Good weekend for Tioga and Waverly wrestling teams
WATKINS GLEN - It was a pretty good weekend for the Tioga and Waverly wrestling teams at the annual Mike Watson Invitational here at the high school Field House.
The Tigers crowned two champs en route to a second-place finish, while Waverly had three champs and finished third in the 30-team field.
Waverly 8th-grader A.J. Burkhart was the first local wrestler to reach the top step of the podium, winning the title at 99 pounds and being named the "Most Outstanding Wrestler" for the lower weights.
Senior standouts Brandon Ellers and Ryan Wolcott also won titles for Waverly, while sophomore Jesse Manuel and senior Zach Kelsey claimed gold for the Tigers.
In all, Tioga had 10 wrestlers reach the podium with at least a sixth-place finish. Waverly had seven.
Elmira captured the team title with 203 points, followed by Tioga with 176 and Waverly with 170. Watkins Glen finished fourth with 169 points and Maine-Endwell was fifth in the 30-team field with 151 points.
A breakdown of the Mike Watson Invitational, by weight class, is as follows:
99 POUNDS: Burkhart, the second seed, improved to 18-4 on the season with a 4-0 march to the 99-pound crown.
In his opening bout, Burkhart decked Tioga 7th-grader Austin Lamb in 1:10. He followed it up with a 31-second flattening of seventh-seed Holden Waide of South Seneca.
In the semifinals, Burkhart beat the sixth seed, Ithaca's Darren Rich, 11-2 to advance to a title match against top seed Elmira 8th-grader Matt Reese, who entered the bout with an 18-5 record. Burkhart manhandled Reese in a 21-4 technical fall to claim the title.
After falling into the wrestlebacks, Lamb earned a hard-fought, 3-2, decision over Campbell-Savona's Don McLaughlin. He was eliminated from the tournament with a 6-0 loss to Addison's Logan Wingsdale.
Tioga 7th-grader John Worthing was 0-2 in the 99-pound bracket, including a 5-3 loss to Elmira's Jacob Cardinale.
106 POUNDS: Corning's Blake Abbey pinned Wayland-Cohocton's Tyler Hamsher in 4:43 to win the 106-pound title.
Tioga 8th-grader Max Johnson went 0-2, including a 4-3 loss to Horseheads' Wesley Woodworth in the consolation bracket.
113 POUNDS: Tioga freshman Collin Elston dropped his opening match to teammate Kaleb Stone, but battled back for a fifth-place finish.
Stone pinned Elston in 1:58, then dropped a 5-1 decision to South Seneca's Blake Antal. Stone bowed out of the tournament prior to his first bout in the wrestlebacks.
Elston, meanwhile, decker Watkins Glen's Dalton Cummings in 57 seconds, then pinned Edison's Matt Smith in 2:55 to advance to the consolation finals. Elston lost via third-period pin to South Seneca's Blake Antal and then was pinned by S-VE's Grady Alpert in the fifth/sixth-place match.
Watkins Glen's Brandon Gould edged Maine-Endwell's Keigan Brown, 2-0, in overtime to win the 113-pound title.
120 POUNDS: Waverly sophomore Jacob Schroyer dropped an 8-6 heartbreaker to Owego's Ryan Kwiatkowski in the opening round, then bounced back with five straight wins to reach the consolation finals.
Schroyer made quick work of Watkins Glen's Matt Woodworth with an 18-second pin, then followed it up with another first-period pin - decking Lansing's Alex Bahar in 1:22.
He continued his march with a pin of Campbell-Savona's Ethan Hall in 2:28, then knocked off Tioga junior John Noe in the consolation semifinals with a pin at 4:48.
Schroyer advanced to the consolation finals with an injury default win over Owego's Jackson Bell. In the third/fourth-place match, O-M's Joe Rorick, the top seed, pinned Schroyer in 4:37.
Noe, who lost a 7-3 decision to Maine-Endwell's Austin Sullivan in the opening round, bounced back with three rounds before losing to Schroyer and falling one round shy of the medal round.
Noe opened with a pin of Wayland-Cohocton's Preston Shepard in 1:33, then followed it up a first-period pin of Addison's Paul Holden - decking him in 54 seconds. Noe's final was a 3-2 decision over Horseheads' Dylan Keller.
In the title match, third-seed Charlie Mahon of Elmira knocked off Kwiatkolswki, the fifth seed, 4-2.
126 POUNDS: Tioga senior Dan Hosking advanced to the semifinals with a pair of pins, then used two more pins in the wrestlebacks to secure a third-place finish.
