By Stephen Dravis
iBerkshires Sports -
11:41PM / Saturday, January 26, 2013
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — With three pins, including the shortest pin of the tournament, Mount Greylock Regional High School's Ross Jackson made short work of most of his competition at Saturday's Mountie Invitational.
But the match that went the distance could go a long way in preparing Jackson for the post-season battles to come.
Jackson outpointed North Providence's Sebastian Dziadkiewicz, 7-5, to win the championship at 182 pounds.
Jackson's coach said the senior needed the workout.
"Not every match is going to end in a pin," Ray Miro said. "You've got to be able to go six minutes. He's not used to that. At times, his gas tank is questionable. So he has to learn how to push himself in practice because he has a lot of short matches.
"The thing is that a match like that helps you gain confidence. That match, because it was against a really tough kid, is going to help you with your confidence and all that stuff."
Jackson was one of two Berkshire County wrestlers to take home championships from the 21st annual invitational.
At 113 pounds, Mount Everett's Bradley Lupiani pinned North Providence's Yanko Diaz at the 1 minute, 12 second mark to the title.
In the team competition, Mount Greylock finished a more than respectable fourth with 121 points. Colonie from New York's Capital District was the runaway winner with 209.5 points and five individual titlists.
Rhode Island schools Ponaganset and Narragansett were second and third, respectively, with 136 and 129.5 points. Hampshire Tech finished just behind the Mounties with 120 points.
Twenty-two schools from throughout New England and New York participated in the tournament, including Taconic and Monument Mountain. Taconic senior Travis Kuni reached the consolation semi-finals at 160 pounds. Monument sophomore Mark Leon Duque lost in the consolation final at 170.
Mount Greylock had two wrestlers other than Jackson reach the championship finals, five reach the consolation semis and one in the consolation finals. Rookie Jude Rorke lost by pin in the final at 100, and Mitch Graves was pinned in the third period of the 145 final.
All-in-all, it was a pretty good day for Miro, who earlier this week was not sure if he would have more than a couple of wrestlers advance to the last matches of the day.
"Looking ahead to this tournament, I wouldn't have thought that we'd have seven guys in the semis, but some kids wrestled particularly well," Miro said. "Johnny Colon (170), C.J. Lillie (138), Jude's young, you never know what he's going to do," Miro said. "I expected Mitch and Travis (Hilchey at 126) and David (O'Brien at 152) to be in there. I figured they'd have a good shot. But even David's wasn't a guarantee."
Jackson's road to the final was not guaranteed, but it was not a stretch either. He cruised through the first three rounds without any match going as long as a minute. Jackson's 16-second pin in his first match of the day was the fastest finish of the tourney.
In the championship match, it was scoreless after one period, and Jackson jumped out to a 3-0 lead with back points midway through the second. Dziadkiewicz escaped and got a takedown to tie the match before Jackson earned a reverse as time expired on the period to take a 5-3 lead.
Jackson started the third period on the bottom and escaped quickly to go ahead 6-3. Dziadkiewicz got a takedown with 18 seconds on the clock to get within a point and immediately gave up a point for the escape so he could try for another takedown, but Jackson fended him off and preserved the two-point margin.
"He was trying to outmuscle me," Jackson said. "He was trying to let me up and take me back down to get extra points. And I stopped that."
And he got the win, even if he couldn't stop the action quite as quickly as he did in his other matches.
"I don't like going six minutes, but I'll do it anyway," Jackson said with a laugh.