On the first weekend in August, a number of Empire State wrestlers headed to the Jersey Shore to face top notch competition at the NUWAY Summer Championships. New York was well represented in both the individual (five champions) and dual (two top seven teams) action. For more details, read on.
On Saturday, 26 squads from six different states took the mat to crown a dual meet champion. Both of the New York entries – Team NYWAY and 631 Elite fared well, with third and seventh place showings, respectively. Several nationally-ranked grapplers participated, such as the top high school wrestler in the country – Chance Marstellar of Pennsylvania.
Team NYWAY‘s bronze medal came after 4-1 record. The group began the day with two convincing victories – a 46-2 triumph over Paramus featuring five pins, and a 37-10 result against Ohio’s Titan Wrestling Club. The New Yorkers lost just one contested bout during those meets.
The squad then moved on to the Gold Bracket with the other pool winners, and the results were similar early on. Against Team Triumph Maize, the team got off to a great start courtesy of Kelan McKenna and Yianni Diakomihalis, who picked up a pin and technical fall at 102 and 108 to build an 11-0 cushion. NYWAY then clinched the 30-14 victory down the stretch with four consecutive victories — by Connor Lapresi (145), Anthony Deprez (155), Quinn Zsido (167) and Collin Pittman (182).
That led to the semifinals, where NYWAY and Michigan’s Flat River Chubb Chubb each won six bouts. However, the squad from the Wolverine State rode a pair of falls, a major and two forfeits to a tight 23-21 victory. (Forfeits were worth two points).
The New Yorkers responded well to their only setback of the day, however, with a dominant 33-6 performance against the Michigan Gold Pitbulls in the consolation bracket. In fact, the outcome was never in doubt as New York won the first nine matches to earn a place in the bronze match against Triumph Maize.
A number of NYWAY wrestlers went unbeaten on Saturday, including 5-0 grapplers Yianni Diakomihalis (two pins, three technical falls at 108) and Connor Lapresi at 145. Kelan McKenna and Theo Powers combined for a perfect record at 102, while Collin Pittman won all of his matches at 182.
Meanwhile, Long Island-based 631 Elite also began Saturday in dominant fashion, easing through Pool D action with a trio of commanding victories – 30-8 over Freehold Regional High School, 46-2 against Team Parsippany and 43-5 versus Long Branch. So, it was on to the Gold Bracket.
Against Michigan’s Flat River Chubb Chubb, 631 Elite got off to a hot start, capturing decisions in the first four contests. (The wins were by Matteo Devincenzo (102), Peter Pappas (108), Jesse Dellavecchia (117) and Evan Corso (125)). However, the Michigan squad grabbed six of the final eight matches to come out on top 27-18. The next dual, against Triumph Maize ended in an 18-18 deadlock, but the New Jersey team was awarded the victory on criteria, and it was on to the seventh place match for 631 Elite.
The wrestlers ended the day in style, besting the Mat Factory Wrestling Club (Pennsylvania) 22-16 to take seventh. Leading the way throughout the event were a trio of competitors who went 6-0 – Matteo DeVincenzo (102 pounds), Peter Pappas (108) and Jimmy Leach (145).
Several individuals also stood out in Long Branch on Friday, as wrestlers took the mat in three different age groups. New York had at least one champion at each level (Elementary, Middle School, High School).
The Diakomihalis family picked up titles in both the Elementary (Greg at 64/68 pounds) and High School (Yianni at 108) divisions. Both grapplers went 3-0 with each of their victories by bonus points. Greg had a pin and a pair of majors in which he outscored his opponents 25-2. Yianni, a 2013 New York state champion as an eighth grader, had a major decision against fellow Empire Stater Peter Pappas sandwiched in between two falls. Pappas, from Nassau County, rebounded to take bronze.
Another returning state finalist, Matteo DeVincenzo of Suffolk County, won a challenging bracket on Friday in which the top three placers were medalists at the Times Union Center in February. Devincenzo began with a technical fall over James Verbeyst in round one before topping Mexico’s Theo Powers 4-2 in the semis. Then, in the title bout, Devincenzo blanked VVS Youth Wrestling’s Kelan McKenna, 4-0. Powers came back for third.
There was more gold for New York in the High School event, with 2012 All-Stater Jimmy Overhiser of Corning, winning at 117. The Wyoming Seminary-bound grappler began with a fall over an Ohio foe and followed with a 7-2 triumph over state placer Jesse Dellavecchia of 631 Elite in the semis. He then earned a 5-3 win over Val Miele. Another New Yorker, Jon Errico of Iowa Style, lost only to Miele and took third.
Representing the Empire State as a champion at the Middle School level was David Flynn of Lions, who registered a pair of falls in :49 and 2:00 to win at 145 pounds.
Individual champions Yianni and Greg Diakomihalis were among the competitors that didn’t have enough wrestling after Friday and Saturday’s action. They traveled to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania along with fellow G2 World Wrestling Academy grapplers Collin Pittman, Ryan Burgos, Anthony Deprez and Kyle Pittman late on Saturday to participate at the American State Games on Sunday.
The following are the members of Team NYWAY and 631 Elite and the individual champions from the NUWAY Summer Championships.
102 Theo Powers
102 Kelan McKenna
108 Yianni Diakomihalis
117 Jimmy Overhiser
130 Bryan Lantry
138 Richie Burke
145 Connor Lapresi
155 Anthony Deprez
167 Quinn Zsido
182 Collin Pittman
102 Matteo Devincenzo
108 Peter Pappas
117 Jesse Dellavecchia
125 Evan Corso
130 Tristin Devincenzo
138 Chris Mauriello
145 Jimmy Leach
155 Luke Drugac
167 Dennis Ferro
182 Jake Horton
200 Christian Araneo
Individual Tournament Champions
Elementary – 45/51 Joshua Jasionowicz of Peak Performance
Elementary – 64/68 Greg Diakomihalis of NYWAY
Elementary – 78/84 John Martin Best of Parkersburg Cougars
Elementary – 90/97 Anthony Russo of Unattached
Middle School – 75/90 Joey Carmichael of Scorpions
Middle School – 100 James Verbeyst of PAWS Elite
Middle School – 105/119 Robbie Garcia of Vernon
Middle School – 126/135 Zachary Rooks of Unattached
Middle School – 145 David Flynn of Lions
High School – 102 Matteo DeVincenzo of Unattached
High School – 108 Yianni Diakomihalis of NYWAY
High School – 117 Jimmy Overhiser of G2 World wrestling Academy
High School – 125 Nick Farro of X-Cel
High School – 130 Zack Cooper of Flat River Chubb Chubb
High School – 138 Jordan Hall of Flat River Chubb Chubb
High School – 145 Jesse Rodgers of Mat Factory
High School – 155 Nick Vandermeer of Flat River Chubb Chubb
High School – 167 Devon Pingel of Flat River Chubb Chubb
High School – 182 Tommy Sleigh of Mat Factory
High School – 200 Garett Stehley of Flat River Chubb Chubb
High School – 295 Ryan Prescott of Flat River Chubb Chubb