ALBANY: Graham, Meys sweep 171-pound titles

Meys wasn't the only Section II wrestler celebrating his first state title. Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk's Nate Graham claimed the division 2 171-pound title with a thrilling 8-5 overtime victory over two-time state champion Colin McDonald of Waverly.

"It feels good," said Graham, who became R-C-S's first state wrestling champion. "I get my name on the mat."

Graham's ability to score reversals helped him in the finals. He used one toward the end of the second period to pull within a point of McDonald, and then he opened the third period with another reversal to take a 4-3 lead. Only a McDonald escape with 34 seconds left prevented Graham from winning the state title in regulation.

"The last time I wrestled him, I reversed him, so I knew I could do it again," said Graham, who lost to McDonald in two previous bouts.

After a scoreless one-minute overtime period, Graham and McDonald went to two 30-seconds overtime periods. Graham won the coin flip and elected to start in the defensive position, but he didn't stay there long as he scored his third reversal to take a 6-4 lead.

"The (overtime) reversal was outstanding," said R-C-S coach Henry Mormile III. "How many times do you see kids settle for one point (for an escape), and he kept working until he got the reversal."

McDonald, who won the last two 152-pound division titles, barely had enough energy to fight back. He scored an escape early in the second 30-second overtime period to pull within a point, but his last-ditch takedown attempt turned into a two-point takedown for Graham that sealed the state title.

"He's been training hard since September, working five days a week and working harder than anyone else," said Mormile. "You could see it in this tournament."

Christian Brothers Academy's Michael Chaires also needed overtime to win a state title. The University of Virginia-bound senior battled Spencerport's Bryan Bourne for more than six minutes before scoring a takedown and two back points to pull out a 5-1 victory.

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment