SANBORN — Going to states for the first time is always special. But going with your brother, it gets no better than that.
Dunkirk eighth-grader Hector Colom and his brother, Tito, a sophomore, both advanced to the New York State wrestling championships after winning their respective weight classes at the Section VI Division II wrestling championships Saturday at Niagara County Community College.
“I can’t wait,” Tito said.
Hector won the 106-pound weight class in dominating fashion with a 16-3 major decision over Falconer’s Cameron Page. Tito’s tilt with Southwestern’s Ryan Hentrick, who took third at states in the 99-pound division last year, was a little closer. After an early takedown and escape, Tito literally hung on the rest of the way, 3-2.
“I was trying to be aggressive,” Tito said. “I wanted to hold him down and get the first takedown and get the first points, then take some re-shots.”
Hentrick earned points in the third on an escape and a stall, but Tito played enough defense to win.
This will be just Dunkirk’s second, third and fourth wrestlers ever to compete at states. The fourth is Marquis Buchanan, who won the final match of the evening, defeating Southwestern’s Tanner Hoose at 182 pounds, 5-4.
Frewsburg’s 195-pounder, Trevor Spicer, wore an undefeated target on his back coming into sectionals, and he leaves with it heading to Albany.
Spicer, a senior, will head to states with a 35-0 record after beating Fredonia’s Jake Penhollow, an opponent he faced for a third time Saturday.
Spicer said before the match he had some nerves, as it was his first time in a sectional final against a very familiar opponent.
“At Dunkirk duals, our second match, I beat him 1-0, so I knew it was going to be a close match. I know him pretty well,” said Spicer, who won, 5-1. “Going to states, though, you have to take first, so you have to beat whoever is in the finals, no matter who it is.”
Returning to states is Eden’s Alex Smythe at 160, Amherst’s Kellen Devlin at 126, Olean’s Drew Marra at 120 and Fredonia’s Dakota Gardner at 138. Gardner took second last year at 126 and holds a 47-1 record this year, while Devlin, a sophomore, and Smythe, a senior, each took third-place finishes in Albany last year.
Tonawanda’s Cody McGregor also returns to states for the third time, as he beat Pioneer’s Austin Acquard, 2-0, in OT.
Alden’s Erik Feishans’ 100th career win earned him a trip to states, as he won 1-0 over Dunkirk freshman Nick Jones in the 285-pound weight class, East Aurora’s Tyler Hall, the second seed, upended No. 1 Brad Cunningham from Salamanca, 1-0. In one of the closest matches of the evening, at 145, Newfane’s Nick Martin’s last-second attempt to take down LewPort’s Andrew Shomers wasn’t in time, giving Shomers the 4-2 win.
Other winners included Akron eighth-grader Johnny Fiebelkorn (99), Falconer’s Kyle Ross (170), and Maple Grove’s Brian Westerdahl (152).
The state wrestling tournament is Feb. 28 and March 1 in Albany.