Wrestlers Triumph at Wittenberg
The Ida Crown wrestling team traveled to New Jersey Presidents Day weekend for the 24th edition of the Henry Wittenberg National Wrestling Invitational Tournament and returned in triumph. Led by the team’s junior captain Ray Goltz (145), the Aces took 16 wrestlers to the tournament, and 11 placed. ICJA finished in fourth place for the second consecutive year, but exceeded expectations in doing so. Kushner and SAR shared the team title, as they ended in a tie for first place. The Frisch School, tournament hosts, finished in third place.
Goltz, who had placed second in last year’s tournament to his teammate, Yosef Marcucci, entered the tournament as the number one seed at the largest weight class. He drew a first round bye, and thus had no match during the tournament’s opening round on Friday morning. Ray had to wait until mid-morning on Sunday until he could finally enter the competition. Sam Kinches of SAR bore the brunt of Goltz’s pent-up fury in the quarterfinals, as Goltz swiftly took him down and locked a decisive Gable Stack on his opponent. Ray need only 1:04 to dispatch Kinches with a pin. Goltz moved onto the semi-finals, where, unfortunately, his TABC opponent had to forfeit. This set up a match-up against a returning champion from Kushner, Jacob Elstein. Under the bright lights, Goltz was unfazed and all business as he set up a quick single leg takedown. Goltz moved immediately to lock up a tight, unforgiving cradle on Elstein. By the 1:03 mark, it was all over. The fall was called, and Goltz won his first Wittenberg championship. Click here to watch the match. According to Coach Doug Klein, Goltz’s victory was one of the most dominating victories by an Ida Crown wrestler in a Wittenberg final in a very long time, maybe the most impressive ever, given the quality of the competition.
Senior captain Binyomin Krohn (160) capped off his successful career with a second place finish. Krohn began his tournament with a technical fall over a Frisch wrestler in the quarterfinals, then followed it up with a second period pin over an SAR wrestler. Krohn came up short in the finals against a Frisch wrestler, but it proved to be an excellent tournament nonetheless. Likewise, senior captain E.J. Halpert also had an outstanding tournament. Drawing the fourth seed, Halpert fought his way through the bracket with a decisive 16-1 tech fall in the quarterfinals against a Westchester Hebrew High School wrestler and then booked his passage to the finals with :34 second fall over a TABC wrestler. While he ended losing in the finals, Halpert’s tournament performance was his best ever and a fitting end to his Ida Crown career.
Sophomore standout Enon Gurvich (113) also appeared in the finals for ICJA, as he took the silver medal in his weight class, defeating wrestlers from SAR and Frisch along the way.
Four ICJA wrestlers placed fourth in the tournament: freshman Amitai Kakon (106), freshman Aytan Czako (113), sophomore Bentzy Osgood (132) and senior Matan Auerbach (182). Czako’s and Osgood’s performances were particularly impressive as each won three matches in the consolation bracket to make it to the 3rd place finals. Osgood lost a tough quarterfinal match to the eventual champion from SAR, but proved himself with an outstanding run to the fourth place trophy.
Freshman Ezra Jacobs (106) and freshman Avi Seruya (285) took fifth place in their respective weight classes, and junior Meir Cohen finish sixth in a crowded field at 138.