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


'Gold and Nothing Else': Cornell's Mark Grey Ready to Battle for a Junior World Championship

After taking fifth place at the FILA Junior World Championships in 2011 at 55 kg/121 pounds, Mark Grey wasn’t able to vie for a spot on the United States squad a year ago. His graduation from Blair Academy fell on the same weekend as the World Team Trials.

However, at the end of June, the Cornell freshman had another opportunity to make his way back to the World Championships — and he took full advantage. A month after placing fourth in a loaded 60 kg/132 pound field at the FILA Juniors, Grey navigated a similarly brutal bracket to earn his second appearance on the World Team. Along the way, he topped a former World Team member, defeated a wrestler he considers to be family and avenged a loss from earlier in the spring. He will compete for the Red, White and Blue in Sofia, Bulgaria on August 17.

New York Wrestling News caught up with Grey as he prepared for the trip abroad.

New York Wrestling News (NYWN): What was the experience like in 2011 when you wrestled in the World Championships in Romania?

Mark Grey (MG): It was an awesome experience. It didn’t pan out the way I wanted it to because I didn’t go there to get fifth place. But I learned a lot from that one.

NYWN: What were some of the things you took away?

MG: The experience from being there at the Worlds was huge. I remember before my first match, how super nervous I was. Now, I’ve been there. I know what to expect. The Europeans go out and wrestle really loose. That’s what I plan to do. Just go out there relaxed. Keep moving my feet, get to my inside ties, start taking those shots.

NYWN: What’s next in your preparation?

MG: We have training camp in Cleveland. Then we fly to Sofia the 15th, I weigh in on the 16th and wrestle the 17th. So it’s right into wrestling. Last time, we went to Romania a week before and trained for four or five days and got acclimated to everything. This time, we get there and I get going right away.

NYWN: In order to make the World Team, you had to go through a difficult draw. What was your preparation like?

MG: It was a lot different from last time. I trained at Cornell, for about four weeks, mostly with my brother [Mike Grey, Cornell assistant coach]. We worked on getting technique down and getting my body where it needed be. I also spent time wrestling with Frankie Perrelli a couple times a week and got my cardio workouts in and wrestled live. I was really ready for the [Junior World Team Trials]. I was pretty confident coming in and I was actually happy that I didn’t get a bye to the finals because when that happens, you’re not ready to go right away and you sometimes get off to a slow start.

NYWN: At the Junior World Team Trials you started with 2012 World Team member Earl Hall [an 8-3 win], then beat your former Blair teammate Joey McKenna (who took third). Talk a little bit about those matches.

MG: I never wrestled Hall before. Last year he won the Trials. The match against [McKenna] was a little weird for me because he’s like my little brother and we know each other really well. I was really cautious. It was different than my other matches because I didn’t open up and I wasn’t dominant as I should have been. It was tough.

NYWN: In the finals, you faced Illinois redshirt freshman Zane Richards, who defeated you in straight periods at the FILA Juniors in the bronze medal match. What was different this time?

MG: The week or two before the tournament, Mike [Grey] really worked with me on beating him to the inside tie. At FILA Juniors, he completely killed me by beating me to the inside tie, pulling and wearing me down. This time, I got there and by the end of the periods, I was able to get my shots off. I was able to score late in both matches to win. It was a great game plan by my brother. On my feet, I kept focusing on moving, going for the full six minutes and leaving it all on the mat.

NYWN: You mentioned going the full six minutes. Do you like the new freestyle rules? Do you feel like they benefit you?

MG: I love the new rules. Conditioning is a factor now. And I like the cumulative scoring. In the past, you basically had a two-minute sprint. Now, you can slowly wear guys down. Even if you give up some takedowns, if you keep going after guys, wearing them down, shots start to open up.

NYWN: After you get back from Romania, it will be back to folkstyle. You spent the last year training with the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club (FLWC) and competing in open tournaments. What did you get out of the experience?

