MAHOPAC, N.Y.— After placing third at sectionals in the 99-pound division, Garrett Semenetz had to leave it up to the Section 1 committee to decide whether his wrestling career was over.
It turns out the senior will get to compete in one last tournament as he was selected as a wild card for the Section 1 team and will compete at the New York State championships, which take place Feb. 24-25 at the Times Union Center in Albany.
“I’m so happy that I have another shot at winning a state title,” said Semenetz, who received the fifth seed. “This time around I’m a little more mature and experienced so hopefully that’ll make the little difference in my performance.”
Semenetz, who was a section champ at 99 pounds last season, went 2-2 at states last year.
“I’m now familiar with the whole atmosphere,” Semenetz said of what he learned from competing at states a year ago. “I know exactly what to expect and when to expect it.”
Arlington’s Dennis Robin, whom Semenetz defeated in the section championship match last season, is seeded fourth so the two have a chance to meet again in the quarterfinals.
Mahopac senior Mike Muldoon, who won a section title at 113 pounds, is heading up to states for the first time and is ecstatic to have his teammate accompany him.
“Garrett getting the wild card was awesome,” Muldoon said. “I started my varsity career with him and now I get to finish it with him. It’s also nice not going up as the lone kid from Mahopac.”
Semenetz said that he didn’t give Muldoon much advice about what it’s like to compete at states because he’s such an experienced and independent grappler.
“He gave me some advice, but the best advice was to just enjoy it,” Muldoon said. “Take it all in and enjoy it because it’s something I’m going to remember forever.”
Both Muldoon and Semenetz have been training with the state team as well as their club team, Iowa Style Wrestling.
“But I’m mostly just listening to my body and making sure I’m healthy and ready to go,” Muldoon said.