Over the holidays, we saw some great performances by New York college wrestlers, including some intriguing runs to the finals at the Midlands. The following is a look at that tournament, plus the Cradle Gear Invitational and the Wilkes Open.
Maryland's Christian Boley captured a Midlands championship on Monday night, defeating Purdue's Braden Atwood in the 197 pound finals. Boley, a former star for Brockport, fell behind early, but took control midway through the second period with a takedown and back points on the way to a 9-5 win. On his path to the title bout, Boley recorded four decisions, including a 3-2 win over Iowa's Nathan Burak in the semis.
There were only two unseeded wrestlers that made the finals at the prestigious event - and both had ties to New York.
Steven Rodrigues of Illinois, who starred for Fox Lane in high school, had a tremendous run, beating the #3, 6, 7 and 11 seeds on his way to second place at 141 pounds. Mitchell Port of Edinboro handed him a major decision loss in the finals.
At 174 pounds, Columbia's Shane Hughes took a similar road, topping the #3, 7 and 11 seeds to earn a spot in the finals against Iowa's Mike Evans, where he lost by fall.
Also placing for the Lions were Josh Houldsworth (165) and Chad Ryan (eighth at 157). In addition, two New Yorkers competing for Edinboro made the podium. Johnny Greisheimer (Wantagh) was third at 157, while Ernest James (Longwood) was fifth at 285. Former Morrisville Eaton star Ryan LeBlanc notched seventh at 165 for Indiana.
NY Natives Quinton Murphy and Giuseppe Lanzi Win the Wilkes Open
At the Wilkes Open, the Empire State was well represented on the podium over the weekend. Taking first place were former New York state champions Quinton Murphy (149) of Clarion and Giuseppe Lanzi (165) of Brown. Murphy, who starred for Holley, had a commanding 15-2 victory in the championship contest over Ken Theobold of Rutgers. Prior to that, he outscored his opponents 28-6 on his way to the finals.
Lanzi, who was a standout for Amsterdam, notched all bonus wins until the final round, when he won a hard fought 9-7 decision over Nick Visicaro of Rutgers.
In addition, Columbia freshman Troy Hembury captured the 184 pound title with a 4-0 day in which he edged Drexel's Alexander DeCiantis in his last match.
Also making title bouts were Buffalo's Jason Estevez at 133, former Long Island wrestler Pankil Chander of Wilkes at 141 and Columbia's Conor Sweeney at 285. All took second place.
That was also true of Hofstra's Cam Tessari, a 2012 All-American and transfer from Ohio State who made his debut for the Pride. Tessari had two technical falls and a pin before falling in the title bout to Maryland's Lou Mascola at 157.
Connetquot state champion Sean McCabe of Rutgers nabbed third at 125, while Buffalo rookie Joe Ariola took fourth at 197.
For full brackets, see here.
Binghamton's White and Buffalo's Maziarz Win Cradle Gear Invitational Championships
Buffalo took fourth and Binghamton sixth at the Cradle Gear Invitational at Lock Haven on Sunday. Leading the way for the Bulls was 165-pound champion Wally Maziarz, who had a dominant day. On his way to the title, Maziarz outscored his opponents 46-0, including a 10-0 major in the title bout.
Joining Maziarz on the podium for Buffalo was 141-pound runner up Nick Flannery and third placers Mike Soria (125) and Tony Lock (184) as well as Tyler Rill, who notched fourth at 165.
David White led the way for the Bearcats, picking up the crown at 125 pounds with a 3-0 performance. Teammate Jack McKeever won five matches during the event to grab third at 174.
Some other notable showings for NY wrestlers included a championship at 133 for former Greene standout Nick Wilcox of Bloomsburg and a silver finish for Mac Maldarelli of Lock Haven at 149.
For full brackets, see here.