2013 Fargo Preview for New York: Who Will Shine in the Summer's Biggest Tournament?

The eyes of wrestling fans will turn to Fargo, North Dakota over the next several days as many of the best competitors in the country will take the mat to crown Freestyle and Greco Roman national champions.  Who from the Empire State will shine in the biggest tournament of the summer?  There are always some surprises, but the following is a look at some of those who could make an impact for Team New York. 

Will there be repeat champions?

Alexis Porter

A year ago, New York had over 25 All-Americans at Fargo, with three national championships.  Those titles came from the women’s competition where Shenendehowa’s Alexis Porter took top honors in both the Cadet (143 pounds) and Junior (139 pounds) brackets and Mary Westman collected gold at Junior 159.

Porter, who will represent the USA at the World championships later this summer, will have the chance to add to her trophy collection.  Also looking to be a gold medalist at this event again is Rosemary Flores, a double champion in 2011 who was third a year ago at 130 pounds.

 

Who Will Excel at the Junior Level for New York?

In addition to the strong women’s contingent, the men’s side features a number of wrestlers who have the ability to win it all.  Among them are nationally-ranked grapplers who captured crowns in both Freestyle and Greco at the New York championships in Binghamton back in May.

Photo by BV

Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (138) is one of them.  The Cheektowoga standout was third in Greco last summer at the Fargodome and after another impressive performance at the Junior Duals in Oklahoma a few weeks ago (9-0 in Freestyle, 6-1 in Greco), he looks poised to challenge for the biggest prize.  Also starring for Team New York in the Sooner State were former Fargo placers Burke Paddock (160) and Reggie Williams (195).  Paddock, who recently committed to the University of Iowa, was a combined 15-1 at the Junior Duals, while Williams, who notched fifth at 215 in Cadet Freestyle two years ago, is ready to get on the medal stand again. (Perhaps also keep an eye out for Roland Zilberman, who went unbeaten at the Junior Duals across both styles at 195 and 220 pounds).

Another one of the Empire State’s top seniors, William Koll of Lansing, was dominant in winning double New York titles for the second consecutive year and after a strong showing at the Western Regional in April and at the Disney Duals, will look to pick up hardware in North Dakota at 126.

Like Koll, Adis Radoncic (170) and Matt Abbott (285) earned New York state folkstyle titles this February in Albany. Both will compete in Fargo, as will a bevy of other placers from the Times Union Center in 2013, including silver medalist Chris Koo and third placers Troy Seymour and Alex Smythe.  Koo, Seymour and Smythe will all wrestle at 160 pounds. Additional high school medalists from 2013 will represent the Empire State, such as Golan Cohen (113), Cheick Ndiaye (120), Freddie Dunau (132), Ryan Snow (132), Konstantin Parfiryev (170), Andrew Psomas (170), Nick Weber (195) and Sam Eagan (220).

Chris Cuccolo of Pine Bush, who was an All-American in 2011 and 2012 at Fargo will see action at 106, while another returning placer, Ben Honis, moves up from the Cadet ranks.  Matthew Morris, who grabbed first place in both styles at the New York championships and wrestled well at the Junior Duals, will be at 120.

 

Who Will Lead the Way in the Cadet Tournaments?

While there were a number of double New York champions in the Junior division, as discussed previously, there were more in the Cadet brackets, with 10 wrestlers grabbing titles in both Freestyle and Greco.

Two of those grapplers – Locust Valley’s Sam Ward (138) and Shenendehowa’s Jesse Porter (152) – placed at the Fargodome in 2012 in Greco Roman action and are threats to repeat as All-Americans.

A host of other Cadets look for breakthrough performances in the next week.  Leonard Merkin of Poly Prep and James Bethel are a strong candidates, as they impressed with undefeated showings at the Cadet Duals in Daytona Beach.  Meanwhile, Empire State champions in both international styles such as Nick Casella (120), Ian Lupole (126), Gino Titone (145), Jacob Woolson (170), Aidan Mathews (195) and Peter Strassfield (285) all look to make their marks.  Also keep an eye on state placer Vinny Vespa of Monroe Woodbury, who will make his Fargo debut at 106.

