Blog Recap: Keck, Mullen advance to semifinals at state championship

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior John Keck opened the state tournament with a 7-1 victory.

Two Shoreham-Wading River wrestlers stand a pair of wins away from winning state championships.

Seniors John Keck and Zak Mullen won both their matches Friday on the first day of the New York State Championship at Times Union Center in Albany. They’ll wrestle in the semifinals, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, for a chance to make into the finals.

It won’t be easy.

Keck, at 152, and Mullen, at 160, will need to beat wrestlers they lost to in the Section XI Tournament two weeks ago.

Keck will wrestle Nick Hall of Longwood. The’ve wrestled twice this year and are 1-1. Hall beat Keck in the county finals. Mullen will wrestle Tyler Grimaldi of Hills West. He’s lost twice to Grimaldi this season.

Keck, who had to wrestle most of his quarterfinal match with a huge bandage wrapped around his head after getting cut, defeated Cristian Masaya of Brooklyn Tech, 3-2, to reach the semis. He won 7-1 against Dan Tracy of Mepham in the first round.

Mullen won 7-3 against Joe Cataldo of MacArthur in the quarterfinals. He won 6-2 against Jorge Jiminez of Grand Street Campus in the first round.

Junior T.J. Fabian lost in the quarterfinals against No. 2 seed Sean McCabe of Connetquot, 5-4. He fell to the wrestlebacks where he easily won his next match with a 48-second pin. In the first round Fabian pinned Zach Joseph of Shenendehowa in 2 minutes 54 seconds.

Fabian will need another win tomorrow morning to guarantee himself an all-state finish along with Keck and Mullen. Fabian would need two wins to wrestle for third/fourth.

Below is a live blog from Saturday, beginning with the quarterfinals: