Long Beach senior Steven Sewkumar wasn’t going to be denied the big prize this time.
After finishing runner-up for a Nassau County wrestling championship last winter, Sewkumar brought home the 113-pound title by taking a 6-5 decision over East Meadow’s Adam Smith in the finals Tuesday night at Hofstra.
“This means a lot to me,” said Sewkumar, who won with a takedown with 22 seconds left. “I never wrestled him before, but I knew he’d be tough.”
Sewkumar, who upped his record to 35-7 while punching his ticket to the New York State championships Feb. 22-23 in Albany, had to refocus after losing in the semifinals of the qualifier tournament to Westbury’s Raeco Jackson, 12-10, on Feb. 2.
“Steven’s a very experienced and skilled wrestler,” Long Beach coach Ray Adams said. “He made some mistakes in the qualifier and corrected them. He put that loss behind him and got back to business. I knew he was capable of going all the way, and I’m proud of him.”
Sewkumar’s road to the county title started last Sunday at Hofstra when he won a 12-1 major decision over Glen Cove’s Joe Nicolich in the opening round. Sewkumar then cruised past Wantagh’s Michael Gianetti, 18-6, in the second round, and Plainedge’s Nick Scuttelaro, 10-4, in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, held Tuesday morning, Sewkumar met a tough customer in South Side’s Mike Petrone. Also a senior, Petrone rolled into the semis on the strength of convincing 14-0 and 6-0 wins. Sewkumar prevailed, 9-7.
“I thought the semis at 113 were as evenly matched as any weight in the county,” Adams explained. “Steven had a challenging road. He earned it. I’m happy for him and his family.”
The Marines sent 10 representatives to the county tournament, including a pair at 106 pounds. Youngsters Alan Teemer and Charlie Spada had two wins apiece before falling in the quarterfinals. They also went face-to-face in the wrestlebacks, and Teemer eventually found his way to the All-County podium with a third-place finish.
Teemer, a sophomore, opened the tournament by handling Massapequa’s John Kalinoglu, 15-3, and followed with a 7-3 upset of Mepham’s Jamie Dunn. In the quarterfinals, Plainedge’s Hector Guerrero squeezed out a 5-3 decision over Teemer. “Alan went 5-1 in the tournament,” Adams said. “He was awesome.”
Spada, an eighth-grader, opened in style by pinning Freeport’s George Magliore in 1:54, and in the second round upset South Side’s Ryan Holzgruber, 15-11. Wantagh standout Kyle Quinn, who won the weight class, ended Spada’s impressive run in the quarterfinals. “Charlie had a great run for an eighth-grader,” Adams said.
Also holding his own in the tournament for Long Beach was senior Zamaar Allen at 195 pounds. Allen split his first two matches, beating Glen Cove’s Robert Krisch, 6-4, and losing to Lawrence’s Mike Skillings.