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NY's Piccininni Defeats NCAA Champ Darian Cruz at the All-Star Classic

By BV, 11/05/17, 6:30PM EST

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Nick Piccininni of Oklahoma State took down a national champion on Sunday, as he defeated Lehigh's 2017 NCAA titlewinner Darian Cruz at the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic at Princeton.

The former Ward Melville star gave up the opening takedown of the bout and trailed 2-1 after the first period.  However, in the second, Piccininni notched a reversal and four back points to turn the tide and take a 7-2 advantage after the middle stanza.

Cruz had a reversal of his own in the third, but the four-time state champion from Suffolk County finished with a victory. 

Piccininni, a fourth place finisher in 2017, should be in the mix for a title at the NCAAs as a sophomore in Cleveland.

ADDITIONAL RESULTS (Courtesy of NWCA)

"Undercard"
165      Gordon Wolf (Lehigh) won by major decision over May Bethea (Penn) (Maj 17-9)
285      Youssif Hemida (Maryland) won by decision over Garrett Ryan (Columbia) (Dec 3-2)

Women 
101      Marina Doi (King) won by fall over Hiba Salem (Menlo) (Fall 1:51)
109      Charlotte Fowler (Campbellsville) won by tech fall over Maria Vidales (Emmanuel) (TF 14-3)
116      Victoria Gutierrez (Emmanuel) won by tech fall over Makayla Bourbon (University of the Cumberlands) (TF 12-0)
123      Dom Parrish (Simon Fraser) won by tech fall over Amber Pair (Eastern Oregon) (TF 10-0)
130      Megan Black (McKendree) won by decision over Shelby Hall (Campbellsville) (Dec 6-0)
136      Kayla Miracle (Campbellsville) won by tech fall over Solin Piearcy (Menlo) (TF 10-0)
143      Mallory Velte (Simon Fraser) won by tech fall over Desiree Zavala (Grays Harbor) (TF 10-0)
155      Niauni Hill (Lindenwood-Belleville) won by decision over Kiera Gabaldon (Warner Pacific) (Dec 7-0)
170      Brandy Lowe (McKendree) won by decision over Kacie Moorehouse (Grays Harbor) (Dec 7-0)
191      Paige Baynes (Grays Harbor) won by tech fall over Alyssa Cantu (Missouri Valley) (TF 10-0)
 

Men
125      Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State) won by decision over Darian Cruz (Lehigh) (Dec 8-5)
133      Seth Gross (South Dakota State) won by decision over Stevan Micic (Michigan) (Dec 7-1)
141      Kevin Jack (NC State) won by decision over Bryce Meredith (Wyoming) (Dec 8-7)
149      Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa) won by decision over Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton) (Dec 4-3)
157      B.J. Clagon (Rider) won by decision over Alec Pantaleo (Michigan) (Dec 10-4)
165      Chad Walsh (Rider) won by decision over Jonathan Schleifer (Princeton) (Dec 4-3)
174      Zahid Valencia (Arizona State) won by decision over Mark Hall (Penn State) (Dec 3-2)
184      Pete Renda (NC State) won by decision over Drew Foster (Northern Iowa) (Dec 5-2)
197      Michael Macchiavello (NC State) won by decision over Frank Mattiace (Penn State) (Dec 3-2)
285      Nick Nevills (Penn State) won by decision over Tanner Hall (Arizona State) (Dec 2-0)

PREVIEW

Ward Melville High School graduate Nick Piccininni, who earned All-American honors in his freshman season for Oklahoma State, will be returning to the Tri-State area on November 5.

Piccininni will take on 2017 NCAA champion Darian Cruz of Lehigh at the 52nd NWCA All-Star Classic, which will take place on the campus of Princeton University in New Jersey.

Piccininni, a four-time NYS champion from Long Island, won 27 bouts last season for the Cowboys, taking fourth at the NCAA tournament after entering as the #8 seed at 125 pounds. 

Cruz captured the championship at that weight after upsetting top-seeded Thomas Gilman of Iowa in the semis and following with a victory against Minnesota's Ethan Lizak in the finals. 

It will be the first meeting between the two wrestlers, according to the NWCA.

Another announced matchup at the All-Star event pits Simon Fraser's Mallory Velte against Desiree Zavala in the 143 pound women's contest.

Ticket information can be found here.

The event can be viewed live on trackwrestling.com