Romagnoli, Benedict battle for state wrestling honors

J-D/CBA teammates both beaten by eventual state champs

Back at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Division I championship meet for the second year in a row, CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt wrestlers (and Cazenovia natives) J.T. Romagnoli and Aaron Benedict looked for a better finish than in 2011.

But Romagnoli and Benedict could not get there, largely because they would run into the wrestlers that would eventually claim the top spot on the medal podium.

Again, the state’s top wrestlers gathered at Albany’s Times Union Center, where Romagnoli represented Section III at 145 pounds and Benedict did the same at 138 pounds.

During Friday’s opening round, Romagnoli met Emin Aliyev, from the PSAL in New York City. It was a close match, but Romagnoli pulled it out, 8-1, advancing to the quarterfinals later that day.

Now up against James Kloc (Iroquois), Romagnoli put up a superb effort, which would have won most matches – but not this one, as Kloc held on for a 14-11 decision. The quality of Romagnoli’s effort was reflected in the fact that Kloc went on to win the state title, topping Longwood’s Corey Rasheed 7-4 in the championship round.

Meanwhile, in the consolation bracket Romagnoli met with more hard luck, going to overtime against Sachem East’s Anthony Pistone and losing by a 6-4 decision when Pistone engineered a takedown in that OT period. Romagnoli finished the season with a 25-6 record.

Benedict never got out of the first round, closing his season with a 31-5 mark. In that opening match Friday against Long Island wrestler James Dekrone, Benedict could not get on the board in a 7-0 defeat.

Later, in the consolation round Benedict fell to Dave Almaviva (Shenendehowa) 11-1, while the man Benedict beat in the sectional final, Fulton’s Adam Wallace, worked his way to sixth place.

Just like with Romagnoli, Benedict lost to the eventual state champion, as Dekrone worked his way to the finals and beat Brentwood’s Alexis Blanco by a 6-1 margin.

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