Five area wrestlers competed in the 2021 Phil Portuese Northeast Regional & NY-USA Freestyle and Greco-Roman State Championships May 14th-16th in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania. Of the five competitors from Western New York, four brought home medals in one or both styles.
Frontier’s Travis Browning captured medals in both the freestyle and Greco-Roman events. On Friday, Browning was crowned the junior Greco-Roman state champion at 120-pounds after a 12-5 win over Anthony Surace (Section V) and an 11-0 technical superiority victory over Wyatt Gentzel (Section XI). Then, on Sunday, Browning claimed a silver medal in the freestyle division at the same weight class via technical superiority victories over Gentzel and Thomas Wagner (Section VIII). With two top-3 finishes, Browning has earned a spot on Team New York in both styles for Junior Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota in July.
Hamburg’s Kenneth Schmitz captured a silver medal in 16U freestyle tournament after placing second in the 106-pound bracket. Schmitz recorded a win by fall over Alex Polsinello (Section II) and automatically qualified for New York’s Cadet Freestyle team for Fargo Nationals.
Lewiston-Porter’s Ciaran Edwards placed 4th at 152-pounds in the junior freestyle state championships. Edwards’ tournament was highlighted by a 17-6 win by fall over Max Kleyman of Beat the Streets New York club.
Starpoint’s Gage and Griffin LaPlante competed in the USA Wrestling Northeast Regional tournament that was ongoing simultaneously with the New York state championships.
Griffin claimed gold at 130-pounds in the 14U freestyle division with technical superiority victories over Zane Kropman (NY) and Blaize Vogel (PA) and an 8-2 victory over James Battulga (WV) for the championship. Griffin also won a silver medal in Greco-Roman via a win by fall over Kayleb Martin (NY). Gage’s tournament was highlighted by an 8-3 victory over Calvin Kraisser (MD) at 132-pounds in the 16U freestyle division.