Beat The Streets - New York City Wrestling

An elite group of Beat the Streets wrestlers made the 1,400-plus mile trek from New York City to Fargo, N.D. to compete in the U.S. Marine Corps Cadet & Junior Nationals from July 12-20. Twenty BTSNY athletes - sponsored by Beat the Streets because of their year-long engagement with the organization and success on the mat - traveled to North Dakota State University’s FargoDome and made their mark among the over 2,500 wrestlers from nearly all 50 states that comprise the largest wrestling tournament in the world.

Of the eight boys wrestlers that BTSNY sponsored, recent Eagle Academy graduate Jayson Gomez brought home the group’s lone All-American plaque after earning fourth place in the 220-lb Junior Greco-Roman bracket.

The Beat the Streets girls that traveled stood out at Fargo, with six individual BTSNY All-Americans coming from the dozen wrestlers the organization sponsored for Nationals. Leading the way was Wingate rising junior Joanna Jones, who earned both Cadet (4th) and Junior (8th) All-American honors at 180 lbs. Rising junior Naomi Henry earned the highest finish for any BTSNY All-American, taking silver in the Cadet 127-lb bracket. Rounding out the top-eight finishers were CSI junior Natalie Dunn (6th, Cadet 127), Brooklyn Tech rising sophomore Kai Poux (6th, Cadet 152), Truman graduate Nia Crosdale (6th, Junior 200), and Truman rising sophomore Tays Pascual (8th, Cadet 138).

Links to full results can be found here: BOYS GRECO | BOYS FREE | GIRLS FREE

The BTSNY boys arrived three days before competing and had an opportunity to connect with their highly decorated New York National Team coaches and athlete staff, including Andrew Berreyesa (Cornell), Ben Darmstadt (Cornell), Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell), Adam Hall (N.C. State), Kris Harrington (Finger Lakes Wrestling Club), and Steven Rodrigues (Old Dominion). Being exposed to such high-level ambassadors of the sport was an experience that will surely have short and long term effects on our athletes’ athletic and personal lives.

The girls had a similar experience preparing for their side of the tournament, coming together with their teammates for a four-day mini-camp prior to the start of competition in NDSU’s wrestling room. With several of New York’s team coaches - Ally Somera of Nassau CC, Carlene Sluberski of Cumberlands, and Julia Salata of King University - on the staffs of nationally ranked college programs, our wrestlers getting individual time and instruction will help expedite the sport’s growth as its reach spreads across the country.

The overall experience of being on NDSU’s campus - training in the wrestling facility, staying in their dorms, eating in their dining halls - also helped to reinforce the goal of reaching, enjoying and excelling in college Beat the Streets looks to instill in its members.

“Fargo has opened my eyes to many new experiences every year I’ve attended. This year was different because it made me realize if you can’t have fun with wrestling, getting your hand raised after you’ve won will not make you feel any better. Having the amount of fun and support I get from BTS is something I will never forget.” - Jayson Gomez, Eagle Academy

“My time at Fargo was exciting, tough, and memorable. During camp, I found myself being pushed to my absolute max and I was happy I could finish strong and enjoy my teammates after. The practices were fun but intense and I am truly grateful for everything I learned and everyone I learned from. Once competition began, I felt prepared, even though I was wrestling in such a huge tournament with some of the best wrestlers from all over America. I knew I could trust my training from Fargo and from back in the city. Once I got used to the tournament I was able to wrestle more like myself. I’m happy to be a double All-American and things will only get better from here.” - Joanna Jones, Wingate

"The National Tournament in Fargo is a marquee event that brings together the best in the nation every year. While I thought we could have wrestled better all around, I think that our kids gained a valuable experience that they can keep with them as they head into the winter Folkstyle season and more importantly, for the rest of their lives." - Penn Gottfried, BTS Coach and Junior League Director

"This was officially my last trip with Beat the Streets and Team New York and it was an emotional one. I had to keep reminding myself to stay present and soak up each moment, good or bad, because I knew it had an expiration date. I felt so emotionally connected to each athlete; I felt the energy of accomplishing a goal and the devastation of falling short. I cannot express the gratitude I have for the surprise going away that the girls did for me on the last day of the trip. And when it came time to say goodbye at the airport when we landed back in NYC, I cannot express how hard it was for me. I love these girls, I love this family, I love this state." - Jacque Davis, BTS Coach and Girls Development Director

- Three other Beat the Streets wrestlers that funded their own trips to Fargo walked away with All-American honors in Junior Greco: St. Benedict’s rising sophomore Terrance Parks finished fourth at 160 lbs, Tottenville graduate Leo Rabinovich took fifth - behind Gomez - at 220 lbs, and Seward Park rising sophomore Dominique Diaz ended the Junior 225-lb bracket in 8th place.

- The 20 athletes that Beat the Streets took to Fargo were part of an impressive larger contingent for New York City and New York State as a whole. Fargo saw 50 combined NYC and over 100 combined boys and girls compete at Nationals.



Beat the Streets Wrestling is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. If you would like to support our mission to improve the lives and futures of New York City public school students by giving them the opportunity to wrestle, please click the donate button below: