Challenge tournament was All-American Kyle Borshoff at 66 kg, an additional weight featuring several accomplished NCAA grapplers.   The former American Eagle began his day by beating Simon Kitzis and Cole Von Ohlen before falling against NCAA champion Frank Molinaro.  In his first consolation contest, Borshoff faced another national title winner, Kellen Russell of Michigan, and came out on top, 3-1, 0-1, 3-1.  In his final bout of the day, he was edged 1-0, 1-0 by Adam Hall to grab fourth.

Hunter College’s Oliver Lopez, who previously competed for McKee High School in Staten Island, also took third place — in the Challenge tournament at 60 kg in Greco.

Full results are available on http://www.trackwrestling.com