Over Presidents’ Day weekend, the Ida Crown Wrestling Team traveled to New York to participant in the 21st annual edition of the Henry Wittenberg National Invitational Wrestling Tournament. The Aces, fresh off their second place finish at Regionals, posted another round of fine individual performances. ICJA faced very tough competition at Wittenberg, but 10 of the team’s 21 wrestlers placed. Senior Captain Ofri Ben David (132), junior Raphi Chernoff (138) and senior Captain Matthew Jacoby (152) made it to the finals and claimed silver medals. Jacoby’s performance was especially impressive, given that he had been dealing with a nagging ankle injury since the Westmont match. While he was successful capturing the title at Regionals, he came up just short at Wittenberg.
“The finals matches at Wittenberg are the toughest, tensest matches we face all year,” commented Assistant Coach Elie Saltzman.
Junior Akiva Goldberger (120), sophomore Zachary Frank (138), and senior captain Nate Bomben (145) captured third place in their respective weight classes. Frank did not let his 14th seed slow him down, as he defeated one upperclassman after another en route to the podium. Bomben drew the tournament’s outstanding wrestler from MTA in the semi-finals, but otherwise, Bomben was unstoppable.
Senior Captain Ilan Kaissar (160) and junior Joey Silverstein (182) took fourth place honors. Junior Ethan Lewis (106) finished fifth, while sophomore Erez Kaissar (126) placed 6th. Senior captain Sam Schneiderman (126), junior Max Gorenstein (170) and junior Avi Bar-Meir (220) bowed out in the consolation quarterfinals–just one match before the medal rounds.
While SAR won the team title by a significant margin, less than 20 points separated the next five teams. The Aces ended up fifth.
“I was very proud of our team’s performance,” Assistant Coach Bill Porter said, “Everyone of our varsity wrestlers went deep into this tournament. Given that every team that finished ahead of us filled more weight classes than we were able to, this team’s performance was commendable.”
This year’s tournament was sponsored by the Yeshiva Wrestling Association and was held at The Frisch School. All sixteen teams from across the country participated in a Shabbaton at a hotel near the tournament site.