JCC Sending Seven To Nationals

Torres Is MOW; Page, Jones Also Win Weights At Districts

Jamestown Community College wrestlers, pictured from left: Cameron Page, Nick Jones and Dan Torres all won their weight classes at the NJCAA Eastern District I Championships on Sunday at Niagara County CC. Submitted photo

SANBORN — Cameron Page will be returning to the NJCAA Wrestling Championships in two weeks, hoping to improve on last year’s seventh-place finish.

He’ll have six Jamestown Community College teammates making the trip with him.

The Jayhawks finished fourth out of six teams at Sunday’s Eastern District I Championships on Sunday at Niagara County CC, and in the process seven wrestlers qualified for nationals, which will be held Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

“In three years we’ve come a long way. We have a long way to go still,” Jamestown CC coach Kris Schimek said late Sunday night. “We are not going to settle for anything but No. 1.”

Cassadaga Valley graduate Dan Torres won the 174-pound title and was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler after earning a 10-0 major decision over Nassau CC’s Adolfo Batista and pinning Sullivan County CC’s J’Havon Innocent in 2:46 for the crown.

Jamestown Community College’s Dan Torres accepts the Most Outstanding Wrestler plaque at the NJCAA Eastern District I Championships on Sunday at Niagara County CC. Submitted photo

“I wanted him to be the No. 1 seed and we ended up the No. 3 seed somehow,” Schimek said. “That lit a fire under him. He wasn’t happy and he wanted to prove a point. He definitely did.”

At 184 pounds, Page earned a return trip to Council Bluffs with a pair of wins. The Falconer graduate first earned a 13-4 major decision over Nassau CC’s Michael Sullivan before dominating Niagara County CC’s Sergio Crespo to the tune of an 18-0 technical fall for the title.

“It’s unacceptable to be anything but first place. That’s the standard we’ve set for him,” Schimek said of Page. “He’s on board and I’m on board. Anything else is underachieving.”

At 285 pounds, Nick Jones also earned a repeat trip to nationals with three victories Sunday. The Dunkirk graduate beat Nassau CC’s Nathaniel Lennon, 5-3; topped Mercyhurst North East’s Justin Johnson, 4-1; and then earned a double-overtime decision over Niagara County CC’s Anthony Robinson by claiming 14 seconds of riding time after battling to a 3-3 tie.

“He dug deep. There were times when he looked like he might throw up and he managed to power through that,” Schimek said. “(Robinson) was a state champ in New York state. Nick coming short of being a state champ in high school, being able to beat him one year removed from that means a lot.”

Jamestown CC head coach Kris Schimek is pictured with his Region 3 Hall of Fame plaque. Submitted photo

Niagara County CC won the team title with 140 points followed by Nassau CC (112.5), Mercyhurst North East (110), Jamestown CC (102), Ulster CC (68.5) and Sullivan County CC (66.5).

At 197 pounds, freshman Wyatt Holley qualified for nationals by finishing second. The Keshequa graduate pinned Nassau CC’s Greg Hoduluck in 2:41 before being pinned by Mercyhurst North East’s Hunter Harnish in 1:20.

Sophomore Nick Kozlowski will travel to Council Bluffs after a third-place finish Sunday at 133 pounds. The Olean graduate lost an 18-7 major decision to Nassau CC’s Anthony Sobotker before pinning Mercyhurst North East’s William Frederick in 53 seconds.

The Jayhawks also earned a pair of wild-card entrants to nationals. Greece-Arcadia graduate Paul Manning advanced at 125 pounds despite losing a technical fall to Ulster CC’s Gavin Pasqualini, 20-1, and being pinned by Mercyhurst North East’s Dylan Pesock in 2:11. At 141 pounds, Jamestown graduate Ben Winkler advanced despite being pinned by Sullivan County CC’s Robert Satriano in 54 seconds, pinning Ulster CC’s Jacob Studt in 27 seconds and losing a 6-4 decision to Mercyhurst North East’s Dillon Schnars.

“Ben Winkler qualified and he only wrestled for one year in high school. He’s been at practice every day for two years working his tail off and doing all the right things,” Schimek said. “For Manning, he’s had a tough year with a lot of personal things. He’s starting to get back in the swing of things.”

Sunday was also a pleasant return to Niagara County CC for Schimek, who was inducted into the NJCAA Region 3 Hall of Fame for his successful career as a member of the Thunderwolves wrestling team. Schimek was an All-American in 2012 and 2013, finishing fifth and second at the NJCAA championships. The Pine Valley graduate, who won 151 matches during his high school career and was a state qualifier as a senior, then went on to wrestle at NCAA Division III Ithaca College.

“I was recruited there to be a backup, beat the starter in our first tournament and never looked back,” Schimek said. “I can show the kids now that I was a nobody brought in to work out with a kid who was supposed to win nationals.

“I had a lot of people help me along the way,” Schimek added. “I think it shows them you don’t have to be the stud, a state champ or a Division I prospect, you can go earn whatever you want to earn.”