Burke Paddock

     Three Empire State blue-chippers captured Junior Greco titles at the Asics/Vaughan Jr. Nationals held in the Fargo Dome, North Dakota. Earning gold medals were former state champions; William Koll (132), Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (145) and Burke Paddock at 160 pounds. In the finals, Cornell-bound Koll defeated William Kui (NJ), 11-0, Spencer upended Sir Romeo Howard (Illinois), 16-5, and Paddock blanked Minnesota's Jake Deutschlander, 10-0. Koll will hone his mat skills for the Big Red and wrestle for his dad, Rob, in the fall. Spencer is heading to Iowa State and Paddock will most likely red-shirt for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Others were Lenny Merkin (7th at 138), Jesse Porter (152) and Ben Honis (195), both placed fifth.

   In the Junior Freestyle edition, six New Yorkers earned All- American honors, including state bronze medalist Kelan McKenna (5th at 106), the aforementioned Spencer (8th) and Paddock (3rd). Other AA's were Jordan Bushey (7th at 170), state king Nathanael Rose (7th at 195) and Youssif Hemida, 5th in the 220-pound class.

   In the Cadet's Men's Freestyle Illinois star Dylan Duncan handled two of New York's best, Yianni Diakomihalis (12-4) in the finals and Vito Arujau (10-0) in the semi-finals, he rolled to the 120-pound crown. Diakomihalis (129-3 career) and Arujau (94-1) are among the nation's best, now add Duncan to that elite list. Locust Valley's Jonathan Gomez earned 8th place at 100 pounds.

   New York State had a fine showing in the Women's competition, as two claimed national titles; Alexis Bleau (108) and Alexis Porter at 148 pounds. Earning bronze medals were Jennifer Juarez at 112 and Monica Mason in the 198-pound class. Other top performances were turned in by; Darcy Brownell (8th at 97), Kelsey Gray (6th at 112) and Sara Andersen, 7th in the 121-pound class.