Senior Sal Trigona led a group of eight Baldwin wrestlers that competed in the Nassau Division I championships by finishing fourth in the 113-pound weight class a week after winning a qualifying tournament title.
Trigona, who finished the season with a record of 32-5, reached the county semifinals Feb. 12 at Hofstra before losing a 4-0 decision to East Meadow’s Adam Smith. Trigona came back to split a pair of wrestlebacks and picked up three wins in the two-day event as well as All-County honors.
“He’s been able to compete with anyone over the past two seasons,” Bruins coach Jim Murphy said of Trigona, who pinned his first two opponents — Garden City’s J.P. Morgan and Massapequa’s Joe Doria — in the county tournament. “We concentrated on improving his conditioning, and it made a big difference for him against the tougher kids.”
Trigona, who split matches with Smith during the regular season, went into the county tournament knowing he had a shot to win, Murphy said. “The way I look at it, it was a good win for Smith,” Murphy said of the semifinal. “He’s a tough kid. Sal battled the entire time.”
The Bruins also had seniors Victor Robinson (fourth place at 132) and Quinn Knauer (fifth at 138) reach the All-County podium. Robinson, Knauer and senior Ryan Brown, who qualified at 138 and came within a win of All-County status, were workout partners for the past two seasons, Murphy said. “They pushed each other hard,” he noted.
Robinson was third in the qualifier won by senior teammate Enriquez DeJesus, who didn’t place in the county. Robinson’s opening match came down to the wire but he held off Jack Reina of Garden City, 5-4. He then won by technical fall over Mepham’s Tom Mauro in the second round. In the quarterfinals, Robinson came up just short in a grueling 3-2 overtime bout against Mike Lanasa of Plainedge, but rebounded to win three of four wrestlebacks.
“Victor’s a great athlete,” Murphy said. “Just when you think he’s in big trouble, he wiggles out of it. Every kid he faced in the county either placed before or was ranked. It was a tough weight.”
DeJesus also lost in overtime in the quarterfinals, 6-4 to Bethpage’s Jake Einbinder. He won one of three bouts at Hofstra. “Enriquez worked as hard as anyone on the team,” Murphy said of DeJesus. Sophomore Desmond Kelly (132) and junior Darrias Iglesias for Baldwin.
Murphy said Knauer’s four victories at 138 — one of the toughest weight classes in the county — were convincing. He pinned his way to the quarterfinals where he ran into eventual champion Matt Power of East Meadow. Knauer also picked up two more pins in the wrestlebacks and went 4-2 in the tournament.
Senior Jon Crespo got hot at the right time and finished runner-up in the qualifier and competed in the county tournament. “The way Jon ended the season was one of the most impressive things I’ve seen as a coach,” Murphy said. “He worked really hard.”