Hosking, the fourth seed, opened the tournament with a 36-second flattening of Southern Cayuga's Brandon Gill, then pinned South Seneca's Josh Straub in 4:31.
In the semifinals, top-seed Joel Rosko of Campbell-Savona worked an 8-2 decision over Hosking to knock him into the consolation bracket.
Hosking bounced back with a pin of Edison's Zach Donohue in 2:47 to advance to the consolation finals, where he decked Corning's Charlie Kennedy in 2:45.
Waverly sophomore D.J. Meyers went 2-2 on the day, but fell a round shy of the medal stand.
Meyers opened up with a first-period pin of Elmira's Mackie Scharborough in 1:30, then was decked by Rosko in the first period.
In wrestlebacks, Meyers registered an 18-1 technical fall victory over Watkins Glen's Bradley Eslick, then was pinned in the first period by Straub.
Maine-Endwell's Kobe Garrehy knocked off Rosko, 4-1, in the finals.
132 POUNDS: Manuel improved to 26-1 on the season with a 4-0 run through the 132-pound weight class.
The top seed, Manuel marched into the finals with three consecutive pins. He decked Wayland-Cohocton's Austin Hamilton in 1:30, then flattened Campbell-Savona's Dustin Holford in 42 seconds to advance to the semifinals, where he pinned Campbell-Savona's John Topf in 3:21.
In the title match, Manuel edged Whitney Point sophomore Nathaniel Grubbham (21-3), 3-0.
Manuel's teammate, senior Dustin Elston dropped a 3-1 decision to Watkins Glen's John Brown, but battled back for a fifth-place finish.
Elston decked Hamilton in 1:45 in his first consolation bracket match, then beat Corning's Declan Daudelin, 4-3. After a pin of South Seneca's Conor Keating in 4:32, Elston advanced to the consolation semifinals with a 1-0 win over Whitney Point's Trevor Glezen.
Elston's run came to an end with a 12-1 major decision loss to Topf, but he avenged his opening-round loss in the fifth-place match with a 7-6 decision over Brown.
138 POUNDS: Former Waverly wrestler Curtis Grant, now a senior at Elmira, breezed though the 138-pound bracket, topping teammate Connor Wilson, 9-2, in the title match.
Waverly freshman Cody Gallow pinned Ithaca's Marcus Haider in 3:39 in the opening round,but dropped his next two bouts.
Tioga freshman Zach Blayda was 0-2 on the weekend.
145 POUNDS: Waverly junior Kacey Madigan was 4-2 on the day - both losses coming to higher seeds, but had to settle for fifth place.
Madigan, the fifth seed, opened with a pin of Ithaca's Justin Miller in 1:42, then dropped a 4-1 decision to Maine-Endwell's Zak Garrehy.
In the wrestlebacks, Madigan shut down Lansing's William Lewis in a 9-0 major decision, then pinned Horseheads' Dustin Whitesell in 4:34 to advance to the consolation semifinals, where he dropped a 17-5 major decision to second-seed Nate Bell of Owego.
Madigan received a forfeit from Elmira's Evan Rathbun in the fifth/sixth-place match.
Tioga's Gabe Hoose was 0-2 on the weekend.
In the 145-pound title match, Addison's Israel Byler, who beat Bell 7-6 in the semis, knocked off Garrehy, 6-4.
152 POUNDS: Tioga junior Brad Jump bounced back from a loss in the quarterfinals for a fifth-place finish
Jump opened with a pin of Wayland-Cohocton's Rob Murphy in 2:18, but then lost a hard-fought, 5-3, decision to top seed James Eastman of Horseheads.
In the wrestlebacks, Jump worked out a 4-2 decision over Elmira's Marcus Ellis and then eliminated Waverly's Joey Peters with a 3-1 decision to advance to the consolation semifinals, where he was pinned in 5:58 by Maine-Endwell's Brady Wisneski.
Jump bounced back with a 6-2 win over Owego's Devin Horton to clam fifth place.
Peters opened his tournament with a pin of South Seneca's Tim Heitman in 2:54, then was pinned by Watkins Glen's Nick Cocola in the quarterfinals.
In the wrestlebacks, Peters pinned Ithaca's Hammy Allport in 2:29 before running into Jump.
In the 152-pound title match, South Seneca's Nick Wycoff beat Cocola, 4-1.
160 POUNDS: Tioga senior Luke Hoose lost a close match in the quarterfinals, then battled back for a third-place finish.
Hoose opened the tournament with a first-period pin of Owego's Dylan Horton - decking him in 1:48, then lost a hard-fought, 4-3, decision to eventual runner-up Anton Brown of Elmira.
In the consolation bracket, Hoose flattened Watkins Glen's Andrew Brown in 17 seconds and Waverly Kamren Curtis in 25 seconds. In the consolation semis, he edged Maine-Endwell's Micah Miller, 7-6, then beat South Seneca's Luke McIntosh, 5-3, for third place.
Curtis, a freshman, lost via pin to Miller in the opening round, but responded with a pin of Ithaca's Taylor Merritt in 2:02, then won by injury default in his next match before running into Hoose.
Top seed Joe Judge of S-VE swept through the bracket, topping Brown, 3-1, in the finals.
170 POUNDS: Ellers improved to 21-1 on the season with a 3-0 sweep of the 170-pound bracket.
Ellers opened with a pin of Owego's Elijah Cantella in 2:18 in the quarterfinals, then stuck fourth-seed Freddie Dugan of Wayland-Cohocton in 4:40 to advance to the title match.
In the finals, Ellers worked out a 3-0 decision over Elmira's Tommy Mackay, the third seed.
Tioga's Jeff Lynch was 0-2 on the weekend.
182 POUNDS: Tioga junior Justin Fiske, the seventh seed, lost a close match in the quarterfinals, then responded with four straight wins to finish third.
Fiske started with a pin of O-M's Ashton Furney in 1:30, but dropped a 4-2 decision to second-seed Mitch McGowan of Elmira in the quarters.
In wrestlebacks, Fiske decked Jared Marshall of Elmira in 1:47, then blanked Nate Walters of Southern Cayuga, 5-0, to advance to the consolation semifinals.
Fiske finished off his run to third place with a 9-0 major decision of Horseheads' Alex Wheeler and a hard-fought, 5-4, decision of Corning's Mike Bilby.
Waverly's Justin Dudash was 0-2 on the weekend.
195 POUNDS: Tioga senior Mike Melella and Waverly senior Jordon Huck both went 3-2 on the weekend to finish fourth and fifth, respectively.
Melella opened the match with an 11-4 decision over Huck in the round-of-16, then decked Wayland-Cohocton's Jake Wormuth in 3:01 to advance to the semifinals.
In the semis, eventual champ Andrew Barnhart of Whitney Point, who was named the "Most Outstanding Wrestler" of the upper weights, pinned Melella in 3:56 to advance to the finals.
Melella beat Huck again - this time 7-5 - to advance to the consolation finals, where he was pinned by Corning Zahradka in 2:59.
Huck bounced back from his first loss to Melella with a pin of Armus Guyten of Ithaca in 1:53.
After his second loss to Melella, Huck pinned Wormuth in 2:30 for fifth place.
Barnhart beat Addison's Ward Hively, 5-2, in the finals.
220 POUNDS: Wolcott, now unbeaten at 22-0, breezed through the 220-pound bracket with three first-period pins and a 17-5 major decision over teammate Jeff Klossner in the finals.
Top-seeded Wolcott decked Owego's Evan Nelson in 1:28 to kick off the pin parade, then flattened Campbell-Savona's Bryan Ragusa in 46 seconds to advance to the semifinals, where he pinned Southern Cayuga's Dan Lucas in 1:32.
Second-seeded Klossner was nearly as impressive in his march to the title match. He decked Maine-Endwell's Randy Hoskins in 1:08 in the opener, then flattened Whitney Point's Caden Watson in 17 seconds to advance to the finals. He pinned Tioga's Aaron Shipman in 2:36 to earn a shot at the title.
Shipman advanced to the semifinals with a 5-0 decision over South Seneca's Keith Campbell and a pin of Elmira's Zach Benjamin in 2:26.
Following his loss to Klossner, Shipman notched a 9-0 win over Watkins Glen's Dustin Goltry, then dropped a 5-3 decision to Lucas to finish fourth.
285 POUNDS: Senior Zach Kelsey improved to 19-6 on the season, using three pins to advance to the finals, where he beat COrning's Nathan Webster, 13-6.
Kelsey opened with a pin of Ithaca's Warren Russell in 3:53, then decked Elmira's in 1:31 to advance to the semifinals, where he pinned Watkins Glen's Colton Arcangeli in 3:35.
Waverly freshman Dan Spaulding opened with a pin of Addison's Jacob Foster in 3:46,but was pinned by Arcangeli to fall into the consolation bracket. In his first wrestleback match, Spaulding pinned Owego's Isaiah Martin in 2:41, but Whitney Point's Richard Miller ended his tournament one round shy of the medal round with a pin.