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Walters, Bensink, Horth Open States With Wins

Southwestern senior Kenji Walters works his opponent in the first round of the 131-pound bracket at the NYSPHSAA Division 2 wrestling championships at MVP Arena in Albany. P-J photo by Tim Walters

ALBANY — Five local wrestlers opened the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Division 1 and 2 Wrestling Championships on Friday morning at MVP Arena.

Division 2

116 pounds

Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Panama/Clymer freshman Thandon Bensink opened action as the No. 12 seed in the first round of the 116-pound bracket against No. 21 Section VIII’s Devin Pellizzi of Cold Spring Harbor and made easy work of his opponent, jumping to an 8-0 lead after the first round.

Just 18 seconds into the second round Bensink worked over a pin to advance to the prequarterfinals against No. 5 Adam Munz of Section III’s Vernon-Verona-Sherill.

131 pounds

Southwestern senior Kenji Walters picked up a pin over his first-round opponent, No. 22 Sasha MacAdam of Collegiate School in the AIS. Walters dominated MacAdam throughout, jumping to a 7-0 lead before securing the pin with 14 seconds left in the second period.

The No. 11 seed Walters now advances to the prequarterfinals against No. 6 Scott Nicolella of Section II’s Duanesburg Schoharie with a 40-6 record.

152 pounds

Gowanda/Pine Valley senior Michael Horth couldn’t secure the pin that Bensink and Walters earned in their first-round matches, but he came about as close as you can at 152 pounds.

The 11-seed Horth secured several near-falls to build up to a 10-0 lead after the second period against No. 22 Carlos Rohm of Dalton School in the AIS. It looked like Horth was going to get the pin in the waning moments of the third round, but instead had to settle for a 16-0 technical fall victory.

Horth advances to the prequarterfinals against No. 6 Waylan Winseman of Section V’s Honeoye Falls-Lima with a 30-7 record.

Division 1

108 pounds

Jamestown’s Zach Little kicked off the action for local athletes, wrestling as the No. 20 seed against Nicholas Fortugno of Section I’s Briarcliff-Byram Hills-Valhalla-Westlake. The Jamestown’s sophomore’s first taste of action at the state tournament was a learning experience, suffering a third-period pin and moving into the consolation bracket.

131 pounds

Jamestown junior Tyler Zwald had a rematch of the Section VI championship, going against Clarence eighth-grader Trevor Mueller. No. 17 Zwald battled No. 16 Mueller in a scoreless first round, but it was Mueller securing the first points due to an illegal takedown which required recovery stoppage.

Mueller gained another point from an illegal maneuver by Zwald to go up 2-0 and in the third period all Zwald could manage was two escape points to ultimately be relegated to the consolation bracket by 6-2 decision.

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