Shoreham-Wading River junior James Szymanski wrestled to fifth place Saturday at the Eastern States Classic, one of the biggest and toughest wrestling tournaments on the East Coast.
Szymanski, wrestling 120 pounds, went 6-2 in the tournament as the No. 9 seed. In the fifth/sixth consolation match, he won 3-2 against Luis Weierbach of Hoosick Falls.
To open the tournament, Szymanski defeated Keven Dunshee of Sherburne-Earlville. He lost in the second round to Dylan Booth of Port Jervis, 1-0.
The loss dropped Szymanski to the wrestlebacks, where he rattled off four straight wins to advance to the consolation semifinals. He lost 4-0 to Bryan Lantry of Wayne, the No. 4 seed.
The Wildcats have had plenty of success over the years at the Eastern States, which is held at Sullivan Community College in Loch Sheldrake upstate. Last year, T.J. Fabian won the 126-pound title at the tournament before going on to win a state championship.
In his third wrestleback match, Szymanski defeated teammate Chris Meloni, who was unseeded. Meloni won three matches to open the tournament and advanced into the quarterfinals. He defeated the No. 7 seed, Joe Dillon of Nanuet, in the second round, by a 14-4 major decision. Meloni wrestled the No. 2 seed, Weierbach, in the quarterfinals and fell 4-1. Meloni’s first wrestleback match pitted him against Szymanski.
At 182 pounds, Dom Pirraglia opened as the No. 11 seed and went 3-2 in the tournament.
At 132 pounds, Jack Taddeo was unseeded and won his first two matches. He lost his first wrestleback match.