World class international wrestling came to the Empire State this weekend, as Team Russia visited New York for a pair of duals against the USA. On Saturday in Clifton Park, the visiting team captured a 4-3 victory, but the Americans returned the favor on Sunday in Ithaca by winning four of the seven bouts.
In the latter dual, three former Cornell stars represented the Red, White and Blue in front of the home crowd - Frank Perrelli, Kyle Dake and Cam Simaz.
Perrelli took the mat at 55 kg in the opening contest of the meet against Omak Syuryun. Both wrestlers placed a week ago at the NYAC Holiday International (Syuryun second, Perrelli fourth). It was the Russian that took charge early with a takedown shortly after the opening whistle. He continued to add to his lead and finished with a 7-0 win.
It was a similar story at 60 kg, where Aleksandr Bogomoev got on the board first and controlled the remainder of the bout, defeating Jimmy Kennedy by technical fall to give the Russians a 2-0 dual lead.
However, in a back-and-forth affair, Kellen Russell shifted momentum at 66 kg. The former Michigan NCAA champion fell behind 3-0 early, but fought back to take a 4-3 advantage at the end of the opening period. The wrestlers exchanged leads for much of the second, with the score tied at 11 late in the period. Russell then picked up two points for exposure and recorded the fall with just seconds remaining to get the USA on the board.
It was then time for the second Big Red grappler - Dake - to take center stage. He registered a pair of pushouts in the opening stanza to take a 2-0 lead after one. The only scoring in the second period was a pushout by the Russian with less than 30 ticks to go, giving Dake a 2-1 victory and knotting the dual at two matches apiece.
Clayton Foster kept things moving forward for the USA in a strong performance at 84 kg. The former Oklahoma State upperweight attacked throughout the bout and for his efforts came away with a 9-1 triumph over Vladislav Gabaraev to make the team score 3-1 in favor of the Americans.
Next up was another Cornell graduate - Cam Simaz. At last weekend's NYAC Holiday International, Simaz met Georgii Gogaev. The Russian took a 7-1 lead in that match before Simaz rebounded to win 14-7. On Sunday, the two had a similar beginning, as Gogaev jumped out to an early 6-0 lead. This time, there wasn't a comeback, as the Russian notched a 9-0 win.
With each team having captured three matches, it all came down to the heavyweights -- Zach Rey of the USA and Aleksandr Kusraev of Russia. A passivity point and a pushout fueled Rey to the 2-0 victory and clinched the dual for the United States.
Prior to the main event, there were a trio of freestyle exhibition matches featuring New York wrestlers.
In the first, General Brown's multi-time state placer Ryan Snow topped Ithaca's Julian Korfine by a 9-2 score. Next up was Lansing's two-time NYS champion William Koll, who cruised to an 8-0 technical fall over Carl Rouse of Chenango Forks.
The third bout was a rematch of the 2013 Division I NYS finals at 99 pounds - Yianni Diakomhalis of Hilton and Vito Arujau of Syosset. The two have met this offseason, with Diakomihalis, the #1 wrestler in the nation at 106 pounds, coming out on top. However, on Sunday, Arujau earned a seven-point victory in an action-packed bout between two of the best freshmen in the country.
There were also bonus matches including Empire State standouts on Saturday at Shenendehowa High School before the first USA vs. Russia dual meet (aka, the Resurrection).
Women's world team members Alexis Porter and Jenna Burkert were both totally dominant against Canadian opponents. Porter, a high school senior, earned a 7-0 technical fall at 65 kg on familiar turf in her own high school gym over Keagin Collie. After the first period, Porter led 6-0 and it didn't take her long into the second stanza to end the match.
Burkert's appearance on the mat was brief against last weekend's second place finisher at the NYAC Holiday International, Michelle Fazzari, at 59 kg. [Burkert was third at that event at 63 kg]. Burkert took control from the opening whistle and recorded a first period fall.
Then, it was time for the men's competition. Russia got off to a good start, capturing the 55 and 60 kg matches as Omak Syuryun topped Sam Hazewinkel 8-4 and Aleksandr Bogomoev picked up an 8-0 technical fall over Nick Simmons.
However, 16-year old phenom Aaron Pico of California turned the tide when he registered an 8-0 win over Alibeggediz Emeev, a wrestler who was the 66 kg runner up at the NYAC Holiday International last weekend. In his senior level debut, Pico began with a pushout for a 1-0 lead about a minute into the match. That's how the initial stanza ended, however, it wasn't close for much longer as Pico notched a takedown shortly into the second period, added a pushout and then tacked on two more takedowns to clinch the victory.
Moza Fay then kept the momentum going for the USA, pinning Boris Makoev at 74 kg. But the visiting squad responded. At 84 kg, Keith Gavin controlled most of the contest against Vladislav Gabaraev and held a 4-2 lead late into the match. It was the Russian, however, who owned the final minute, tying the score with 46 seconds to go and tacking on two more takedowns in the final 30 seconds to win 8-4. Georgii Gogaev then made quick work of Dustin Kilgore at 96 kg with a 10-2 technical fall before Tyrell Fortune ended the dual on a positive note for the USA with a 2-0 win over Aleksandr Kusraev at heavyweight.
Also in Ithaca . . . the Cornell Wrestle-Offs
While Sunday allowed some of Cornell's recent greats to take the mat on campus one more time, Saturday showcased some of the Big Red's future stars in the Red/White Eliminations (wrestle-offs). The first five bouts of the afternoon resulted in major decisions, beginning with All-American Nahshon Garrett, who started the day off with a 17-6 victory over Bricker Dixon at 125 pounds. Like Garrett, Mark Grey won a title last weekend at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open. Grey continued his strong start to the season, piling up points during a 15-4 win over Logan David at 133.
