Champions in Vegas: Tristan Rifanburg and Connor Calkins Win Titles at the "Freak Show"; Cirillo and Cox Take Second

Two New York wrestlers ended their weekend in Vegas with championships.

At the Southwest Kickoff Classic, otherwise known as the “Freak Show”, three-time state finalist Tristan Rifanburg of Norwich grabbed gold at 138 pounds while Connor Calkins of Alfred-Almond earned first place at 288.  Both represented Team NYWAY.

Rifanburg, Photo by BV

Rifanburg was in control throughout the event, beating his five opponents by a combined score of 36-2, including a 6-0 triumph over Jacob Macalolooy of Dragons Den in the title bout.

Calkins was similarly dominant, with four victories at heavyweight.  After taking top honors at the Journeymen Classic a few weeks ago, the Binghamton recruit followed up with a strong showing in Nevada, including a 5-2 triumph over Justin Gillham in the championship contest.

Also placing in the High School Elite Division was Lansing’s two-time state titlewinner William Koll, who nabbed fifth at 128 pounds with a 6-2 mark.  Both of his losses came by two points to New Mexico’s Richard Rico Montoya, however, Koll notched a technical fall and a major along the way.

At 108 pounds, John Arceri of Huntington/Ascend came within one win of the podium after capturing three victories, while Mexico’s Theo Powers also competed in that bracket.  Also on Team NYWAY was Julian Korfine, who took the mat at 143 pounds.

In the 15 & Under Division, New York boasted a pair of second place finishers – Thomas Cox of 631 Elite/VHW at 95 pounds and Rocky Point’s Anthony Cirillo at 108.  Cox won his first four contests, giving up just two points, before dropping the finals match to Jaden Abas.

Meanwhile, Cirillo had an incredible run to the finals, pinning his first five foes. (None of the matches lasted three minutes).  Hayden Uhler stopped Cirillo’s streak in the championship round.

Cirillo’s Rocky Point teammate Jackie Gold also saw success, racking up a major and three technical falls at 125 pounds.

In the 9 & 10 competition, Carter Schubert of Superior Wrestling Academy took fifth at 61 pounds after collecting five wins.  He was a champion in Vegas in 2012.

For full results, see and search for “Southwest Kickoff Classic”.


Nine New York Wrestlers Win Championships at MAWA Eastern Nationals While Numerous Others Place


Thayer, Photo by BV

While many New Yorkers wrestled at the Northeast Regionals in Freestyle and Greco over the weekend, a large group traveled South to Maryland to compete for folkstyle titles at the MAWA Eastern Nationals.

The Empire State grapplers brought a lot of hardware back home, with 17 wrestlers making the finals, including nine champions. Many familiar faces captured gold, including 2012 or 2013 All-Staters such as Port Jefferson’s Matteo DeVincenzo, Mexico’s Theo Powers, Walt Whitman’s Joe Calderone, Johnson City’s Reggie Williams and Unatego’s Kevin Thayer and Ryan Marszal. In addition, at the Midget level, Norwich’s Troy Spratley won it all at 62 pounds, while Nassau County lightweight Peter Pappas did the same at 105 pounds in the Intermediate competition. Meanwhile, Johnny Miller of Shirley took the crown in the Open division at 142 pounds.

A number of other wrestlers who stood on the podium in Albany this year earned silver, including Norwich’s Tristan Rifanburg, Stony Point’s Matt Caputo and Johnson City’s Zach Colgan. Joining them in the runner up position were Nolan McGregor of Hornell and Braiden Woodward of Canisteo in the Bantam class, Connor Hamilton of Forestport in Intermediate action and Elite competitors Richie Burke of Ithaca and Conner Halladay of Chenango Forks.

