W hitehall 189-pound wrestler Zach Diekel is seeded fifth in the New York state Division II wrestling tournament and will face Kris Folsom of Ogdensburg, a first-time Section X champion in the opening round.
Diekel, who is junior and a a four-time Section II titlist, finished fifth at 171 pounds last year and was fourth as a freshman If he beats Folsom, he faces the winner of a match between Brandon Lake of Mattituck and fourth-seeded Nick Lalone, who was 32-0 before losing to John Treen of Illion in the Section XI finals.
Last year’s state runnerup, Ryan Todd of Lansing, is in the opposite bracket, and Diekel would not see him until the finals.
Diekel’s cousin John, one of two Whitehall sophomores in the tournament, got an at-large bid to the states after finishing second to Noah Valastro of Hudson falls in the Section II tournament. The same thing happened last year, and Diekel placed sixth in the state tournament.
He will open with Section VII champion Alex Pugh of Peru. If he wins, he faces the winner of the match between third-seeded Nick Tighe of Phoenix and Jeff O’Lena of East Rochester. He would not see Valastro until the finals.
Sophomore Al Aubin, the Section II champion at 112 pounds is unseeded and draws Sam Recco of Lyndonville. Recco was the outstanding wrestler for the lower weights in the Section V tournament and beat state runnerup Austin Keough of Warsaw, 5-3, in the regional super sectional meet.
If Aubin wins, he would get either Keough or Paul Schoembewrg of Baruch City Campus in the quarterfinals. Defending state champion Arik Robinson of Peru is a potential semifinal opponent. Aubin would not see Corinth’s Zach Marcel, whom he upset for the sectional title, until the finals.
The tournament, which is being held at the Times-Union Center in Albany, starts Friday with the parade of champions at 10 a.m., followed by the first round at 10:30 a.m. The quarterfinals are at 2:30 p.m., and the first round of wrestlebacks runs from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday’s semifinals start at 10 a.m. along with the second round of wrestlebacks. The consolation semifinals are at 12:30 p.m. with consolation finals at 2 p.m. The championship matches start at 6 p.m.