New Paltz’s Ethan Palanca became the first Section 9 wrestler to win titles in both Division 2 and Division 1 with Saturday’s wild sudden-death 5-4 win over Gabe Galarza of Pine Bush at 145 pounds in Division 1 (big schools). The title added to the one he achieved two years ago as a freshman, wining the 120 pound title in small-school Division 2.
It was a tough road, and an emotional one for Palanca — who has the pedigree, with father Gianni an assistant coach who won a Section 9 title 15 years ago — who got to the final with Galarza with pins of Cornwall’s Colin Alexi in 3:15 in the Round of 16 and Washingtonville’s Jack Baumkirschner in 1:12 in the Quarterfinals, before squaring off with teammate (and longtime friend) Aidan Cuppett in the semifinal round. Cuppett reached the semifinals with pins of Warwick’s Marcus Colon in 0:58 in the Round of 16 and Kingston’s Gavin Richter in 1:49 in the Quarterfinals. And in a no-holds-barred battle between Palanca and the senior — who had just recorded his 100th career victory — it was Palanca up 7-4.
New Paltz, the smallest of the “big” schools in Section 9 had five semifinalists (including Palanca and Aidan Cuppett) in Cole Cuppett at 106 pounds; Levi Wyns at 152 and Logan Michael at 182. Cole Cuppett lost to Middletown’s (and eventual champion) Justin Morales 10-5; Wyns was pinned by Minisink Valley’s Andrew Filip in 5:37; and Michael was pinned by Minisink’s (and eventual champion) Ethan Gallo in 3:25. Michael won third-place with a 5-2 decision over Warwick’s Jeremy Mazzella, with Aidan Cuppett fourth with a 6-4 loss to Minisink’s Jacob Gonzalez in the consolation round.
New Paltz finished fifth to Minisink in the team standings.
And in the first-ever Section 9 girls’ championships, New Paltz JoJo Tanzi won the first-ever title for the Huguenots. Tanzi pinned NFA’s Gabriella Colon in 1:28 at 170 pounds. New Paltz’s Eneka Giocolea-Cid pinned Monroe-Woodbury’s Octavia Stevens in 1:23 in the 138 pound semifinal, but fell to NFA’s Carolyn Santiago in the final, pinned in 2:47.
Section 9 Nordic skiing
It was a clean sweep for both the New Paltz boys and girls in the Section 9 championships on Wednesday at Prospect Mountain in Bennington, Vermont. For the boys — who won 24-12 over Wallkill in the 10.5 kilometer race — it was Wells Willett in 29:34, Diego Schillaci 29:47 and Kevin Metzger 35:00; for the girls – 27-5 over Wallkill in the 8 kilometer race — it was Amelia St. John in 27:36, Lake Willett 29:53, Lily Zabrowski 31:46 and Eliza Shands 32:28.
Section 9 Indoor track
New Paltz’s Jaden Markarias-Thomas took second in the boys high jump with 6-1 (to winner Anthony Nelson of Wallkill’s 6-2) and Anthony Stevens third in the long jump with 20-7 3/4 (to winner Romaine Bird of Wallkill’s 22-0); while Highland’s Matthew Perry took third in triple jump with 38-10 1/4 (to winner Amarian Hughes of Marlboro’s 45-4 1/2.
OCIAA swimming championships
New Paltz came up big in last weekend’s OCIAA boys’ swimming championships, finishing second in Division 2 (small schools) to winner Cornwall 532-343 and with champions in Brady Saunders and the 400 freestyle relay team.
Saunders led the Huguenots to a 1-2 finish with Mike Messina in the 500 freestyle, with the former ripping through the Washingtonville pool in 5:07.38 and the latter in 5:22.63.
The 400 freestyle relay team of Saunders, Finn Goldleaf, Logan Pece and Alex Demis took home the gold with a 3:30.52.
Other top three finishers for New Paltz were Demis, second in the 100 freestyle in 50.17; Saunders third in the 200 freestyle in 1:50.90; Pece third in the 50 freestyle in 23.24; and the 200 Freestyle relay team of Saunders, Goldleaf, Pece and Demis, second in 1:34.72.
Both Divisions compete in the Section 9 championships on Saturday, February 22 at Valley Central at 2 p.m.
The New Paltz boys upped their record to 12-6 with Tuesday’s 70-42 win over Highland, with Justin DeMaria leading the Huguenots with 18 points, Jeff Reynoso 13 and Jackson Soper nine. Zach Angelone led the Huskies with 22 points.
Highland bounced back with a big 86-76 win over Saugerties, with Angelone scoring 21 points and Ethan Thompson 18. Highland is 6-11 on the season.
New Paltz, the two-time defending Section 9 Class A champion, awaits the Section 9 seedings; while Highland is on the bubble in Class B.
The New Paltz girls defeated Highland 70-46 on Wednesday and then Washingtonville 64-62 on Thursday, raising their record to 12-4, with Ruby Santos leading the Huguenots against Highland with 23 points, Daijah Bell 15 and Jenna Russo 13. Adriana Scalo led the Huskies with 15 points, and Katie Dauenheimer 11. Against Washingtonville, Santos scored a career-high 34 points to lead the Huguenots.
The Highland girls ended this disappointing season at 2-14 with Thursday’s loss to Saugerties 52-21.
The New Paltz girls await the Section 9 Class A seedings; while Highland, just two years removed from back-to-back Class B titles, will miss the Section Tournament for the first time in over 20 years.