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It all begins on Saturday afternoon with Women’s Cadet action.

Who will take advantage of the opportunity to face and beat some of the nation’s best over the next week or so at Fargo?  Stay tuned and check back for updates on New York wrestlers throughout the tournament.

(All the above wrestlers were listed as part of Team New York as of Thursday night).

Here’s the list of last year’s (2012) New York All-Americans at Fargo:

Junior Greco

106 Pounds: Kyle Kelly, 7th Place

113 Pounds: Josh Antoine, 8th Place

120 Pounds: Santo Curatolo, 6th Place

132 Pounds: Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, 3rd Place

152 Pounds: Brendan Goldup, 5th Place

160 Pounds: Connor Sutton, 5th Place

182 Pounds: McZiggy Richards, 4th Place

182 Pounds: Chris Loew, 7th Place

 Junior Freestyle

132 Pounds: Nick Kelley, 4th Place

138 Pounds: Quinton Murphy, 2nd Place

145 Pounds: David Almaviva, 8th Place

152 Pounds: Brian Realbuto, 4th Place

160 Pounds: Dylan Palacio, 4th Place

160 Pounds: Tyler Grimaldi, 6th Place

Cadet Greco

94 Pounds: Chris Cuccolo, 5th

132 Pounds: Jesse Porter, 4th

132 Pounds: Sam Ward, 7th

182 Pounds: Benjamin Honis, 7th

 Cadet Freestyle

138 Pounds: Thomas Dutton, 8th Place

195 Pounds: Chris Tangora, 8th Place

Cadet Women

143 Pounds: Alexis Porter, Champion

143 Pounds: Kennedie Eddings,6th

172 Pounds: Yuneris Diaz, 3rd

Junior Women

112 Pounds: Hanna Grisewood, 2nd Place

130 Pounds: Rosemary Flores, 3rd Place

139 Pounds: Alexis Porter, Champion

159 Pounds: Mary Westman, Champion

172 Pounds: Yuneris Diaz, 5th Place

 

World Team Trials Recap: Dake Wins Challenge Tournament; Falls to Burroughs (and More)

 
 
Jordan Burroughs is the defending Olympic and World champion. Now he’ll have a chance to win another significant international crown after he captured the 74 kg class in the best-of-three championship series at the World Team Trials in Stillwater, Oklahoma over Cornell’s Kyle Dake.

Burroughs came out firing, taking a 2-0 lead just seconds into the first bout of the best-of-three championship series.  Afterward, he continued to attack, notching a 7-0 technical fall in the opening stanza.  

The second match was a different story as Dake made adjustments to push Burroughs to the limit in an electrifying contest. The former Nebraska star took an early 1-0 lead, but Dake bounced back with a three-point move and at the conclusion of the first period, it was 4-4. In the second, Dake took a 6-4 advantage with 1:50 remaining, but Burroughs responded with just under a minute to go to tie it up again at 6. In overtime, Burroughs ended things with a takedown to get the victory. (The final score was 9-6 after Dake lost the appeal of the winning TD).

To punch his ticket to the title series, Dake had a difficult path and a number of high quality victories. In the span of just a few hours, he defeated a former World Team member (Trent Paulson), the top seed in the Challenge bracket (David Taylor) and a very formidable freestyle wrestler (Andrew Howe).  To put it in perspective, each of those three opponents is a three-time college All-American and an NCAA champion.

It all began against Paulson, the last wrestler to defeat Dake.  The former Iowa State grappler topped the Cornell graduate at the US Olympic Trials in 2012 in a three-period contest, but this time, it wasn’t close.  The Lansing native earned a technical fall with an 8-1 victory which he controlled throughout.

Next up was another familiar face – Taylor.  In their only freestyle meeting, which was last spring, Dake won by fall. Then, during the 2012-13 collegiate campaign, Dake registered a trio of one-point victories, including at the NCAA tournament where Dake collected his fourth national crown.  The location of the match was new on Friday, but the outcome was the same, as Dake came out on top 7-4 to earn a meeting with Howe.

The Sooner grappler jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Dake bounced back to tie things up at 2, sending the bout to overtime. It took nearly six minutes for the winning points to come about, but it was Dake that struck in the extra session, clinching a 4-2 triumph and first place in the Challenge Tournament.

That finish meant the opportunity to battle Burroughs in the best-of-three series.

Dake wasn’t the only New York entrant at 74 kg on Friday.  Both Hofstra assistant Dan Vallimont and Staten Island native Kevin Hartnett competed in that bracket, each dropping a pair of bouts.

In Greco Roman, Dmitry Ryabchinsky began the competition with a 7-0 technical fall before dropping his second bout to top seeded Spenser Mango.  The former PSAL grappler took fourth place at 55 kg.

Meanwhile, Mary Westman took the mat in women’s freestyle, but didn’t place at 72 kg.

Action resumes tomorrow at noon Eastern time with men’s freestyle (55, 66, 84 and 120 kg), Greco Roman (60, 74 and 96 kg) and women’s freestyle (48 and 63 kg).

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).

Fargo 2012 Recap for NY: Three National Champs and More Than 25 All-Americans

After eight days full of wrestling at Fargo, New York boasted three National Champions, 28 total All-Americans and a number of breakout performances.

The following are some of the stories that emerged during the week.

Seniors Go Out Strong

The Empire State’s class of 2012 was outstanding, featuring the winningest wrestler in state history (Quinton Murphy), a National Champion who represented the USA All-Stars at both the Dapper Dan and Dream Team Duals (Brian Realbuto) and a grappler who remained undefeated throughout the high school campaign, the New York Freestyle and Greco States, the NHSCA Senior Nationals and the Disney Duals (Dylan Palacio). In all, five New Yorkers were ranked in Intermat’s final Top 100.

Brian Realbuto, Photo by Boris Veysman

Murphy, Realbuto and Palacio all placed in the top four in brackets of more than 75 entrants at Fargo, going a combined 23-6 against some of the best in the nation.

After a bronze medal finish in 2011, Murphy returned and took silver at 138 pounds.  He showed resilience, winning five in a row to make the finals after losing a match on the opening day.  He will next compete in the Big 10 as a member of the Indiana Hoosiers.

Realbuto and Palacio will also wear red in college – Cornell Big Red.   Both took fourth on Saturday after impressive runs.

Realbuto, last year’s champion at 145, wrestled well despite an injury.  He defaulted to Oliver Pierce, a wrestler he defeated last year at this tournament, to take fourth.  Similarly, Palacio was dominant for much of the event and stood fourth on the podium after dropping his final bout against Wisconsin’s Matt Gray on Saturday.

All three will be worth watching on the NCAA scene in the coming years.

Stating Their Cases

The early national rankings included several Empire State representatives, such as Nicky Hall, Troy Seymour, Nick Lupi and Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer.  But several of the state’s top rising seniors who weren’t listed made clear statements over the past few days.

Tyler Grimaldi, a 2012 state runner up who was an All-American at the NHSCA Junior Nationals in the spring, once again made his presence felt at a national event, winning seven matches and taking sixth place in the deep 160 pound bracket.

“I always see the rankings, but they don’t mean too much to me,” Grimaldi said. “It’s all about wrestling on the mat and getting the wins.  With more wins, the rankings will come.”

Those rankings may also come for other members of the Empire State squad.

