Waverly freshman A.J. Burkhart is two victories from a state title after posting two wins Friday during the opening day of the New York State Wrestling Championships at the Times Union Center in Albany.
Burkhart, competing in the Division II 99-pound class, earned a 9-0 victory over Sam Wolf of Warsaw in the opening round. Burkhart came back with a 4-3 victory over Pearl River’s Sean McGarvey in the quarterfinals.
Up next for Burkhart will be a semifinal against top-seeded Drew Shafer of Palmyra-Macedon on Saturday. Semifinals start at 10 a.m. and the championship finals begin at 6:30 p.m. Both rounds will be televised by Time Warner Cable Sports Channel.
Watkins Glen junior Brandon Gould and Odessa-Montour senior Joe Rorick each won their opening matches before losing in Division II quarterfinals.
Gould, competing at 126, began his day by pinning Brandon Merchant of Cobleskill-Richmondville in two minutes. Gould’s bid for a state title ended when he suffered a 10-0 loss to Nick Gaiser of Alexander in the quarterfinals. Gould then earned a 6-1 consolation win over Unatego’s Austin Ryan and can finish as high as third Saturday.
Rorick, wrestling at 120 pounds, started with an 8-0 victory over Northern Adirondack’s Roland Lapoint. In the quarterfinals, top-seeded Matteo DeVincenzo of Port Jefferson beat Rorick by technical fall, 16-1. Rorick was eliminated when he was pinned by familiar foe Logan Robinson of Walton in wrestlebacks.
Elmira High School junior Tommy Mackay, competing at 170 pounds in Division I, was pinned in 1:41 by Fulton’s Travis Race in the first round. Mackay bounced back with a third-period pin over Wensnel Pierre of Wingate in wrestlebacks before falling in overtime, 2-1, to Nunzio Croley of Eastchester.
Express sophomore 113-pounder Noah Carpenter lost 16-3 to Ryan Burns of Clarence in the opening round. In wrestlebacks, Malik Grant of Curtis handed Carpenter an 8-0 setback.
In the Division II 182-pound division, Watkins Glen junior Ian Chedzoy lost 3-1 to Jake Kubala of Newfane before rallying for a 4-2 win over Peter Jones of Irvington in wrestlebacks. Chedzoy was then eliminated with a 10-3 loss to Geno Brancati of Hudson Falls.
Watkins Glen senior Josh Burge was pinned in 3:15 by Morrisville-Eaton’s Brett Lewis in the first round of the Division II 170-pound class. Burge was eliminated with a 7-4 loss to Schuylerville’s Tyler Green in the consolation round.
Former Corning standout Jimmy Overhiser, now at Lansing, won his two Division II 120-pound matches Friday and will compete in the semifinals against DeVincenzo.
On Twitter: @SGAndrewLegare