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  • Brandon Cain

4 Beat the Streets New York members place at Journeymen Fall Classic

Oumar Tounkara took second place, while three girls claimed top-seven finishes.

Four Beat the Streets New York student-athletes placed at the Journeymen Fall Classic on Saturday in Pennsylvania.

BTSNY Academy member Oumar Tounkara earned second place at 106 pounds in the boys high school division. Tounkara secured two wins, including one by major decision.

"This tournament made me realize I could compete with the best of the best if I just put my all into the sport and don't give up," Tounkara said. "It also showed me a lot of things I could improve on before the season starts."

“The boys competed with some of the best kids in the nation and did so with grit and excitement!," BTSNY head boys coach Joe DeAngelo said. "This was the first time we got to compete since the summer and they exceeded my expectations. I’m excited to see the progress and growth moving forward.“

BTSNY Academy members Alexis Elison (106) and Destiny Bennett (117) claimed fourth and sixth place, respectively. Birthday Lugo-Fernandez (112) took seventh place. The performances by Bennett and Lugo-Fernandez were each highlighted by one first-period fall.

“I feel like I didn’t go with a winning mindset I went with more of getting back into the feel of things since I haven’t wrestled since I got injured and I had to break that fear," Elison said. "My key takeaways were just go for it because it’s always now or never because my season is coming up soon. I want to be ready to win many competitions but also wrestle smart."

"This tournament helped me realize that there is always room to improve on how good I can do in wrestling, and how I can conduct myself in practice for the future," Lugo-Fernandez said.

"I'm proud of my girls on their fearlessness in competition this weekend," BTSNY head girls coach Becka Leathers said. "This is a tough tournament and they met the challenge head on. It was good to get a starting point for the season and knock the rust off of the wrestling shoes. I'm looking forward to a great season."

Beat the Streets New York placers

106: Oumar Tounkara - 2nd

106: Alexis Elison - 4th

112: Birthday Lugo-Fernandez - 7th

117: Destiny Bennett - 6th

Since being founded in 2005, Beat the Streets New York has pioneered a movement that now includes 150 individual wrestling programs, a youth league and the first girls high school league.

BTSNY works to develop the full human and athletic potential of the urban youth and strengthen the New York City wrestling culture. We aim to make a lifelong impact on student athletes through the lessons learned on the wrestling mat -- discipline, perseverance, self-reliance, humility and a strong work ethic. Discover how you can make a meaningful contribution to our work at

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