By Jim & Tony  Nordland

     The Empire State contingent was paced by double placer
Tyler Beckwith (Greene HS), along with runner-up Maxwell Soria (Kings Park HS) and Nick Wilcox (also from Greene HS) at the ASCICS/Vaughan Junior and Cadet National Championships, held this past July at the FardoDome in Fargo, North Dakota. Beckwith (179-16 career) a three-time NYS placer, went unbeaten en route to the state title last year. In the Junior Greco he finished as runner-up and dropped two 1-0 decisions to eventual champion Mark Stenberg (Illinois), he also finished in 8th place in the Junior Freestyle at 171 pounds. Soria, a bronze medalist at the 2009 state meet dropped two close decisions to Ruben Navejas of Washington at 98 pounds to finish as a national finalist in the Junior Freestyle. Wilcox has won two state crowns (2006 & 2009) and defeated Aaron Runzo (Virginia), 6-4, 1-0, to place fifth at 125 pounds.

     The New York squad had a strong showing in the Cadets and emerged with six Junior All-Americans. In the Freestyle competition
Zach Diekel placed 6th at 171, along with Kyle Kelly (8th at 84) and Conor Kleitz (8th at 140). In the Greco tournament, Massapequa's Conor Wetzel placed 4th at 189, and both Jonathan Clemente (130) of Troy LaSalle and Dylan Palacio (135) of Long Beach, finished eighth in their respective weight classes.

     In the Women's Freestyle competition, New York crowned one champion, along with a runner-up and added four other All-American berths. Winning the lone championship was
Jenna Burkert who pinned Randi Beltz (Missouri) in the first period at 132 pounds and NYS runner-up Carlene Sluberski (Fredonia) finished as a national finalist in the 95-pound weight class. Other medalists were Tanya Kusse (3rd at 116), Logan Howard (3rd at 124), Longwood's Shana Lee Prifte (7th at 139), and Mary Westman finished in 5th place at 146 pounds.

Mat Notes...
   Two New York blue chippers will be heading to Hofstra next season .
Cody Ruggirello (130) of Valley Central and Wantagh's Matt Loew (119-33) at 189, will bolster the Pride squad and give head coach Tom Shilfflet an early advantage in the recruting rankings. Rocky Point state champion Stephen Duttton (186-11), a three-time state place-winner, will take his mat skills to Lehigh and projects as either a 133 /141-pound collegiate grappler...
Tyler Beckwith was a double placewinner at Fargo, finishing second in Greco and eighth in Freestyle. Beckwith is shown here in last year's state tournament.
Max Soria
Dylan Palacio (top)
Conor Wetzel
Carlene Sluberski (left)