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Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020: Matchups set for dual-meet wrestling championships

   Leading off today: Minisink Valley (Division I) and Cold Spring Harbor (Division II) have been installed as top seeds for Saturday's New York State Public High School Athletic Association dual-meet wrestling championships in Syracuse.

   Minisink Valley will go up against Lancaster and Commack in one of four round-robin qualifying groups. Second-seeded Fox Lane is grouped with Niagara Wheatfield and MacArthur.

   In other Division I prelims, No. 3 seed Horseheads is grouped with Fulton and Patchogue-Medford, and No. 4 seed Shenendehowa is grouped with Spencerport and Chenango Forks.

   In Division II, Cold Spring Harbor opens against Port Jervis and Gouverneur, and No. 2 seed W.T. Clarke faces Falconer and Cobleskill-Richmondville.

   Third-seeded Central Valley Academy takes on Tioga and Nanuet, and No. 4 seed Mount Sinai goes up against Saranac and Palmyra-Macedon.

   Prelims begin at 9 a.m. at SRC Arena on the Onondaga Community College campus. Group winners advance to the semifinals at 3 p.m. The championship matches will start at 6 p.m.

   Massapequa and Mount Sinai captured the 2019 championships.

   He's in the club: Lyme senior Isaiah Wilson became the ninth player in Section 3 to score 2,000 career points in a 74-66, double overtime victory over Copenhagen on Tuesday.

   Wilson only needed two points entering the game to hit the milestone and finished with 33 points. His first points of the night came on a 3-pointer 21 seconds into the contest, which was stopped to acknowledge the achievement.

   Scott Wilson, Isaiah's uncle, stands No. 3 in sectional history with 2,391 points from 1979-82. His son, Troy Wilson, is 10th at 1,973.

   More scoring: Deposit/Hancock's Laycee Drake became the all-time leading basketball scorer for boys or girls in Hancock school history when she reached 1,539 Tuesday, midway through her junior season.

    • Tyler Hind of Randolph is now the all-time leader in 3-pointers in Section 6. By making five baskets from beyond the arc Tuesday in a win vs. Ellicottville tonight, he stands at 344 career treys.

   Williamsville South's Joe Licata finished his career with 343 in 2011.

   Federal complaint filed: A lawyer for Cruz Vernon is asking the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights to intervene so that the Ossining junior can rejoin the school's girls gymnastics team as an official competitor.

   The 6-foot-3 male participated in junior high and ninth grade but Section 1 has barred Vernon from being a full point-scoring competitor the past two seasons despite there being no boys high school teams where he can compete.


   The complaint that lawyer Paul Barger filed on Vernon's behalf seeks to get the gymnast restored as a full member of team and also calls into question state guidelines on which the Section 1 transfer and eligibility committee based its decision.

   "In his day and age, it's unbelievable to have to fight this fight," said Vernon's mother, Boneida Cruz, whose appeal to Section 1 last year to overturn its decision failed.

   The most recent sectional ruling prohibiting Vernon from participating as more than an exhibition performer said he "exceeds the physical abilities on his team, as well as others, and, in addition, the Section 1 team, thereby creating an unfair advantage."

   Todd Santabarbara, the first-year Section 1 executive director, acknowledged the denial centers on the potential for Vernon to qualify for the NYSPHSAA championships, as he did two years ago in floor exercise. That would result in a "significant adverse effect" upon whatever female competitor would have otherwise made the state team.

   "Significant adverse effect" on females is a rationale cited in the New York State Education Department regulations on mixed competition. It does not apply in the reverse, so a girl's presence may adversely effect a boy with no consequence.

   In his complaint, Barger cites three other boys (Sections 3, 5, 7) competing vs. girls at the 2018 state gymnastics championships and -- without the banned Vernon -- again at the 2019 state meet.

   "I don't understand it and the fact it's being applied so inconsist- ently," Barger said.

   Barger argues many female athletes compet- ing in Section 1 and elsewhere in New York "exceed the physical abilities of their teammates and others" without any concern from oversight bodies.

   Vin Collins, the Mahopac coach and Section 1 gymnastics coordinator, has said he's unaware of anyone complaining after Cruz made the 2018 Section 1 state team.

   Nevada may resolve dispute: International students in Nevada are fighting for their right to play high school sports, and the Nevada Inter- scholastic Activities Association will hold a special meeting Friday in the wake of a lawsuit challenging the organization's ban on international students in varsity sports.

   The NIAA will discuss offering a possible settlement to the five international students at Excel Christian School who filed a lawsuit this month. The suit says the NIAA policy violates a constitutional guarantees to equal protection.

   "This code discriminates," said lawyer Alex Velto, who filed the lawsuit in federal court. "Federal courts have historically understood that people born in different countries have equal protection under the law."

   The students from Thailand, China, South Korea and Turkey possess non-immigrant visas that allow them to stay in the United States if they are enrolled in an academic educational program.

   NIAA rules allow international students to play at the sub-varsity level through 11th grade but not in any sanctioned sports as seniors.

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