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Jackson paces Glen Cove wrestlers


The Glen Cove Big Red finished its wrestling season with a solid showing at the Nassau County Division I Championships held at LIU Post last weekend.

Glen Cove’s Isaiah Jackson finished third at 106 pounds, landing him the vaunted All-County honors. The Big Red’s Sal Guastella (160 pounds) and RJ Alma (195 pounds) both finished in the Top 8, just a match short of All-County honors. Phil Aguilar (220 pounds) finished in the Top 10.

The north shore school finished with 67 points after Saturday at counties, good enough for the 7th place spot of all programs at the tournament. They slipped to 13th after Jackson was the only one to accumulate points on championship day.

“On Day 1, we had all seven guys going until the very last round,” Glen Cove coach Chris MacDonald said. “Our guys wrestled hard at wrestlebacks to get us some points and they all fought hard.”

Jackson accumulated a 5-1 record at the county championships and by the close of Day 2, was standing on the podium as an All-County wrestler. “Jackson had a pin in his 3rd and 4th match and he was wrestling really well,” MacDonald said. “He has an outside chance of an at-large state tournament. He had to secure a top three placing to have that opportunity and he did.”

Guastella had a bye past the first round before going 3-2 and losing in the quarterfinal. “He lost a close match 6-5 but was able to get a pin in wrestlebacks,” MacDonald said. “We know Sal’s a top wrestler.”

Alma and Eder Leiva both went 4-2 during the county championship tournament and were both able to rattle off 4 pins in a row before losing their next match. After losing in the first round, Alma’s next three pins came in 28, 29, and 90 seconds respectively.

Aguilar and Edson Murillo (113 pounds) both were able to accomplish back-to-back-to-back pins. Aguilar and 285-pounder Brandon Rivera both finished in the Top 10 of their weight classes.

“All 7 guys really ended up doing a great job,” MacDonald said. “Despite some early losses, we had 4 of our guys went through wrestlebacks and we won back some points. After a tough qualifier at Massapequa, they all knew they could get wins and were able to find ways to have multiple.”

MacDonald has repeatedly expressed that he is proud of the way that his team has fought through the season and achieved a great deal even against the odds.

“We were able to make the dual meet playoffs, we won the McCullough tournament in which we beat 14 teams, we were able to win the Cove Cup for the second year in a row, and we had an All-County guy which is big for us,” MacDonald said. “I’m proud of what they were able to accomplish.”