MG: It was a really good year. I grew a lot as a wrestler and I also was able to learn a lot about Cornell and the team so I’ll be ready for this year as a freshman. I think the things I most improved on were the mental aspects and definitely bottom. Bottom wrestling was a really hard transition at first, but I learned a lot and got a lot better there throughout the year. Wrestling with Frankie Perrelli helped me a lot too.

NYWN: You won titles at the National Collegiate Open, Mat Town Open and Edinboro Open and also placed at the Southern Scuffle, Binghamton Open and Buffalo Invitational. What would you consider to be your biggest win?

MG: I would say beating [All-American] Ryan Mango in the finals of the National Collegiate Open (NCO). I went in with some good momentum, right after beating [Lehigh’s Mason] Beckman in the semis. That win lit a fire under me and I just had a lot of fun against Mango, winning in overtime. I had some good matches with Beckman too. We wrestled three times. He won the first time at the Binghamton Open but then I beat him at Edinboro and the NCO. He also beat me in high school. It’s a good rivalry.

NYWN: You weren’t the only incoming freshman to have a successful year with the FLWC. Do you expect the incoming freshmen to be big contributors for the Big Red this year? What are your expectations for the team?

MG: I think we’ll surprise people this year. People may think we’re pretty young and inexperienced, but it’s going to be good from the start. I expect us to wrestle like we’ve been there before. We have a good mix of freshmen coming in and veteran guys. I’m excited to have great wrestlers like Nahshon [Garrett] and [Mike] Nevinger around me in the lineup. I think we’ll get some huge points rolling right off the bat. The future is very bright. I think the sky’s the limit and I believe we will win a team national title in the next few years.

NYWN: Anything else?

MG: I’m ready to go get that gold. That’s what I’m going to Bulgaria for – gold and nothing else.

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.

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).

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

FLWC's Grey and Realbuto Win Titles; Buffalo Places Four at Edinboro Open

While the New York Division I wrestling teams didn’t see dual action on Saturday, a number of wrestlers from the Empire State placed at the Edinboro Open in Pennsylvania.

Realbuto, Photo by BV

A pair of grapplers from the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club (FLWC) in Ithaca won titles – Mark Grey (133) and Brian Realbuto (157).  Grey once again battled with Lehigh’s Mason Beckman, an opponent he has faced a number of times dating back to high school.  Beckman has had a very impressive redshirt year, but Grey came out with the 4-3 victory.  Meanwhile, Realbuto picked up five wins, including three by bonus points and topped Pittsburgh’s Donnie Tasser 9-7 in the championship bout.

Also placing for the FLWC were Gabe Dean at 184 (fourth) and Angelo Silvestro at 141 (fifth).

Those wrestlers will likely suit up for Cornell in the future.  Some current Big Red grapplers delivered strong performances on Saturday, with 197-pounder Billy George earning second place behind American’s Daniel Mitchell at 197 and 141-pounder Joe Rendina grabbing fourth.

Buffalo put four wrestlers on the podium, including three fourth place finishers – Blake Ruolo (149), Tony Lock (197) and Justin Heiserman (285).  Notching fifth was Justin Lozano at 165 pounds.  Lozano lost to eventual gold medalist Ian Miller of Kent State in the second round but came back to win five consolation matches.

Binghamton’s David White was edged in the 125-pound finals by Pittsburgh’s Anthony Zanetta, while 2012 Frewsburg High School state runner up Nick Mitchell of Edinboro picked up third at 174.  Mitchell’s one setback was against champion PJ Tasser of Pittsburgh, but he responded with four consecutive victories to collect bronze.

Brackets are available here: EUP_Open_2013

 

 

Weekend Recap: From Cornell and Army in Vegas to the Nittany Lion to High School Action, Including the Andersen and the Return of Vespa and Paddock

For the second consecutive year, Kyle Dake was atop the podium at the prestigious Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas.  The three-time NCAA champion eased his way through the tournament, pinning his first two opponents and then outscoring his foes 32-4 in his remaining three matches.

