University at Buffalo Wrestling

Bulls Win NYS Wrestling Championship

Trotta, Paladino, Cooper, Bontempo claim titles as UB wins first team crown since 1978

BUFFALO, NY - It was the perfect ending to a successful weekend for the University at Buffalo wrestling team.

Claiming four individual champions, the Bulls took home the New York State Collegiate Championship crown on its home mat by holding off Army in the championship finals. Buffalo finished with 178.5 points while Army finished second (168.5) followed by Columbia (107), Nassau Community College (94.5) and Binghamton (91) to round out the top five. Army's Phillip Simpson, who earned the 141-pound title for the second straight year, was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler.

It was the first New York State crown for the Bulls since 1978 and was one of two major milestones that fell on the day. Senior Gary Cooper (Adams, NY/South Jefferson) also became the school's career win leader and had a crucial victory in the 174-pound finals, defeating Army's Luke Calvert by a 3-2 score. Earlier in the day he defeated Nassau’s Carlos Patrick by a 9-0 score for his 103rd career win, passing Josh States (1997-2001) in the process.

The Bulls then clinched the team title at 184 pounds when junior Garrett Bontempo (DuBois, PA/DuBois) posted a strong 12-4 win over Binghamton's Jerome Joe.

"This was really a team victory," said UB coach Jim Beichner. "We got several strong performances in the wrestlebacks and we needed all of the guys who won in the finals to come through. We could have just as easily lost the team title by ten points if guys didn't come through with wins."

It started in dramatic fashion at 133 pounds for Buffalo. Junior Mike Trotta (Oceanside, NY/Oceanside) needed overtime to pull out a win over former teammate Tyshawn Scarlett of Nassau Community College. Trotta successfully rode out Scarlett to earn sudden victory and get the Bulls on their way.

Buffalo also crowned a champion at 165 pounds as sophomore Tom Paladino (Bethpage, NY/Bethpage) gutted his way through the tournament despite a painful knee injury. Paladino claimed a 3-1 win over RIT's Patrick North in the finals. It set the stage for three straight titles for Buffalo as Cooper and Bontempo followed suit.

"I'm happy for Gary that he has persevered to break the career win record," said Beichner. "That was an important win for us and it puts the record behind him so he can focus on the Mid-American Conference portion of our schedule - as we all have to do at this point."

Cooper improved to 25-4 on the season, while Bontempo upped his record to 25-5 on the year. Sophomore Dave Edwards (Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY/Cornwall) lost a 7-2 decision to two-time 149-pound champion Erik Norgaard of Columbia. Also losing in the finals for Buffalo was freshman Tom Curl (Gibbstown, NJ/Paulsboro), who was stopped by Army's John Paxton by an 8-2 score.

Buffalo got a third place finish from freshman Mike Sebaaly (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster) and a strong performance from freshman Harold Sherrell (Liverpool, NY/Liverpool), who finished fourth at a crowded 197-pound weight class and just missed earning a berth in the finals when he lost in sudden victory time in the semifinals.

History was made at 197 pounds as Nassau's Chris Weidman became the first junior college wrestler to earn an individual New York State title when he beat No. 1 seed Joe Forsman of Army by escaping in the sudden victory period. Junior College schools have been participating in the event for the past four seasons.

The Championship Finals Results

Wt. Winner School Score/Time Loser School

125 Dan Green Columbia 14-5 Sal Cruz Brockport

133 Mike Trotta Buffalo 4-4 (OT/ride out) Tyshawn Scarlett Nassau CC

141 Phillip Simpson Army 14-2 Chris DeLuca Nassau CC

149 Erik Norgaard Columbia 7-2 Dave Edwards Buffalo

157 Jeremy Conner Army 8-1 Joe Privitere Binghamton

165 Tom Paladino Buffalo 3-1 Patrick North RIT

174 Gary Cooper Buffalo 3-2 Luke Calvert Army

184 Garrett Bontempo Buffalo 12-4 Jerome Joe Binghamton

197 Chris Weidman Nassau CC 4-3 (OT/escape) Joe Forsman Army

Hwt John Paxton Army 8-2 Tom Curl Buffalo

Click on the links below for results for each session.

Session I results
Session II results
Session III results
Session IV results


01/16/2003
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