Wrestling tops Titans but falls to Bengals

Dec. 9, 2009, 1:39 p.m. | By Anya Gosine | 11 years, 10 months ago

Blair's wrestling team beats Einstein in first meet of season

Blair's wrestling team defeated Einstein 42 - 24 and lost to Blake 22 - 54 in their first multiple meet of the season on Saturday. Blake defeated Einstein 54 – 5. Coach Jake Scott expressed that considering it was the first meet for a majorly young team, the outcome was satisfying.

Blair first competed against Blake, which was a notably competitive team, according to the Blair wrestlers. Of the 11 matches between the teams, only senior captain Johni Meeks, junior captain Jeffrey Garcia, junior Arthur Tsapdong and sophomore Billy Saturno were triumphant.

While Meeks was able to swiftly pin his opponent shortly into the first period, the process was not as smooth for the other wrestlers. During his match, Tsapdong was unable to take much control in the first period as he and his opponent exhibited equally matched skill, neither able to take the other down. Tsapdong also made the mistake of locking his hands together, which gave penalty points to Blake. It was in the second period that Tsapdong executed an impressive reversal to get on top of his opponent and eventually pin him. Tsapdong attributed his win to following the same advice the coaches always reiterated. "I just wanted to stick to my guns," he said. "I tried to go by what the coaches told me in practice and utilize that to my advantage."

Both Garcia and Saturno maintained the upper hand for the majority of their time in their matches, but could not finish off their opponents until after some struggling. Garcia noted that having more command of the fight's direction would have helped him. "I have to learn how to control the pace more and really break down my opponent," Garcia said.

Against Einstein, the team was much more powerful, winning seven of the nine matches. More blazer wrestlers were uncontested due to opponents in their corresponding weight groups. It was considerably more successful because of a similar range of experienced wrestlers, according to Scott. "Our new guys beat their new guys, our veterans beat their veterans," he said.

During his match, Meeks pinned his opponent in a quick fashion. Meeks expressed that because he had an elbow injury, he did not want to engage in a long match and thus aimed to finish off his opponents quickly. However, Meeks noted that for future meets he wants to be prepared for a more lengthy fight. "I want to improve my endurance," he said.

Several wrestlers who fell to Blake emerged dominant with Einstein. In his Blake match, sophomore Anthony Jankoski had trouble breaking his opponent's grip and lost in the second period. Against Einstein, however, he was considerably more aggressive and successfully pinned his opponent in the second. Jankoski felt that his first loss was able to boost his mentality for the following match. "It made me more motivated," he said.

Photo: The referee watches closely as Chen holds down a Titan wrestler.

Another notable wrestler was sophomore David Chow. Against Blake, Chow struggled in a match with a long stalemate until the third period in which he was eventually overpowered. In his Einstein match, however, Chow was able to repeatedly attack his opponent with more takedowns. Chow pointed out that a shoulder injury caused him some trouble during his fight, but by following his coaches directions, he was able to overthrow his opponent. "I just tried to listen to my coaches were saying the whole time," he said.

Chow's match also had to be paused several times as the Titan wrestler suffered a nosebleed, but Chow worked the disruption in the pace to his advantage. "It gives you time to reflect and breathe," he said.

For the first meet of the season, both wrestlers and coaches are satisfied, especially because of the inexperience of many team members. "We had a lot of first timers that we sent up to the mat," Garcia said. The team anticipated the challenge of the Blake team, which had been training all summer, according to Scott. But while he felt Blake was superior, Scott was proud of the team's performance against Einstein, who had a medley of wrestlers similar to that of Blair. "When the playing field was even, we shone through," he said.

While this meet provided the team with many grounds for improvement, the sentiment of the team was positive throughout. "We showed a lot of heart and excitement for our first match," Tsapdong said. Scott also expressed that the results promise a positive season for the wrestlers. "All in all I was very encouraged by the team's performance," he said.

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