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|Lake Erie National Beach Wrestling Championships a success in Ohio, with nine champions crowned|
By Jeff Bucher Ohio USA Wrestling
The Lake Erie National Beach Wrestling Championships were a great success this past weekend in Oregon, Ohio. The event, held at Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon, Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie, included intense competition despite poor weather conditions early in the day. Thunderstorms kept the registration under water, but the skies cleared around noon for the scheduled start of competition.
At the end of the day, nine individual champions were crowned. Athletes representing Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, and New Mexico were in attendance. The tournament was hosted by the Lake Erie Wrestling Club and sanctioned by USA Wrestling.
"I was excited about the turnout, especially with the weather forecast," event director Jeff Bucher said. "We had a number of tough competitors, state champions, NCAA athletes, Junior National team members and All-Americans. I was very happy with the level of competition that we had here."
The marquee finals bout of the day occurred in the 186-pound Open division (ages 19 and up). Nathanial Augustson, currently the starter for Ohio State at 174, defeated Chris Elliot of Pennsylvania 2-1. Elliot is the head coach of Mercyhurst College Northeast and is a former 3x NCAA Qualifier for Slippery Rock. Augustson, a former state champion and Junior National All-American, is also a 2x NAIA All-American.
Placing third at 186-pounds was USOEC Resident Athlete Joe Uccellini. Uccellini finished the day with a 2-2 record, after dropping close bouts to Augustson and Elliot.
Angelo Caponi, a graduate of Mercyhurst College, claimed the 198-pound and over title in the Open division. Caponi was a high school state champion and Junior National Greco Roman All-American in 2001. While at Mercyhurst, Caponi earned two trips to the NCAA Division II Championships. Caponi defeated Branden Bice of Pennsylvania in the championship bout 2-0. Bice was a two-time state place winner in Pennsylvania and was a member of the Junior National Team in both freestyle and Greco this past season. Bice is an incoming freshman at Mercyhurst Northeast this season.
In all, the Mercyhurst College group was represented by seven athletes claiming one gold, two silvers, and one bronze.
Matt Holland of Ohio won gold in the 150-pound and under Open Division. Holland defeated Steve Simok, also of Ohio, in the championship match 2-0. Holland, a high school state place winner this season, will begin his collegiate career this season at the University of Findlay. Simok, a high school state champion and senior national All-American competed in the collegiate ranks at the University of Pittsburgh (2 years) and the University of Findlay (2 years).
The Junior Division (ages 15-18) awarded five champions. 2005 State Champion Jacob Hale of Ohio defeated Matt Fisher of Ohio 2-0 in the final bout at 175-pounds and over. Hale was a member of the Junior National team in both styles and Fisher was a 2005 Champion at the Tournament of Champions.
Ohio Junior National team member Marc Hoff took the 167-pound title. Hoff, a two-time high school state placer, defeated Dan Castillo of Ohio 2-1. Castillo will begin his collegiate career at Cleveland State University this fall. 2005 Cadet Greco Roman All-American Eric Cubberly of Ohio defeated Alex Herrick of Ohio 2-0 in the championship match at 155-pounds. Cubberly was also a high school state place winner this season.
In a battle of Ohio state place winners, Kurt Shroyer downed Jeff Pelton in the 142-pound final. Shroyer finished 7th and Pelton 2nd in this year's state tournament. Justin Flores defeated Kyle Sutter at 131-pounds. Flores was a state tournament alternate as a freshman and Sutter was a member of the Cadet Greco team.
Tyler Goudy claimed the only gold contested in the Schoolboy division (14 and under). Goudy defeated Ryan Widmer in their final bout. Widmer put up a strong fight despite giving away nearly 50 pounds to Goudy.
"We loved this event," Bucher said. "I think this will be a fun alternative for our athletes, a good change of pace from the same tournaments. Everyone had a blast. We are looking forward to hosting future beach events here in Ohio."
Lake Erie National Beach Wrestling Championships
at Oregon, Ohio, August 20
Schoolboy - 147 and under
Gold: Tyler Goudy
Silver: Ryan Widmer
Junior - 131
Gold: Justin Flores
Silver: Kyle Sutter
Bronze: Erik Michaels
Junior - 142
Gold: Kurt Shroyer
Silver: Jeff Pelton
Bronze: Alex Box
Junior - 155
Gold: Eric Cubberly
Silver: Alex Herrick
Bronze: Tyler Wagers
Junior - 167
Gold: Marc Hoff
Silver: Dan Castillo
Bronze: Andrew Dombroff
Junior - 175 and up
Gold: Jacob Hale
Silver: Matt Fisher
Bronze: Kyle Baker
Open - 150 and below
Gold: Matt Holland
Silver: Steve Simok
Bronze: Jeff Fortman
Open - 186
Gold: Nathaniel Augustson
Silver: Chris Elliot
Bronze: Joe Uccellini
Open - 198 and up
Gold: Angelo Caponi
Silver: Braden Bice
Bronze: Adam Murray