Kyle Dake, Photo by BV

Dake wasn’t the only finalist for the Big Red, which took third as a team behind Ohio State and Missouri with six total placers.  Also making the finals was freshman Nahshon Garrett, who continued his strong start in a Big Red singlet with a runner up finish to #4 Alan Waters of the Tigers.  The two will meet again in a few weeks in New York City at the “Grapple at the Garden” event.

All-American Mike Nevinger made the medal stand for the second year in a row in Vegas, as he took fourth at 141.  Chris Villalonga and Stryker Lane were both unseeded coming into the event, but both earned sixth place spots (at 149 and 285, respectively), while Jace Bennett took seventh at 197.

Joining the Cornell grapplers on the podium were a pair of Army wrestlers.  Nationally-ranked Daniel Young took eighth at 149 while Paul Hancock was seventh at 165.  The Black Knights stood 24th in the team standings.

Former Suffolk county standout Steven Keith of Harvard was fifth at 141 while Johnson City’s Pete Capone notched fourth at heavyweight for Ohio State.  For full brackets, see here

Cornell, Buffalo Each With Three Placers at the Nittany Lion Open

Photo by BV

The Cliff Keen Invitational wasn’t the only significant college tournament this weekend.  On the East Coast, Penn State hosted the Nittany Lion Open, an event with some brackets of more than 60 entrants.  A number of wrestlers representing Empire State teams impressed, with Mark Lewandowski of Buffalo taking second at 165 pounds behind last year’s NCAA champion, David Taylor.  Lewandowski’s teammates Max Soria (seventh at 125) and Wally Maziarz (eighth at 157) also placed.

For Cornell, Billy George and Joe Stanzione were both fourth, at 197 and 141, respectively while Ryan Dunphy took seventh at 149.

For the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club, Brian Realbuto continued his stellar year on the mat, making the semifinals before being disqualified. Mark Grey took sixth at 133, winning four straight after a second round loss in sudden victory to eventual runner up Jimmy Gulibon.  In the fifth place contest, Nassau’s Anthony Abidin, headed to Nebraska next year, defeated Grey, 9-3.

Former Duanesburg star Nick Gwiazdowski continued his successful redshirt campaign, taking first at heavyweight with a convincing major decision over Penn State’s Jimmy Lawson in the title bout.

For full results from the Nittany Lion Open, see here.

High School Weekend Watch – Andersen Tournament

In the high school ranks, there were a number of quality events throughout the state.  One was up North in Section 3, as the Bill Andersen Tournament was host to squads from Sections 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10.  When the brackets were released, fans were intrigued by the possibility of returning state champion Zack Zupan of Canastota meeting Christian Dietrich, an All-State wrestler from Greene who missed all of last season with injury.  The match came to fruition in the 182-pound finals, but there wasn’t much drama. Zupan notched a number of takedowns in a 13-5 victory.

Brandon Lapi, Photo by BV

Two-time state champion Kyle Kelly of Chenango Forks looked strong at his new weight, capturing the title at 113 pounds with two pins, followed by major decision in the finals.  Other New York state tournament veterans such as multi-time placer Brandon Lapi of Amsterdam and four-time qualifier Isaiah Perry of Massena earned gold at 132 and 138, respectively.

Section 4 power Greene showed that it will be very tough in the middle to upperweights with finalists in four straight weights, starting at 152. All-State wrestler Dan Dickman began the run with the title at 152, edging Tommy Quinlan of Fayetteville-Manlius in a 6-5 decision.  Mike Beckwith (160) didn’t have any close matches as he earned two pins and didn’t give up any points in his other contests while Joel Roselle (170) also had a pair of falls (and a technical fall) in addition to a 1-0 title bout victory over Daniel Smith of South Jefferson.

