BY ALBERT ROMAN
Wrestlers from 50 public schools across the five boroughs gathered for the Public Schools Athletic League Freshman/Sophomore Championships at Francis Lewis High School, which ranked highest among Queens schools in the tournament, on Jan 28.
The PSAL tournament featured 272 wrestlers from 15 weight classes and followed a single-elimination bracket style format.
Brooklyn Tech’s team captured six first place finishes and ranked first overall by a wide margin with a total of 276.5 points. Staten Island’s Tottenville High School finished second with 156 points, while host Fresh Meadows’ Francis Lewis finished in seventh with 82 points, the highest among schools in Queens.
In the 99-pound weight class, Brooklyn Tech freshman Kai Yudelson captured three straight dominating victories, with scores of 18-3, 17-1 and 17-1. He went on to defeat Tottenville’s Dan Batavicias, 7-0 for Brooklyn’s first champion of the tournament.
Sophomore Mohamed Hassan, of Franklin D. Roosevelt, won the following 106-pound weight class with an 8-3 victory over Muhammed Mahmud, of Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy.
Brooklyn Tech and Tottenville met again in the 113-pound weight class. Freshman Max Grewtzman secured the win again for Brooklyn against freshman David Correa in a close match of 5-2. His victory gave Brooklyn Tech its second champion of the tournament.
Lehman sophomore Muthana Yeya stormed through the 120-pound weight class with consecutive fall finishes and an 18-6 victory in the semifinals. He then prevailed over Brooklyn Tech sophomore Ibrahima Diallo by a pin victory.
The 132-pound weight class featured the most wrestlers of any class at 26 participants. Brooklyn Tech sophomore Zacc Romero collected five pin victories, including defeating sophomore Giorgi Kalandadze of Edward R. Murrow High School en route to winning the class.
The 145-pound weight class was decided by high scoring. Staten Island Technical High School wrestler Jeff Geller won the match 16-11 over Tottenville wrestler Tomas Baez, who won his previous match 11-8.
Freshman Andrew Grechko captured the final victory for Brooklyn Tech, defeating Truman’s Fred Huertas by 15-0 in the 160-pound weight class.
After winning three straight matches by a fall, sophomore Miles Henry, of Martin Luther King Jr., went three rounds against sophomore Harlen Nolasco, of Kipp NYC, in the 195-pound weight class. In a back and forth contest, Henry edged out the victory 7-6.
Sophomore Michael Babbcort, of Wingate E.C., defeated Bronx Science sophomore Sean Yoo in the 220-pound weight class.
In the final championship match of the evening, Kipp sophomore Nicholas Pena won the 285-weight class title by fall over MLK’s Jacob Wilson. Seven of 15 champions were won by pin falls. Pena’s victory ended the long day of wrestling.
Brooklyn Tech continues its excellent season. At the Mayors Cup Tournament on Jan. 21, the team finished second and held two champions, two silver, one bronze and nine placers. Four public schools from Queens finished in the Top 20.
The next scheduled tournament is the 2017 Borough Championships on Feb 4. Springfield Gardens will host Queens’ section of the tournament.