Leading off today:
Hilton's Greg Diakomihalis
wrapped up his high school career with his fifth consecutive NYSPHSAA wrestling championship Saturday in Albany.
Diakomihalis won the Division 1 120-pound title with an 8-2 win over Massapequa junior Chase Liardi at Albany's Times Union Center. That raised the Cornell-bound standout's career record to 219-2 and gave him one more New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship than his brother Yianni, a two-time NCAA Division I champion.
"The idea of being a five-timer, I don't know if that's why, but all weekend I'm usually terrified before I wrestle. Usually before state semis I'm near tears before all of my matches, but this weekend I was super happy," Diakomihalis said. "I've been in a super good mood.
"I'm just so blessed to be here, and I'd like to thank my parents, my coaches, my practice partners just for everything."
Diakomihalis only wrestled half the year in his final scholastic season after suffering a knee injury last March that required a lengthy rehabilitation.
He is the fourth competitor to win five state championships, joining Chenango Forks' Troy Nickerson (2001-05), Long Beach's Jacori Teemer (2014-18) and Eastport-South Manor's Adam Busiello (2015-19).
As good as Diakomihalis was in his career, he never achieved what P.J. Duke accomplished. The Carmel standout became the first seventh-grader in the history of the meet to go home as a state champion. Duke recorded a 23-8 technical fall 5:12 into his final against Herricks freshman Joseph Manfredi.
Duke's four weekend tournaments left him at 45-0 for the season. He did not surrender a single offensive point throughout the entire postseason beginning with sectionals.
"It's just like every other tournament," he said. "I need to get back to work, try to win it next year, and just keep practicing."
Said Carmel coach Seth Harrison: "He hit a gear and level that we hadn't seen yet. It even surprised us, as we've been in his corner the whole way. Honestly, I think the bigger the stage, the better he is."
Four for Noto: Honeoye Falls-Lima senior Anthony Noto became a four-time state champion by winning the Division 2 120-pound class with a pin in 5:27 against Cooperstown's Avery Leonard. His weekend performance earned him the Division 2 outstanding wrestler honor for the second consecutive year.
Noto, who's headed to North Carolina State next fall, finished his career with a 174-6 record. His previous state titles were at 99, 106, and 113 pounds.
Three-peat performances: Dante Geislinger of Norwich made it three state championship when he won the Division 2 113-pound final over Max Gallagher of Bayport-Blue Point with a 3-2 decision.
He reached the final with two pins and a technical fall.
"All the hard work and everything you put in, you feel like you achieved it, you've achieved your goal," said Geislinger, who won at 99 pounds as a sophomore and 106 last year. “There's not much more you could have done, you made it to the big stage and won it three times. That's a good career right there."
The Division 1 113-pound championship went to Shenendehowa's Stevo Poulin, who registered a 24-5 technical fall over Jeremiah Echeverria of Long Beach with 20 seconds remaining. Poulin, a junior, won titles at 99 pounds in 2018 and 106 last winter.
"Just as planned," Poulin said after raising his career record to 132-1. "Get my third title, and I took every match just like how I imagined in the beginning."
One more Division 1 repeater: Willie McDougald of Niagara Falls earned his second state crown in three years with an 8-2 decision over Lee Mauras of Hempstead at 145 pounds.
Other defending champs reaching their respective finals weren't as fortunate. Ryan Burgos of Hilton lost at 126