With Mike Nevinger recovering from an injury, freshman Corey Dake took the spotlight at 141, notching a 9-1 triumph over Josh Kennedy. Fellow rookies Alex Cisneros and Brian Realbuto then came out on top decisively at 149 and 157. Cisneros defeated Conner David 10-0 while Realbuto bested Taylor Simaz 11-1.
At 165, fans saw the first close bout of the day. It didn't look like it would be tight initially, as freshman Dylan Palacio took control early against Bearcat Open runner up Craig Eifert. Palacio led 6-1 in the second period after a pair of takedowns and a reversal. But Eifert stormed back, knotting the score in the third to force overtime. In the extra session, Palacio struck with a takedown to capture the 9-7 victory.
After grabbing third at the Bearcat Open, Jesse Shanaman followed up with a 10-1 major over Jake George at 174 while freshman Gabe Dean, who entered the national polls this week after beating two ranked foes in Binghamton, topped Billy George 7-2 with a late takedown and near fall at 184. 197 pounders Jace Bennett and Steve Congenie then endured a back-and-forth battle. Congenie had two takedowns but Bennett reversed him both times. The difference was a pair of back points, as Bennett collected the 6-4 win.
Finishing off the wrestle-offs at heavyweight were Stryker Lane and Jacob Aiken-Phillips. After a scoreless first period, Lane scored five straight points on an escape, takedown and reversal to win 5-0.
Cornell returns to action next weekend at home with a dual against Binghamton and the New York State Intercollegiates.
Hofstra in the Sooner State . . .
The Pride wrestlers have certainly taken on a number of challenges early in the season, facing multiple ranked teams last weekend. Hofstra squared off with another tough opponent on Sunday, dropping a 36-6 dual on the road against Oklahoma.
The home team went ahead early with a decision by returning NCAA champion Kendric Maple over Cody Ruggirello at 149 and a major by Justin DeAngelis against Nick Terdick at 157. The Pride got on the board with a 1-0 win by Joe Booth at 165 over Clark Glass, but the Sooners then went on tear, capturing six consecutive matches. In a meeting of ranked wrestlers, Luke Vaith ended the dual on a positive note for the Pride with a 6-3 win over 2012 All-American Nick Lester at 141.
And Results from a Few Additional Tournaments . . .
Several New York wrestlers made the top four at the East Stroudsburg Open on Sunday. Binghamton's Jack McKeever nabbed the title at 174 pounds with six victories. His Bearcat teammate Nick Tighe, a three-time New York state champion, earned third at 133 in his second-ever college tournament. In the bronze bout, he topped Hofstra's Kyle Krasavage. (A few other Empire State natives placed, including Brown's Billy Watterson (champion at 125) and Anthony Finocchiaro (second at 133). Two other New York high school wrestlers made the finals - Harrison Cook of Penn and Patrick Hogan, wrestling unattached. Sean Badura of USMAPS was fourth at 125.
Brockport traveled to the Wolverine State for the Eastern Michigan Open on Saturday. Making the podium for the squad was 197 pounder Paul Glover, who finished first. He began with three decisions, before coming out on top in the championship round against Kenneth Hayden of Michigan.
At the Roger Williams Invitational, Cortland took third place, driven by champion Lance Moore (285), second placers Brian Bistis (141) and Joey Giaramita (197) and bronze medalists Jacob Green (125), Brendan Dent (157) and Lou Puca (174).
In non-college action, three wrestlers from New York took top four medals at the Suplay Kickoff Classic in Tulsa. For a recap of that event, see here.
Here are the results from the USA vs. Russia Duals:
USA VS RUSSIA RESULTS at Ithaca (Sunday) USA 4, RUSSIA 3
55 kg/121 lbs. – Omak Syuryun (Russia) tech fall Frank Perrelli (USA) 7-0
60 kg/132 lbs. – Aleksandr Bogomoev (Russia) tech fall Jimmy Kennedy (USA) 8-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Kellen Russell (USA) fall Alibeggediz Emeev (Russia)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Kyle Dake (USA) dec Boris Makoev (Russia) 2-1
84 kg/185 lbs. – Clayton Foster (USA) tech fall Vladislav Gabaraev (Russia) 9-1
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Georgii Gogaev (Russia) tech fall Cam Simaz (USA) 9-0
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Zach Rey (USA) dec Aleksandr Kusraev (Russia) 2-0
HIGH SCHOOL EXHIBITIONS (FREESTYLE)
Ryan Snow (General Brown) over Julian Korfine (Ithaca)
William Koll (Lansing) over Carl Rouse (Chenango Forks)
Vito Arujau (Syosset) over Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton)
THE RESURRECTION – USA VS RUSSIA RESULTS (Saturday) at Clifton Park, RUSSIA 4, USA 3
55 kg/121 lbs. – Omak Syuryun (Russia) dec Sam Hazewinkel (USA) 8-4
60 kg/132 lbs. – Aleksandr Bogomoev (Russia) tech fall Nick Simmons (USA) 8-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Aaron Pico (USA) tech fall Alibeggediz Emeev (Russia) 8-0
74 kg/163 lbs. – Moza Fay (USA) fall Boris Makoev (Russia) 1:34
84 kg/185 lbs. – Vladislav Gabaraev (Russia) dec Keith Gavin (USA) 8-4
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Georgii Gogaev (Russia) tech fall Dustin Kilgore (USA) 10-2
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Tyrell Fortune (USA) dec Aleksandr Kusraev (Russia) 2-0
59 kg/130 lbs. – Jenna Burkert (USA) fall Michelle Fazzari (Canada) 1:27
65 kg/143 lbs. – Alexis Porter (USA) tech fall Keagin Collie (Canada) 7-0
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