On Tuesday, February 16, several Beat the Streets wrestlers competed in the Youth States Qualifier Tournament, holding their own in stiff competition from New York wrestlers from all around the city. Held at the BTS Training Center at 145 Thompson in New York, NY, the tournament served as the qualifier for the New York-USA Youth Wrestling Championships on March 5th-6th at Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, NY.
Among the BTS standouts was Jayden Cárdenas from Upper Ten Eyck. Cárdenas competed in one of the tougher brackets in the tournament at 128 lbs. Cárdenas beat the second place winner Michael Diforte 6-4, continuing his winning streak since winning the Princeton Middle School Tournament earlier this year. His chances of winning States this year look promising, especially considering his fifth place finish last year. Cárdenas is a product of the BTS Junior League program, where he has worked tirelessly under the direction of Mike Wurmbrand. Coach Wurmbrand had this to say about his athlete’s experience, “You only get better from hard work and perseverance. But it also helps when you have a kid who wants to learn, a family that backs him up and an organization like BTS that made it all possible.”
Chloe Cabrera of MS 129 competed at the 112 lb. weight class and Shamelle Sinclair of Riverdale Ave competed at 144 lbs. Both girls wrestled extremely tough in their respective brackets, each finishing in second place. Cabrera is a former state placer and continued to compete against a strong girls' showing at the tournament. The strong showing was true across the board for boys and girls.
Inwood Academy brought its whole team (nearly 15 wrestlers, half of whom are girls). Their coach, Andrew Dos Santos, had been to almost every tournament thus far and says he works very hard to get his wrestlers to practice and to competitions. He added:
"The state qualifier gave my team some great insight on what it takes to be a competitive wrestler, and that insight will help them approach practice with renewed vigor and purpose."
The tournament was very positive overall. The biggest takeaway is that the passion and culture of wrestling are taking off among younger athletes in NYC as well as the Beat the Streets community. "Other parts of New York and the nation should look out for the future of NYC because it is looking bright," said BTS Training Center Coach Penn Gottfried.
The full results of the tournament can be found on the brackets here: Youth States Qualifier