WATKINS GLEN – Brandon Gould and Ian Chedzoy repeated as champions at the 30th annual Mike Watkins Invitational on Saturday night to lift host Watkins Glen to second place in the 23-team wrestling meet.
Vestal won the tournament for the fourth time in five years with 227 points. Watkins Glen had 216 and defending champion Elmira was third with 184.5, led by titles from Ben Howe and Charlie Mahon. Horseheads placed fourth and Maine-Endwell was fifth.
Odessa-Montour senior Joe Rorick won his second career Watson championship.
“I think it’s awesome,” Gould said of the Senecas’ team effort. “Last year we missed placing in the top three by one school I believe.”
Said Chedzoy: “This is the best team we’ve had in a long time.”
Gould, a junior, remained unbeaten this season with a 9-1 major decision over Vestal’s Zach Reyes in the 126-pound finals.
“I was in control for most of the match,” Gould said. “It was a good opponent. I just try to go as hard as I can for as long as I can every match and it paid off.”
The title was Gould’s third in front of the home fans at Watkins Glen High School’s field house. He was voted by the coaches as Most Outstanding Wrestler for the 99- to 145-pound divisions.
“You get a little more pumped for this one, your hometown,” he said. “Everybody’s here, all your family and friends. Everybody’s supporting you and cheering.”
Chedzoy, a junior, took control early against Waterloo’s Ryan Anderson in the 182-pound final and earned a 10-6 victory.
“He was pretty good on bottom, so he kept escaping and I kept taking him down,” said Chedzoy, now 25-1 this season.
Earning runner-up finishes for the Senecas were Nick Cocola at 152, Josh Burge at 170 and Dustin Goltry at 220.
Elmira’s Mahon won his second straight Watson title, holding on for a 1-0 victory over South Seneca’s Adam Wagner in the 132-pound finals. Wagner tried continually to get a tying escape in the final three minutes, but Mahon wouldn’t let him loose.
“It was just a tough match. Conditioning was a big factor,” said Mahon, a freshman. “Hard work in the (training) room translates to results on the mat.”
It was the second invitational title this season for Mahon, who is excited about Elmira’s season even with the Express having some holes in the lineup right now.
“The team is doing great. We’ve got a good, supportive group of guys,” he said.
Howe, also a freshman, pinned Vestal’s Zayne Benedict 27 seconds into the second period at 99 pounds to win his second tournament title of the season.
“I kind of just went with what he was going with,” Howe said. “I capitalized on his mistake and I took him to his back and pinned him. … I’m very happy and proud of how I did. Working hard in the room has been a key thing.”
Rorick, a senior, earned an 8-1 victory over Vestal’s Derek Osman at 120 pounds. Rorick was a 5-2 winner over Osman at the Windsor Tournament earlier this season, where Rorick suffered his only loss after hurting his knee.
“I was just in a zone where I did not want to lose, so I was going to make sure I did whatever it took to win,” Rorick said. “Derek is definitely a tough opponent and he brings a different style to wrestling, which makes it a fun match. Even though sometimes it looked like the match was getting crazy, we know what we’re doing.”
Rorick became Odessa-Montour’s career wins leader earlier this season, passing Don Gunning. Rorick said off the top of his head his career record is now 149-18, including 28-1 this season.
Spencer-Van Etten’s Joe Judge was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler for the 152- to 285-pound divisions after taking the 160-pound title. Other champions: Vestal’s Dan Brunette at 106, Sayre’s Nate Nordin at 113, Maine-Endwell’s Kobe Garrehy at 138, Whitney Point’s Nate Grubham at 145, Vestal’s Rob Mastronardi at 152, South Seneca’s Nick Wycoff at 170, South Seneca’s Luke Macintosh at 195, Geneva’s Stone Davis at 220 and Waterloo’s Jordan Hamilton at 285.
On Twitter: @SGAndrewLegare