- Brandon Cain
3 Beat the Streets Junior League alums earn All-American honors at 2023 National Prep Championships
Sulayman Bah earned All-American status for a second time, while Xavier Giles and Oumar Tounkara took the honor for the first time.
Three Beat the Streets New York Junior League alums earned All-American honors Saturday at the National Prep Championships at Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Xavier Giles of Green Farms Academy took second at 165 pounds, Oumar Tounkara of St. Benedict's Prep claimed seventh at 106, and Bah of The Kiski School grabbed eighth at 120.
Giles won his first five matches, highlighted by a 3-1 upset win against No. 1-ranked Nolan O'Boyle of Norfolk Academy in the semifinals. Giles fell 3-1 in sudden victory to No. 2 Peter Snyder of Blair Academy in the finals. Giles plans to wrestle in college.
Bah won his first two matches with a 17-1 technical fall and a 7-1 decision. In the quarterfinals, he dropped a 5-4 decision to eventual champion Luke Lilledahl of Wyoming Seminary. Bah split the next two bouts before medically forfeiting in the seventh-place match.
It is the second time Bah has earned All-American status after taking second place at 113 pounds in 2021. He will continue his wrestling career at Columbia University this fall.
Tounkara, a sophomore, opened the tournament with a fall and a 6-2 decision. In the quarterfinals, he lost by a fall to eventual runner-up Liam Davis of Lake Highland Prep. Tounkara then went 2-1, including a 9-7 win in sudden victory to claim seventh place.
Fellow BTSNY Junior League alum Merlin Dilone, also of St. Benedict's Prep, went 1-2 at 120.
Giles previously attended Eagle Academy in The Bronx. Bah, Dilone and Tounkara - all former middle school students at M.S. 129 Academy in The Bronx - are also current BTSNY high school Academy members.
(Photos provided by Bah, Giles and Tounkara)
Since being founded in 2005, Beat the Streets has pioneered a movement that now includes 150 individual wrestling programs, a youth league and the first girls high school league.
Beat the Streets works to develop the full human and athletic potential of the urban youth and strengthen the NYC 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.