Section 9 wrestlers look to break a four-year championship drought at the Eastern States Classic Friday and Saturday at SUNY Sullivan in Loch Sheldrake.
Pine Bush’s Chris Cuccolo is the last section wrestler to win a title (99 pounds, 2013) at the Eastern States, which is dubbed, “New York’s premier wrestling tournament."
More than 1,000 wrestling bouts are expected to be contested by wrestlers from more than 160 schools and six states (New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maine, Virginia) this weekend.
Here’s quick look at 16th annual Eastern States Classic:
Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) brings its ‘A’ lineup and the nation’s No.4-ranked team to the tournament. The prep school won the team title at the Eastern States Classic in 2012, 2015 and 2016 and finished seventh as team with its “B” team in 2017. Wyoming Seminary’s lineup includes national-ranked wrestlers Beau Bartlett (126), Jack Davis (132) and Austin Cooley (195). Bartlett is a two-time Eastern States champion (2015-16)
Section 9’s best shots
Minisink Valley senior 182-pounder Joey Yanis is the highest-seeded Section 9 wrestler at No. 2. Yanis, who is undefeated this season, has recorded 20 of his 25 wins by pin. Other section wrestlers seeded in the top eight are: Minisink Valley senior Andrew Fenner (No. 5, 285 pounds); Monroe-Woodbury junior Marco Vespa (No. 5, 120); Minisink Valley senior Tim Ganuncio (No. 7, 160); Onteora senior Dillon Ross (No. 7, 170); Rondout Valley freshman Nikko Walsh (No. 8, 99) and Monroe-Woodbury senior Dylan Earl (No. 8, 113).
Minisink Valley senior 132-pounder Connor Greiner is the lone Section 9 wrestler to medal at the Eastern States. Greiner placed sixth at 113 as sophomore. He missed the Eastern States last season recovering from an ankle injury. Greiner, who is 26-0 this season, is the 11th seed at 132.
Hilton sophomore Greg Diakomihalis, a two-time state champion and the defending 113-pound Eastern States Classic, was scratched from the tournament due to injury. Half Hollow Hills East senior Dylan Ryder, a returning state champion, assumes the top seed at 113.
Four-peat in sight
Penfield’s Frankie Gissendander (145) and Long Beach’s Jacori Teemer (152)seek their fourth straight Eastern States titles. Gissendanner is ranked 13th in the country. Teemer , a four-time state champion and an Arizona State commit, is the nation’s No. 3 152-pounder and could meet Fox Lane’s Matt Grippi, a 2017 state finalist, in the final. Shenendehowa’s Austin Meys (2005, 2007-09) and Syosset’s Vito Arujau (2014-17) are on a short list of wrestlers to win four Eastern States titles.