Michgan Wrestlers Represent State in NYWAY Tournament Sunday, Jan. 8th
BY JEFF CHANEY
A team of Michigan wrestlers represented the state well Sunday in New York.
A total 19 of middle school wrestlers competed in New York Wrestling Association of Youth Wrestlers Big Red Kickoff Tournament Sunday at Cornell University's Bartels Hall.
Of those 19, all placed, including nine that brought home first-pace medals.
“The 19 Michigan wrestlers not only represent Michigan on the mat, but off as well,” coach Louie Johnson said. “These were all great kids. When they weren't wrestling themselves, they were mat side helping coach and support. It was a great weekend all around.
Taking first were 11/12 age group Sam Russel at 75 pounds and Alec Rees at 80. Also taking first at 13/14 were Alex Hrisopoulos at 90, Devin Schroder at 114, Joel Rees at 122, Steven Garza at 130, Kyle Johnson at 145, Devon Pingel at 155 and Max Dean at 170.
Also bringing home medals were Jared Boone at 46 pounds, Austin Boone at 70, Davin Gowens at 80, Lucas Hall at 85, Maxwell Johnson at 95, Zeth Dean at 100, Kole Krauss at 100, Alex Martinez at 107, Connor Chaney at 138 and Tanner Thomas at 170.
“Originally, there was to be team scoring, but with NYWAY's first major event there wasn't any,” Johnson said. “I think it would have been close between us and California. We would have had a good chance at first, even with we had 21 less kids there than California.”
A total of 193 kids were at the tournament, including the 40 California. And in between a morning and afternoon sessions, the 193 kids got to watch Lehigh and Cornell wrestle in a battle of NCAA Division I top 10 teams.
Cornell beat Lehigh 24-12.
“It was a great tournament with a quality of matches at a national caliber,” Johnson said. “The kids from Michigan and California really went after it.”
Jim Rees and Ben Martinez assisted Johnson in coaching the wrestlers.
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