Kyle Kelly of Chenango Forks, a two-time champion in New York, made the medal stand for the second consecutive year in Greco, and a pair of workout partners from Section 2, Nick Kelley (fourth at 132 pounds) and David Almaviva (eighth at 145 pounds) showcased their skills in Junior Freestyle.  Kelley, a multi-time state placer, picked up seven victories, defeating nationally-ranked grapplers such as Jared McKinley of Indiana.

“Before the tournament, I was really hoping to be an All-American, but you never know how it will work out there with the draw and so many great wrestlers,” Kelley said. “I felt like I was pretty strong at the weight. I had some tough matches where I think my strength and my conditioning were big advantages.  When the matches went on longer, I felt more confident.  I felt like [opponents] started dying down and I started regaining energy.”

The same could be said for Almaviva, who was wrestling up a weight from the high school season.

“It was great watching [Almaviva] do so well, especially wrestling up at 145,” Kelley said. “It seemed like he was still stronger than most of the guys he wrestled.”

Plainsmen on the Podium

Nick Kelley, Photo by Boris Veysman

Kelley and Almaviva weren’t the only success stories from their school this weekend.  Some entire states captured five or fewer medals.  Shenenedehowa High School earned five on its own, including a pair of national titles in the women’s competition by Alexis Porter and a Cadet Greco fourth place showing by Jesse Porter.

“There are a ton of All-Americans to work with in our room now,” Kelley said. “Having practice partners like that helps us all get better. We have a lot of tough wrestlers coming back next year.  I think we’ll be pretty solid.”

Head coach Rob Weeks will certainly have a solid team, one that will likely be a top contender again in Albany.

Girl Power

Speaking of Alexis Porter . . . the ladies brought home three national titles.

“Getting a pin in the Cadet finals like Alexis did – that’s a big deal,” Kelley said.  “Then, winning another title in Junior Freestyle was great. She had a great tournament.”

In addition to Porter’s two championships, Mary Westman improved upon her second place showing in 2011 to demonstrate that she is the top 159-pounder in the land.

Warsaw’s Hanna Grisewood was also a finalist for the Empire State, taking second at 112 and Rosemary Flores was third at 130 pounds a year after taking double titles.

The Future

Quite a few of the stars of this year’s event will be eligible to return.  In addition to wrestlers such as Nick Kelley, Almaviva, Grimaldi, Kyle Kelly, Flores and the Porters, several others who made an impact may wear the New York singlet again in 2013.

Rodriguez-Spencer went 10-2 at the Junior Duals and followed that up with a third place finish in Greco.  He’ll be a threat in both styles next year, as will Chris Cuccolo who medaled in Greco this year after placing in both styles in 2011.

Leading the charge for the Cadets were Freestyle All-Americans Thomas Dutton and Chris Tangora as well as Greco placer Benjamin Honis, who was one win short of medaling in Freestyle as well.  They will be joined by Santo Curatolo, Brendan Goldup and Sam Ward, who will look to climb higher on the podium.

And of course, there are the wrestlers who didn’t become All-Americans this time, but will break through the barrier next year.  Just ask Nick Kelley, who was 3-2 in his last appearance at Fargo in 2010.  Or Grimaldi, who went 1-2 last July.

“I got beaten up last year at Fargo,” Grimaldi said.  “It was tough.  But over the entire year I had the mentality of working hard to do better.  Am I happy with 6th this year?  No.  But if I put it in perspective and look at the step I took from last year, I realize it was a big accomplishment.  I’m 100% coming back next year.  I have unfinished business in Fargo, North Dakota.”

That kind of mentality promises to bring a large medal haul back to New York in July of 2013.  But for now, with Fargo 2012 in the rearview mirror, it’s time to change the focus back to folkstyle.  The countdown to the 2012-13 high school season has begun.