For the full list of New York placers, see below:


Troy Spratley (Norwich), Midget 62
Peter Pappas (Plainview), Intermediate 105
Matteo DeVincenzo (Port Jefferson), Advanced 100
Theo Powers (Mexico), Advanced 105
Ryan Marszal (Unadilla), Advanced 171
Joe Calderone (Huntington Station), Elite 118
Kevin Thayer (Otego), Elite 160
Reggie Williams (Johnson City), Elite 220
Johnny Miller (Shirley), Open 142

Second Place

Nolan McGregor (Hornell), Bantam 48
Braiden Woodward (Canisteo), Bantam 56
Connor Hamilton (Forestport), Intermediate 220
Tristan Rifanburg (Norwich), Advanced 152
Richie Burke (Ithaca), Elite 135
Matt Caputo (Stony Point), Elite 145
Zach Colgan (Johnson City), Elite 160
Conner Halladay (Chenango Forks), Elite 171

Third Place

Brody Oleksak (Afton), Midget 75
Elijah Rodriguez (Norwich), Junior 74
Trentyn Rupert (Newark Valley), Junior 166
Derek Spann (Boonville), Advanced 105
Holden Pelton (Adams), Advanced 135
Josh Burge (Beaver Dams), Advanced 171
Nick McShea (Highland Mills), Advanced 189
Simon Greebel (Woodmere), Elite 130
Codie Nichols (Otego), Elite 152
Nate Silverthorn (Watertown), Open 158
Brian Slattery (Mount Sinai), Open 295

Fourth Place

Max Morris (Norwich), Bantam 52
Andrew Brown (Norwich), Midget 50
Haiden Burns (Bainbridge), Midget 80
Lucas Scott (Binghamton), Midget 134
Micah Roes (Lowville), Junior 62
Corey Connolly (Shirley), Junior 91
Benjamin Bivar (Sidney), Intermediate 120
Troy Feniger (Stony Point), Elite 135
John V. Hoke (Nanuet), Open 158
Jason Lichtenstein (Middletown), Open 295

Fifth Place

Bryson L. Terwilliger (Hornell), Junior 58
Chandler Merwin (Walton), Junior 70
Ryan Burgbacher (Medford), Junior 86
Evan Barsczak (Central Valley), Advanced 115
Howie Nolan (Bermus Point), Advanced 160
Brett Johnson (Cornwall), Elite 145
Shaquille Faison (Shirley), Open 295

Sixth Place

Hudson Evingham (Bolivar), Midget 105
John DeRidder (Westbury), Intermediate 90
Zachary Floitz (Canisteo), Intermediate 105
Michael Bryden (Delhi), Intermediate 115
Jacob Robinson (Hornell), Intermediate 175
Thomas Cox (Deer Park), Advanced 93
Dylan Wood (Trout Creek), Advanced 120
Kobe Garrehy (Binghamton), Advanced 125
Riley Hanrahan (Unadilla), Advanced 189
Colton W. Arcangeli (Burdett), Advanced 285
Ian Ammons (Fairport), Open 177

Seventh Place

Lucas Riley (Pine City), Midget 66
Caleb Galloway (Hornell), Midget 75
Scott Barnhart (Walton), Midget 134
Sam Wolf (Warsaw), Junior 91
Kiegan Brown (Endwell), Intermediate 105
Dean Raymond (Deposit), Advanced 105
Caleb Beach (Rodman), Advanced 120
Corey McCormick (Johnson City), Advanced 130
Matt Gund (Bethpage), Advanced 135
Anthony Rundell (Lisle), Open 125

Eighth Place

Mason Drew (Hornell), Midget 58
Bryce Bracchy (Delhi), Midget 85
Bradley A. Cheek (Canisteo), Junior 70
Caleb Robinson (Franklin), Junior 74
Gianno Silba (Newark Valley), Intermediate 90
Dakota Coffey (Walton), Intermediate 128
Bobby Pease (Medford), Advanced 105
Ryan O’Rourke (Boonville), Advanced 110
Paul Smoot (Monroe), Elite 125
Nick DiDio (Tomkins Cove), Elite 171
Christopher Rundell (Jenksville), Open 135