Muldoon, Semenetz Claim Divisional Titles

Mike Muldoon lifts Andi Berisha in the 113-pound final. Credits: Vic McGee

CROSS RIVER, N.Y.— Ever since Mike Muldoon finished third at sectionals last season he’s had a goal of winning a section title.

The senior took the first step toward that goal by winning a 113-pound divisional title on Feb. 4 at John Jay-Cross River.

Muldoon, the top seed, pinned Somers’ Jon Barakat in 43 seconds in the semifinals and scored a 14-3 majority decision over teammate Andi Berisha in the finals.

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“The key in my two matches was to just keep my head in it and wrestle smart,” Muldoon said.

Muldoon said that his mindset heading into sectionals is to “just wrestle hard and tough and leave it all out there.”

“I’m hoping to bring home a section title,” Muldoon said. “I just have to wrestle hard and smart for six minutes and I should have the results I want.”

Fellow senior Garrett Semenetz, the defending Section 1 champion at 99 pounds, is prepared to defend his title after claiming a divisional crown.

Semenetz, the top seed, pinned teammate Frankie Scauzillo in just 31 seconds in the 99-pound finals. In the semifinals, he recorded another quick pin, defeating Beacon’s Quazir Hayes in 29 seconds.

“Sectionals will definitely not be as easy as it was last year for me,” Semenetz said. “I just need to remember all my training throughout high school and wrestle at my full potential.”

The Indians will send 11 grapplers to sectionals, which take place on Feb. 11 at Arlington and the next day at Clarkstown South.

“Overall I was happy with the team’s performance but I would have liked the whole team going to sectionals this weekend,” Semenetz said.

Joining Muldoon and Semenetz at sectionals will be Scauzillo (99 pounds, second), Berisha (113, second), Tom Mahoney (170, second), Joe Harney (220, second), Alex Rabinowitz (126, third), Jack McDonald (182, third), Christian Brito (160, fourth), Londrin Hasanramaj (182, fourth) and Mike Rivera (220, fourth).

“I think the team wrestled great,” Muldoon said of their performance at divisionals. “We had a few guys not qualify who we thought should’ve. Mike Nathenson was sick and I think he definitely would’ve qualified but overall the team wrestled tough and I think we’re ready for sectionals.”

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