With the coming of March, the winter athletic schedule has come to a close for area high school sports.
By Mitch Silver
With the coming of March, the winter athletic schedule has come to a close for area high school sports. For some talented individuals, though, the beat goes on. Let’s start with the grapplers.
The Garnets placed three wrestlers in the semifinals of the Section 1 wrestling tournament in February. At 113 pounds, Phillip Smith pinned Gavin Pasqualini of Arlington in 3 minutes 50 seconds. In the 170-pound class, Jackson Kligerman lost a 3-1 decision to Mamaroneck’s Roger Ransom, a rival he beat earlier in the season. And, at 195 pounds, Miles Giordano pinned Owen McGivney of Yonkers in 2:51.
While Smith and Giordano each lost in the finals, Kligerman won his 3rd-place match, pinning Gabe Duden of Arlington in under a minute.
Across town, sophomore Hannes Boehning dropped a 3-1 decision in the New York State private school championships to Rye’s Owen Elrifi, who attends Horace Mann. Boehning had beaten Elrifi 6-4 earlier in the season. Rye Country Day coach Rich Knazik described the action: “The match was a very hard-fought one. Very defensive. I give Owen lots of credit for being able to fight off Hannes’ leg attacks; not many kids have been able to do that this year.”
The coach was happy to share that his Wildcats were voted “Most Improved Team” by the other coaches. Junior Pete Sanchez, seeded 5th, beat the No. 1 seed from Poly Prep to make the finals of the 128-pound weight class. Eighth grader Cameron Coleman took 3rd place at 184. Junior Sean Price had a good match in the heavyweight final before getting pinned. Jay Waddell and Sean Chan both took 4th, at 108 and 134, respectively. Arthur Nagashima finished 5th at 122 pounds.
Elrifi went on to compete at the Nationals ten days ago. “Nationals didn’t go my way. I was eliminated the first day, drawing the number 2 seed in the first round, then having a tough second match as well.” Still, there’s nothing shabby about competing even after the regular season ends.
On the track, Rye Neck’s Conner Sexton and Cayla Vinzons did just that at the Section 1 Class C championships. Sexton took the bronze in the 1600-meter run in 4:44, while Vinzons set a personal best in the 3,000 with a time of 11:32, also good for third.
This past Tuesday, five Rye Garnets took the track at the uptown Armory for the Eastern States invitational meet. Maggie McDermott ran the two-mile and set a new school record of 11:32.2 while finishing fourth against the best runners in the region. The boys’ 4×800-meter relay team of Andrew Willis, Jack Smith, Jack Ryan, and Ryan Bird took eighth overall in 8:06.15, with Bird kicking home in a blazing 1:57.6.
Of course, these same athletes will be moving outdoors, and their times are sure to come tumbling down even more.