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Grapple at the Garden Breaks Attendance Record with Domestic and International Matches

By Allix Williamson, 05/08/19, 3:45PM EDT


NEW YORK-The 2019 Annual Benefit in support of Beat the Streets titled “Grapple at the Garden” featured thirteen exciting bouts ranging from Team USA vs. NCAA Champions, high school all-stars, and international superstars. The sold-out Hulu Theater holding 5000 fans, supporters, coaches and athletes helped to raise a total of 1.3 million dollars for Beat the Streets.


High School Matches

Two high-school all-star matches were included in the 2019 lineup. Beat the Streets athletes Valentina Bailon (Grover Cleveland) and Elleny Seda (Martin Luther King) kicked off event matches. Bailon was victorious, defeating Seda by fall.

The local battle of New Jersey vs. Long Island featured premier high school athletes Jo Jo Aragona and Adam Busiello. Aragona took the match, defeating Busiello by fall in 4:06.


Women’s Freestyle Matches:

In the 4th and 8th matches of the night, Team USA vs. Team Canada squared off in our women’s freestyle matches. Mallory Velte (USA) wrestled Linda Morais (CAN). Velte was victorious with a win by technical superiority.

The second international women’s match of the evening featured Becka Leathers (USA) and Diana Weicker (CAN). In the battle of World Bronze Medalists, Leathers defeated Weicker by a score of 10-6.


Men’s Freestyle Matches:

Nine Men’s Freestyle matches were included in this year's benefit, featuring athletes from three countries and seven NCAA institutions.

To kick off Men’s Freestyle, Jack Mueller (UVA) wrestled Nick Picininni (OSU). In the third match of the evening, Mueller defeated Picininni by Technical Superiority.

In the battle for New Jersey, James Green (USA) squared off against Anthony Ashnault (RUT). Green was victorious in the 70 kg bout with a score of 8-4.

At 97 kg, Olympic Gold Medalist Kyle Snyder (USA) took on Canada’s Nishan Randhawa. Finishing with a throw, Snyder won the match by Technical Superiority.

Nick Gwiazdowski (USA) and Derek White (OSU) took to the mat representing 125 kg. Gwiazdowski was victorious with a score of 9-0.

In one of the most highly anticipated matches of the night, Nick Suriano (RUT) took on World Bronze Medalist Joe Colon (USA). Suriano defeated Colon 3-1.

At 86 kg. Drew Foster (UNI) stepped to the mat against World Champion David Taylor (USA). Unfortunately, due to concern of injury the match was not completed, ending in a Foster victory by Injury Default.

The 92 kg. Bout featured World Champion and Olympic Bronze Medalist, J’den Cox taking on Patrick Brucki (Princeton). With a 13-0 Technical Superiority win, Cox was declared victorious.

In the final two matches of the evening, spectators saw highlight matches: Yianni Diakomihalis (COR) vs. Bajrang Punia (IND) and Jordan Burroughs vs. Ben Askren.

Following a stellar US Open performance, fans anticipated a high-level performance from Diakomihalis. Currently ranked number one in the world at 65 kg. Bajrang Punia fell to Diakomihalis in a nail-biting 10-8 match.

In the final bout, Olympic Gold Medalist Jordan Burroughs took on former Olympic team member and current UFC fighter Ben Askren in a once-in-a-lifetime fantasy match. Fans were treated to high flying moves, as Jordan Burroughs defeated Ben Askren by Technical Superiority.


Award Honorees

Beat the Streets was proud to honor the winners of our annual awards during the Grapple at the Garden. The full list of award winners can be found below:


Junior League Coach of the Year: Jonathan Khoury, Eagle Academy for Young Men

Girls High School Coach of the Year: Ted Cook, Harry S. Truman High School

Boys High School Coach of the Year: Michael Stern, Queens Metropolitan High School

Assistant Coach of the Year: Barry Hart, George Wingate Educational Complex

Volunteer of the Year: Jake O’Hara, Columbia University (‘14)

Junior League Female Wrestler of the Year: Sujeydy Matos, Inwood Academy for Leadership

Junior League Male Wrestler of the Year: Sulayman Bah, MS 129

Become Your Own Dream Foundation Scholarship: Adrian Rosario Beato, Mott Haven Campus

This financial scholarship is given annually to a New York City student-athlete who has overcome obstacles, worked through hardship, and plans to continue wrestling in college.

Female Student Athlete of the Year: Lyn Kajihara, The Bronx High School of Science

This career achievement award is given to a female athlete who exhibits the greatest combination of academic and extracurricular success.

Male Student Athlete of the Year: David Berkovich, Poly Prep Country Day School

This career achievement award is given to a male athlete who exhibits the greatest combination of academic and extracurricular success.

Grit Award: Michael Babbcort, George Wingate Educational Campus

This career achievement award is given to the New York City wrestler who has embraced the grind and shown improvement through their tireless effort and dedication to the sport.

Lady Liberty: Shola Cascen, Harry S. Truman High School

This career achievement award is given to the New York City female wrestler who has stood as the beacon of opportunity and promise, representing all that is strong and proud of New York City women's wrestling.

Atlas Award: Terry Adams, Monsignor Farrell High School

This career achievement award is given to a male athlete who has picked up New York City wrestling and taken it to new heights.

Beat the Streets Wrestling is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. If you would like to support our mission to improve the lives and futures of New York City public school students by giving them the opportunity to wrestle, please click the donate button below: