Colom Brothers Finish Fourth, Fifth At State Wrestling Meet
ALBANY – When the Dunkirk Marauders hold their end of the year banquet on Friday, coach Joe McMurdy will have brothers Tito and Hector Colom stand up and share their experiences from this weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association wrestling championships.
The experience they had this past weekend will surely be one they don’t soon forget.
Eighth-grader Hector placed fifth at 106 pounds while Tito placed fourth at 113.
“You come here and get a fourth and a fifth, I’m very happy,” McMurdy said. “I can’t complain. The kids have been so happy about being up here. They can share a couple positive experiences. I couldn’t be any prouder. They win with class and they lose with class. That’s what we expect and that’s what we saw here. We see it all year long and that’s a good thing. I want them to walk out of here feeling proud of what they accomplished. They are here because they belonged here.”
Tito Colom fell in the semifinals as he lost to Hunter Dusold of Locus Valley (Section 8), 5-3.
After a scoreless first period, Dusold scored a two-point reversal and was awarded two backpoints for a 4-0 lead.
In the third period, Colom got two backpoints of his own to cut the deficit in half. Colom was then given a point as Dusold was stalling to make the score 4-3.
However, Dusold was able to escape for a 5-3 lead and eventually the win.
In the wrestlebacks, Colom faced a familiar foe in Southwestern’s Ryan Hetrick, who won his first match on Saturday 5-0 over Tanner Lapiene of Section 10’s Ogdensburg.
After a scoreless first period, Hetrick began the second period from the bottom position. Hetrick earned an escape for a 1-0 lead, but Colom scored a takedown shortly after for a 2-1 edge heading into the final period.
In the third period, Hetrick let Colom up to face a 3-1 deficit and a chance for a takedown. However, Hetrick was never able to get the takedown as Colom prevailed.
“That was a big match,” McMurdy said. “This is battle number five for those guys. I thought Tito wrestled smart.”
Hetrick went on to a sixth-place finish as he fell in his final match, 3-2.
In the match for third place, Colom took on Adam West of Section 5’s Pal Mac, and fell 6-0 to capture fourth place.
Hector Colom started off Saturday with a strong come-from-behind performance at 106.
After falling behind, 4-0, to Hunter O’Lena of Section 5, Colom scored an escape and a takedown to make the score 4-3. Colom then had a near pin to earn two more points as the final seconds of the period ticked off the clock for a 6-4 lead. From there, Colom scored a reversal and was awarded two backpoints for the 10-4 victory.
In his second wrestleback match, Colom faced Tanner Cook of Central Valley Academy. Cook scored a takedown in the first round and scored four more points in the second period to build a 6-0 lead. Cook went on to win, 8-2
The loss put Colom into the match for fifth or sixth place against Kyle Asianian. There, it took overtime for Colom to claim a 4-2 victory and fifth place.
In the 138-pound semifinal match, Central Valley Academy’s Laken Cook was the beneficiary of some questionable calls as he defeated Fredonia’s Dakota Gardner, 8-2.
After a scoreless first period, Gardner started the second frame in the bottom position and was able to escape. However, Cook was able to get a takedown for a 2-1 lead, only to see Gardner escape again for a 2-2 tie.
During the third period, Gardner had Cook in a Colorado tilt which appeared to have warranted backpoints. However, the official ruled Cook came in and out of criteria to avoid the backpoints.
“I felt Dakota was taken out of his match a little bit,” Fredonia coach Joe Santilli said. “We didn’t get those backpoints and I thought we were in a good position. We didn’t get the call you count on. It’s a routine call and that didn’t go the way we had hoped.”
Shortly after, during an injury timeout, the clock keeper did not stop the play clock and a lengthy conference was held to determine the right amount of time, according to Santilli.
When action resumed, Cook was awarded a point for a false-start penalty on Gardner, though it appeared Cook was the one to move first.
In the final minute of the match, Gardner was again docked a point for a takedown out of bounds though the whistle had not yet blown. That gave Cook a 4-2 lead. In need of points, Gardner let Cook up from the bottom position for a 5-2 deficit.
Then, as Gardner shot for a takedown, Cook was able to take advantage of Gardner’s aggressiveness and scored a takedown for a 7-2 lead.
Cook was awarded another point in the final seconds due to a Gardner false start.
In Gardner’s first wrestleback match, he defeated Colin Royce, 2-1. In the match for third place against Section 8’s Sam Ward, Gardner fell behind 3-1 in the third period but used a takedown with 28 seconds left to tie the match. Ward escaped with 20 seconds left in the match and made the 4-3 final stand as Gardner finished the tournament in fourth place.
Falconer’s Kyle Ross took fifth place at 170.
In his first wrestleback match of Saturday, Ross was dominant in a 10-0 victory over Brad Perry of Section 2’s Granville. However, in his next match, he lost to Jacob Woolson, who is the same wrestler who defeated Ross Friday in their first-round match, 7-3. On Saturday, Woolson won 4-2.
“Woolson and Ross’s style don’t match up too well,” Falconer coach Drew Wilcox said. “Ross can usually control the tempo and Woolson was getting Ross off the mat. He is a tough kid.”
Ross went on to defeat Geno Brancati for the fifth-place finish.
“To come up here the first time and take fifth is a big accomplishment,” Wilcox said. “We were looking for a medal. It was a well-deserved fifth place. I am going to miss him. He wrestled with us for five years. He has a personality we are going to miss. He did everything we asked of him on the mat.”
Frewsburg’s Trevor Spicer had a solid fourth-place finish at 195.
After dropping his first match Friday, Spicer won his next four matches to make it to the consolation finals.
There, he faced Ward Hively of Section 5’s Addison and gave up five points in the final 20 seconds to fall 7-3 and claim fourth place.
“Losing that first match on day one took the wind out of him but it took a lot to come all the way back through the bracket,” Frewsburg coach Cody Spicer said. “I love that kid. It’s a great way to go out and do what he did took a lot. He is a great kid.”
At 120, Maple Grove’s Brad Bihler placed fourth.
Bihler picked up two wins Saturday to advance to the consolation finals. However, he was defeated by Lackawanna’s Abdul-Fatah Alshawai, 6-1.
“We came in with a tough draw up against the returning state champion in the second round,” Maple Grove coach Tim Shrout said. “He bounced back really well and made it to the consolation finals. He wrestled a kid he had seen before and just had a different result this time. A two-time place finisher is nothing to hang your head about.”
Also for Maple Grove, junior Howie Nolan placed sixth at 160. After winning two wrestleback matches Friday due to medical forfeits, Nolan went 0-2 Saturday to take the final spot on the podium.
“Sixth place is really big for Howie,” Shrout said. “As a third alternate, unseeded kid to wrestle tough and compete at this level is difficult. He is a junior in a weight class filled with seniors and returning state qualifiers.”