ITHACA, N.Y. (Nov. 18, 2018) – The USMMA wrestling team had a great day up at the always-competitive New York State Championships on Sunday. Three wrestlers earned All-New York State Honors to highlight the Mariners' performances at the event – senior Blake Bunce (Trophy Club, Texas) placed third in the heavyweight bracket, freshman Billy Sims (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) came in fifth at 174 and senior Christian Willoughby (Blountsville, Ala.) was sixth at 165.
Bunce battled his way through the 285 lb. bracket with a 4-1 record, including two pins and a major decision in his first three bouts His only loss came in the semifinals to the eventual bracket champion and returning national runner up, senior James Bethel of Oneonta State, and was a narrow defeat via a 3-0 decision. He defeated Division I wrestler, freshman Brandon Phillips of Army West Point, with a 6-1 decision to place third in the bracket.
Sims went 5-1 on the day to finish fifth at 174. He lost his first match, but rebounded to win his next five matches in the consolation bracket with three decisions, including an exciting sudden-victory win, and one pin.
Willoughby produced a 5-2 record on the way to his sixth-place showing at 165. After claiming a win in his first match, he dropped his second-round bout to fall to the wrestlebacks. There, he won four-straight – three by decision and one via an injury default – before falling in the fifth-place match.
Three other Mariners earned multiple victories at the event – senior Daniel May (Stafford, Va.) went 3-2 at 141 with a pin and a technical fall, junior Kevin Dinh (Cincinnati, Ohio) was 2-2 at 285 with one pin and freshman Austin Vincent (Stockton, Ill.) earned a 2-2 record at 141.
For the complete results from the New York State Championships, click here.
Up next, the Mariners will travel to York (Pa.) the weekend of Nov. 30-Dec. 1 to compete in the New Standard Corp. Invitational.
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