There’s no question that there will be tremendous matches in Albany next week, pitting some of New York’s best against each other for gold. But in some cases, after a Division 1 and a Division 2 champion is crowned, the question will remain. Who is the best in the Empire State?
On March 15, NYWAY is hoping to help provide some answers with the D1 vs. D2 Challenge at the SRC Arena and Events Center in Syracuse.
“Our core mission is about providing opportunities to NYS wrestlers,” said NYWAY President Clint Wattenberg. “NYS wrestling fans have been craving this type of matchup since the divisions split in 2004. A decade later, we are proud to be able to provide it.”
According to Wattenberg, participants will be selected based on New York Wrestling News rankings and placement at the high school state championships at the Times Union Center.
The event, which will have a five-pound weight allowance, will take place at 6:30 p.m. and can be viewed via livestream or followed on trackwrestling.com. More details regarding the livestream will be forthcoming.
All wrestlers will receive a custom Challenge Team Singlet and free entry in the NYWAY State Championships. In turn, finishing in the top six at the NYWAY States earns free entry into FloNationals. (Together, those two events have an $84 value, according to Wattenberg).
“The high school divisions at the NYWAY States are geared for the wrestlers interested in getting additional mat time and experience to conclude their seasons or get ready for events like FloNationals or Freestyle and Greco tournaments,” Wattenberg said. “With the D1 vs. D2 Challenge, many of the top wrestlers in the state will be there; we believe this is the making of a premier offseason high school event.”
Looking at the list of placers from last year’s event supports that belief. Several NYS medalists, such as Hilton’s Vincent DePrez, Alfred-Almond’s Connor Calkins, New Hartford’s Kelan McKenna, Mexico’s Theo Powers and Southwestern’s Ryan Hetrick competed in 2013, as did more than 40 grapplers who will be wrestling in Albany next week for New York championships (from eight different Sections).
“We hope that this event will help further connect NYS wrestlers and coaches as they compete with other wrestlers from all around the state,” Wattenberg said. “Beyond the connections among the teams, we are truly excited to showcase the best high school wrestlers to New York’s future scholastic stars - the NYWAY youth wrestlers who will have been competing earlier that day in the same arena.”
So, 30 grapplers will stand on the top of the podium at the Times Union Center next Saturday night. Who is the best? Perhaps we’ll see at the D1 vs. D2 Challenge.
For more information, see the flyer below.