Photo by BV
It’s been a good week for Thomas Dutton.
On Sunday, the Rocky Point senior took third in a loaded 152-pound bracket at the Journeymen Classic, with his only loss to national #1 Isaiah White of Illinois. During the event, he notched victories over two of New York’s best, beginning the day with a 3-1 victory over Sachem East’s Jakob Restrepo and ending with a 3-2 overtime decision over Shenendehowa’s Jesse Porter.
And on Tuesday, Dutton made his college choice official with his commitment to Harvard, after considering Princeton and Navy earlier in the process.
“[Making the commitment] was awesome – I was really excited,” he said. “When I was at Harvard I really loved it. I was really comfortable and at home. I realized it was where I needed to be, for academics and for wrestling. The overall atmosphere was great. A lot of the guys are really down to earth and the team has a really good family structure. It's exciting.”
His weekend at Niskayuna High School at the Journeymen Classic was also exciting.
Dutton’s opening bout was yet another showdown with 2014 NYS runner up Jakob Restrepo. The two practice together at Vougar’s Honors Wrestling (VHW) and squared off three times last season, with Restrepo taking each one.
On Sunday, it was different, as Dutton picked up a takedown late in the third to get his hand raised.
“I knew I could beat him, but I had to actually do it once. When I did, it was like a monkey off my back,” Dutton said. “Every time I wrestled him, I wrestled not to lose. I psyched myself out before the match. This time, I got it done and it took a lot of pressure off me.”
He rode that momentum the rest of the day, culminating with a late reversal against Porter in the second overtime rideout to secure bronze.
It wasn't the only bronze at a tough event this offseason for Dutton. He also was third at the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach, adding to the list of All-American finishes during his career.
Dutton made the medal stand at Fargo in Cadet Freestyle in 2012 and went a perfect 9-0 at the Junior Duals while representing Team New York in that style this year. However, Dutton said those performances aren’t the ones that stand out most to him.
“I think Super 32 was probably my favorite tournament to place in,” Dutton said of his seventh place medal in 2014 at the prestigious event in North Carolina. “Everywhere I looked there was another guy ranked in the country or going to a Division 1 school or projected as the next national champ in college. It was an awesome overall atmosphere.”
Another awesome atmosphere Dutton mentioned was at the 2014 NCAA championships in Oklahoma City, where he watched his brother Stephen nab All-American status with a seventh place showing at 141 pounds for the University of Michigan.
“My brother has always been open to help me,” he said. “He’s one of my biggest role models - a person I really look up to. He was hurt a lot of last season and he didn’t know if he would be able to wrestle, so [the NCAA tournament] was a big relief. I was so happy for him. It was really exciting.”
Thomas Dutton has had numerous exciting moments himself in New York. Last season, he piled up victories during the high school campaign, as he’s done every year since seventh grade. (He was 44-6 in 2013-14).
In fact, he has over 200 wins and is a five-time All-County performer. Dutton also has twice placed at the state championships – fourth at 138 as a sophomore and fifth at 145 in 2014.
With an eye toward finishing higher at the Times Union Center as a senior, Dutton said he began working at VHW at the end of last season to add to the excellent coaching he was already receiving.
“[VHW] is probably one of the best rooms I could find in New York State,” Dutton said. “The technicians and all the different types of guys that come in, from the Russian guys to the college wrestlers; you get all types of different looks. [Vougar Oroudjov] knows so much about what it takes to be a champion.”
That’s exactly what Dutton is looking to do. And he thinks he’s made plenty of strides in that direction.
“I think I’ve improved mostly in my composure and attitude on the mat,” he said. “If I get taken down, I don’t get frustrated; I don’t overthink. I just wrestle. I know where my mind has to be going into the state tournament.”
The future Harvard 149-pounder, who plans to major in business management or economics, feels ready for the NYS championships in Albany in 2015.
“I am looking to win the state and hopefully go undefeated,” he said. “My goal is to go out every match and wrestle like it’s my last match.”
On Tuesday, Rocky Point's Thomas Dutton informed New York Wrestling News of his commitment to Harvard.
Dutton is ranked nationally at 152 pounds and is among the top 150 seniors in the country, according to the Associated Wrestling Press.
Dutton has earned those rankings by placing at some of the USA's top events. That includes a podium performance at the Super 32 Challenge (seventh) last fall, a third place finish at the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach this spring and an All-America showing in Freestyle at Fargo in 2012, among others.
Dutton has collected over 200 victories in his Rocky Point career, which began with a successful seventh grade season in which he earned All-County honors. The future Crimson wrestler won a Section 11 title as a sophomore and has twice made the medal stand at the state tournament, taking fourth as a 10th grader at 138 and fifth in 2014 at 145 pounds.
This past weekend, Dutton grabbed third at 152 in a loaded bracket at the Journeymen Classic, during which he defeated two New York standouts - Jakob Restrepo of Sachem East and Jesse Porter of Shenendehowa.
"Tommy Dutton is the leader of our wrestling team for what he does off the mat as well as what he does on it," said Rocky Point coach Darren Goldstein. "He has an unweighted grade point average somewhere around 99, has never been in trouble in school and is respected by teachers and students alike. He is a special young man who will make his mark in this world in everything he does and wrestling is just a part of that."