Many of the top high school wrestlers from New York State and beyond will flock to Sullivan Community College this weekend for the 13th annual Eastern States Classic, which has become one of the most prestigious tournaments in the northeast.
The tournament, which will take place on Friday and Saturday, will serve as the biggest test for the top wrestlers in the area before the postseason begins next month. Some might even argue that it’s more difficult to win an Eastern States title than it is to become a state champion because it includes out-of-state teams and combines both Division 1 (large schools) and Division 2 (small schools) wrestlers.
The only local wrestler to claim a No. 1 seed for Eastern States this season is Mamaroneck senior Youssif Hemida, who is the favorite at 220 pounds. He won a Shoreline title on Saturday at New Rochelle with wins over Horace Greeley’s Brock Cvijanovich, who is seeded eighth for Eastern States, and Walt Whitman’s Vin Feola, who is seeded second. A first-place finish would clearly establish Hemida as the front-runner for a state title.
North Rockland senior Blaise Benderoth has had more success than any other local at Eastern States, placing in each of the last four years at the tournament. He’s seeded third at 160 pounds after finishing as the runner-up last season at 152.
Other locals seeded in the top 10 include North Rockland’s Anthony Sulla (10th at 106 pounds), John Jay’s Conor Melbourne (ninth at 138), Suffern’s Peter Pjetri (seventh at 195) and Mahopac’s Ryan Delahanty (fifth at 285).
Eastern States Classic info
All sessions: General: $18; Students/seniors: $10
One day only: General: $12; Students/seniors: $5
7 a.m. – Doors open
10:40 a.m. – Preliminaries (Round of 64)
11:25 a.m. – Round of 32
3:45 p.m. – Consolation Round 1
4:45 p.m.– Round of 16 and Consolation Round 2
7:15 p.m. – Consolation Round 3
10 p.m. – Approximate end time
8 a.m. – Doors open
9:15 a.m. – Quarterfinals and Consolation Round 4
11:30 a.m. – Consolation Round 5
1 p.m. – Semis and Consolation Round 6
2:45 p.m. – Consolation Semifinals
4:15 p.m. – Finals and Consolation Finals
7 p.m. – Approximate end time