Smith and South Jefferson finished atop the team standings, led by a host of top three placers, including champions Jared Carroll (99) and Caleb Beach (106).  In addition, Jon Crast was second at 132 while Antonio Diaz was the runner up at 220.  In bronze position were Ryan Charlebois (195) and Trevor Cowles (160).

For full results see here.

Returns for Vespa and Paddock

Seeing the names Vinny Vespa and Aaron Paddock in the box scores from events this weekend was a welcome site.  Aaron Paddock recorded a fall at 170 in Warsaw’s meet with Campbell-Savona.

Meanwhile Vespa wrestled at 99 pounds for Monroe Woodbury, taking MOW honors at the Carlucci Duals at SUNY Purchase.  Monroe Woodbury won the title at the event with a finals victory over Section 1 power Fox Lane.  For a detailed account of that event, see here.

Battle at the Beach

In the weekend preview, we spoke about the Battle at the Beach taking place despite severe damage to host Long Beach High School.  (The event was moved to Lynbrook High).

Dan McDevitt, Photo by BV

Wantagh won the event convincingly, with an improved Hewlett squad taking second and Syosset grabbing third.  NHSCA Nationals All-American Kyle Quinn of the Warriors earned Most Outstanding Wrestler honors after defeating Long Beach’s Steven Sewkumar in an exciting 113-pound final.  Also capturing titles for the Warriors were Jonathan Loew at 99 pounds, Chris Araoz at 132, Vinny Turano at 138, Nick Vines at 145, returning All-Stater Dan McDevitt at 170 and James Corbett at 182.  Turano and McDevitt beat teammates in the finals –  Matthew Langan and Richard Grillo, respectively.

Several other wrestlers stood out.  Vito Arujau made a successful debut for Syosset at 106, dominating his way to the title.   According to NYWN contributor Irwin Loew, 160-pound winner Tim Davidson of Kellenberg had a stellar day on his way to the top of the podium.  Other champions were: Mike Petrone of South Side (120), Simon Greebel (Hewlett, 126), Konstantin Parfiyev (James Madison, 152), Dan Choi (Syosset, 195), Matt Mott (Lynbrook, 220) and Lester Enriquez (Hewlett, 285).  For more results from this event, see below.

Team Scores

1. Wantagh 357.5

2. Hewlett 210.5

3. Syosset 200

4. Clarke 150.5

5. Long Beach 133.5

Championship Finals

99 – Jonathan Loew (Wan) TF Alex Vargas (Syo) TF 18-2 3:46
106 – Vito Arujau (Syo) pinned Jack Nicholas (Syo) F 1:06
113 – Kyle Quinn (Wan) dec. Steven Sewkumar (LB) 6-4
120 – Michael Petrone (SS) md. Tyler Constantine (Clk) 12-1
126 – Simon Greebel (Hew) dec. Joe Hoffman (Clk) 4-1
132 – Chris Araoz (Wan) TF Charlie Curcio (Lyn) 16-0
138 – Vinny Turano (Wan) dec. Matt Langan (Wan) 7-3
145 – Nick Vines (Wan) dec. Rob Rosenberg (Hew) 3-2
152 – Konstantin Parfiryeva (Mad) def. Michael Tropiano (EM) by dflt
160 – Tim Davison (KM) pinned Joe Truono (Clk) F 0:48
170 – Dan McDevitt (Wan) TF Rich Grillo (Wan) 16-0
182 – James Corbett (Wan) TF Cedrick Stephens (Win) 15-0
195 – Dan Choi (Syo) pinned Zamarr Allen (LB) F 3:19
220 – Matt Mott (Lyn) pinned Enndy Nunez (Clk) F 0:35
285 – Lester Enriquez (Hew) dec. Mark Ifraimov (Mad) 7-0

Most Outstanding Wrestler: Kyle Quinn (Wantagh, 113)

Most Falls, Least Time: Matt Mott (Lynbrook, 220) – 4 in 7:19

 

For details on more of the high school action this weekend, see here.

To report results, please e-mail newyorkwrestlingnews@gmail.com