SWR crowns three champs in Walt Whitman Tournament

It was an impressive way to begin the season.

The Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats wrestling team had three champions and another three wrestlers place second in the Walt Whitman Tournament on Saturday. T. J. Fabian won the 112-pound weight class while Zak Mullen was victorious at 140 and John Keck captured the 152-pound title.

Fabian, a sophomore, pinned his own teammate, Troy Miller, in the final in 59 seconds. It was Fabian’s fifth pin and gave him the tournament’s most pins in the least time.

“T. J. is always ready,” Shoreham-Wading River Coach Joe Condon said. “He works hard. He is all business.”

Condon praised Miller, a freshman, for reaching the final in his first tournament.

Mullen dominated Sachem North’s Nick Iannello, winning a 12-2 decision. Keck pinned West Babylon’s Jon Gonzalez in 31 seconds.

“John took his man down and never let him up,” Condon said. “He was so focused this was like a business trip for him.”

In addition to Miller’s runner-up finish, the Wildcats’ James Syzmanski, an eighth-grader, was pinned by Walt Whitman’s Joe Calderone at 2:49 in the 96-pound final. Condon said Syzmanski’s performance against a top-flight opponent was “excellent.”

In the 215 final, Walt Whitman’s Luke Rise pinned the Wildcats’ Bryan Antonoff at 3:49.

“This was Bryan’s first time in the finals and it was a very impressive performance,” Condon said. “This was a big thing for him.”

Four Shoreham-Wading River wrestlers — Kevin Warner (103), Ryan Stern (130), Dom Pirraglia (160) and Mike Sanders (189) — placed third. Finishing in fourth place for the Wildcats were Zach Sperling (119), Asael Romero (135), Tom Valentine (145) and Joe Longo (171).

David Keith (103) had a fifth-place finish, while Wildcat teammates Steve Corso (125) and Joe Bennett (145) came in sixth.

Condon reiterated how impressive this early showing was by his team, especially in light of heavyweight competition like Sachem North, Walt Whitman, West Babylon, Port Washington, Uniondale and North Babylon.

“If you want to get better, you can’t avoid tough competition,” Condon said. “It is still early, but we utilized what we’ve been working on. We have high expectations. This was good for us to do against tough competition. This is something to build on.”