WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Once the Section 1 Large-School Wrestling Championships/State Qualifier concluded Monday, Yorktown's David Varian walked away quite angry.
The senior lost a difficult decision in triple overtime to Tappan Zee’s Mike Manni in the 285-pound title match. Despite the verdict, Varian was in consideration for one of the four wild cards awarded to each weight class for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Wrestling Championships.
The long week of waiting closed Friday with good news, as Varian learned of his wild-card berth to the state championships Feb. 22-23 in Albany.
Varian is one of four Section 1 Large-School wrestlers from Westchester County to receive a wild card. Along with Varian are Horace Greeley senior Scott Wymbs (195 pounds) and Ossining’s Alex DelaCruz (120) and Trent Lofaro (220). These three wrestlers were also sectional finalists. This is the second consecutive state championship for DelaCruz, while Wymbs and Lofaro are making their first appearance.
“It’s been a bizarre week,” said Varian, the 2012 Section 1 Division I champion. “At first, I didn’t think about a wild card because I was so upset.”
Once the disappointment cleared, Varian took an optimistic approach.
“I came into the week telling myself I was going to Albany next weekend, and I’ve been working hard, like I’ve been all season,” Varian said. “I am beyond happy knowing that I’ll be in Albany with my teammates.”
Varian will be joined by Section 1 champs Joe Mastro (152), Thomas Murray (182) and Steven Sabella (195). Wymbs is the first Greeley wrestler to receive a wild card. He is also the first Greeley grappler to wrestle in the state championships since two-time section champ Burke St. John in 2006.
Overall, nine Section 1 wrestlers received wild cards. The list includes Colby Kash (Clarkstown North), Jake DiMarsico and Blaise Benderoth (both of North Rockland) and Brad Marvin (R.C. Ketcham), all from large schools. Nanuet’s Anthony Calvano is the only small-school wrestler who earned a wild card.