 

2012 New York All-Americans at Fargo

Junior

106 Pounds: Kyle Kelly, 7th Place Greco

113 Pounds: Josh Antoine, 8th Place Greco

120 Pounds: Santo Curatolo, 6th Place Greco

132 Pounds: Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, 3rd Place Greco

152 Pounds: Brendan Goldup, 5th Place Greco

160 Pounds: Connor Sutton, 5th Place Greco

182 Pounds: McZiggy Richards, 4th Place Greco

182 Pounds: Chris Loew, 7th Place Greco

 

132 Pounds: Nick Kelley, 4th Place Freestyle

138 Pounds: Quinton Murphy, 2nd Place Freestyle

145 Pounds: David Almaviva, 8th Place Freestyle

152 Pounds: Brian Realbuto, 4th Place Freestyle

160 Pounds: Dylan Palacio, 4th Place Freestyle

160 Pounds: Tyler Grimaldi 6th Place Freestyle

 

Cadet

94 Pounds: Chris Cuccolo, Cadet Greco 5th

132 Pounds: Jesse Porter, Cadet Greco 4th

132 Pounds: Sam Ward, Cadet Greco 7th

182 Pounds: Benjamin Honis, Cadet Greco 7th

 

138 Pounds: Thomas Dutton, 8th Place Freestyle

195 Pounds: Chris Tangora, 8th Place Freestyle

 

Women –  Cadet

143 Pounds: Alexis Porter, Cadet Freestyle Champion

143 Pounds: Kennedie Eddings, Cadet Freestyle 6th

172 Pounds: Yuneris Diaz, Cadet Freestyle 3rd

 

Women –  Junior

112 Pounds: Hanna Grisewood, 2nd Place

130 Pounds: Rosemary Flores, 3rd Place

139 Pounds: Alexis Porter, Champion

159 Pounds: Mary Westman, Champion

172 Pounds: Yuneris Diaz, 5th Place

Honis, Dutton, Vines and Tangora Move On in Cadet Freestyle on Day 5 at Fargo

On Wednesday, the fifth day of competition at Fargo, the Men’s Cadet Freestyle tournament began and four New York wrestlers remained in medal contention after the first day of action.

  • At 138 pounds, Rocky Point’s Thomas Dutton went 4-1 with three pins to advance.  He will face Miguel Barreras of New Mexico, who also went 4-1, in his first bout on Thursday.
  • At 145 pounds, Nick Vines of Wantagh won three of his four matches and will take on Weston Dobler of North Dakota in the next round.
  • At 182 pounds, Jamesville-Dewitt’s Benjamin Honis won all three of his bouts and will have a bye in Round 4 on Thursday.  Honis earned All-America honors in the Cadet Greco event earlier in the week.
  • At 195 pounds, Bethlehem Central rising sophomore Chris Tangora went 2-1 and will next take the mat against Montana grappler Matthew Welch, also 2-1.

The Empire State women’s team provided a number of highlights throughout the week, including three National Champions – Mary Westman (159 pounds, Junior Freestyle) and Alexis Porter (in both the Cadet and Junior divisions). In addition, the squad boasted five additional All-Americans.   On Wednesday, the team placed eighth in the Women’s Freestyle Duals.

 Full List of 2012 New York All-Americans – In All Competitions

Junior

106 Pounds: Kyle Kelly, 7th Place Greco

113 Pounds: Josh Antoine, 8th Place Greco

120 Pounds: Santo Curatolo, 6th Place Greco

132 Pounds: Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, 3rd Place Greco

152 Pounds: Brendan Goldup, 5th Place Greco

160 Pounds: Connor Sutton, 5th Place Greco

182 Pounds: McZiggy Richards, 4th Place Greco

182 Pounds: Chris Loew, 7th Place Greco

 

Cadet

94 Pounds: Chris Cuccolo, Cadet Greco 5th

132 Pounds: Jesse Porter, Cadet Greco 4th

132 Pounds: Sam Ward, Cadet Greco 7th

182 Pounds: Benjamin Honis, Cadet Greco 7th

 

Women –  Cadet

143 Pounds: Alexis Porter, Cadet Freestyle Champion

143 Pounds: Kennedie Eddings, Cadet Freestyle 6th

172 Pounds: Yuneris Diaz, Cadet Freestyle 3rd

 

Women –  Junior

112 Pounds: Hanna Grisewood, 2nd Place

130 Pounds: Rosemary Flores, 3rd Place

139 Pounds: Alexis Porter, Champion

159 Pounds: Mary Westman, Champion

172 Pounds: Yuneris Diaz, 5th Place

Porter and Westman Capture Freestyle National Titles and Eight Become All-Americans in Junior Greco

Now there are three National Championship plaques heading back to New York.

On Saturday night, Alexis Porter picked up the first National Title for the Empire State in Cadet Women’s Freestyle action at 143 pounds.  On Tuesday, Porter made it two-for-two at Fargo, capturing her second crown of the week, this time in Junior competition at 139 pounds with a 1-0, 1-0 victory over Jasmine Mendoza of California.

Joining Porter on top of the podium on Tuesday evening was Mary Westman, the title winner at 159 pounds.  The Jamestown College-bound wrestler topped Kiaya Von Soyoc of Washington in the title bout.  After dropping the opening period 7-2, Westman responded by dominating the remainder of the match.  She stayed on the attack, getting to her opponent’s legs often, to take the last two periods by the scores of 7-2 and 3-1.

Also earning All-America honors were Hanna Grisewood of Warsaw, who was the runner up at 112 pounds after picking up five wins, and Rosemary Flores, who took third at 130 pounds after registering pins in five of her six victories. Yuneris Diaz rounded out the New York medalists, grabbing fifth at 172 pounds.

Eight Become 2012 Junior Greco All-Americans

On the men’s side, eight New Yorkers were crowned All-Americans in Junior Greco Roman.  Leading the way was 2012 state runner up Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, who took third at 132 pounds after notching six victories in seven matches.

Joining him on the medal stand were a pair of future Columbia wrestlers, Connor Sutton (fifth at 160) and Chris Loew (seventh at 182).  Sutton’s high school teammate at LaSalle Institute, Brendan Goldup, was also fifth (at 152 pounds), while a trio of PSAL standouts also gained All-America status: McZiggy Richards (fourth at 182), Santo Curatolo (sixth at 120) and Josh Antoine (eighth at 113).  Kyle Kelly (106) grabbed seventh for the second consecutive year in Greco competition.

The Junior Freestyle tournament begins on Thursday.

 Full List of 2012 New York All-Americans – In All Competitions

Junior

106 Pounds: Kyle Kelly, 7th Place Greco

113 Pounds: Josh Antoine, 8th Place Greco

120 Pounds: Santo Curatolo, 6th Place Greco

132 Pounds: Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, 3rd Place Greco

152 Pounds: Brendan Goldup, 5th Place Greco

160 Pounds: Connor Sutton, 5th Place Greco

182 Pounds: McZiggy Richards, 4th Place Greco

182 Pounds: Chris Loew, 7th Place Greco

 

Cadet

94 Pounds: Chris Cuccolo, Cadet Greco 5th

132 Pounds: Jesse Porter, Cadet Greco 4th

132 Pounds: Sam Ward, Cadet Greco 7th

182 Pounds: Benjamin Honis, Cadet Greco 7th

 

Women –  Cadet

143 Pounds: Alexis Porter, Cadet Freestyle Champion

143 Pounds: Kennedie Eddings, Cadet Freestyle 6th

172 Pounds: Yuneris Diaz, Cadet Freestyle 3rd

 

Women –  Junior

112 Pounds: Hanna Grisewood, 2nd Place

130 Pounds: Rosemary Flores, 3rd Place

139 Pounds: Alexis Porter, Champion

159 Pounds: Mary Westman, Champion

172 Pounds: Yuneris Diaz, 5th Place