By Curt Heinrichs
On Wednesday, some of the best wrestlers in the United States will take on their counterparts from around the world in an outdoor event in Times Square in the 5th annual Beat the Streets Gala. Logan Stieber and Kyle Snyder earned a pair of spots in the event, representing the United States team at 65 kilos (143 lbs) and 97 kilos (213 lbs) respectively. The Beat the Streets event is held with proceeds and increased awareness benefitting youth wrestling programs in New York City.
Stieber is slated to compete in his third Beat the Streets event, after posting a 2-0 record thus far in the event. Stieber is scheduled to face Haislan Garcia, who has twice represented Canada in the Olympics, placing seventh in the 2012 Games in London. In addition to his three NCAA Championships in as many seasons, Stieber is no slouch when wrestling freestyle on the international stage. The redshirt senior from Monroeville has earned a Junior World silver medal and has twice taken 3rd place at the U.S. Open. At the 2012 Beat the Streets event, Stieber defeated Russian Akhmed Chakaev 1-3, 7-0, 5-4. In 2013, Stieber fell behind three-time European Champion champion Opan Sat 7-5 before stealing the match by winning the next two periods 6-0 and 3-0. At the time, Sat was ranked No. 1 in the FILA world rankings, so Stieber’s win was a huge victory.
As the only wrestler still in high school competing for the U.S., Snyder already appears at a disadvantage, but the mountain looks even higher when you consider that his opponent is a former Olympic gold medalist and has won the World Championships on five separate occasions. Snyder, who is a Junior World Champion in his own right, will butt heads with Khadjimurat Gatsalov from Russia, whose resume is as impressive as anyone in the world. Snyder has high hopes surrounding him, so he is not wasting any time facing off against the top competition in the world.
For more information on Beat the Streets, go to btsny.org
Also keeping the dust off of their wrestling shoes this offseason were four Buckeyes who competed at the Northeast Regional freestyle tournament in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania over the weekend. Nathan Tomasello, who redshirted this season for the Buckeyes, took the Senior 57 kg (125.4 lbs) championship with 4 consecutive tech falls. Tomasello only yielded a pair of points in the four matches, and earned a 10-0 tech fall over Cleveland State’s Ben Willeford in the championship bout. Josh Demas, who also redshirted this season for the Buckeyes, won the Senior 70 kg title on the back of 3 tech falls and a decision in the finals. Demas defeated Rutgers freshman Anthony Ashnault by the score of 7-6 in the finals. Bo Jordan, yet another redshirt for the Buckeyes, competed in what I’m told is his first freestyle tournament at 74 kg. Keeping the hype surrounding him at a high level, Jordan utilized 3 tech falls and an injury default (in a match Jordan was winning 4-0 at the time of the stoppage) to capture the title. At heavyweight, Kosta Karageorge captured 3rd place, dropping only matches to the top two wrestlers in the bracket. The Buckeyes represented the Ohio Regional Training Center at the event, which is home to a number of former Buckeyes who are pursuing Olympic dreams.
Be sure to check back for more information on Beat the Streets leading up to and following the event.