Wrestling notebook: Area grapplers set to battle at Beast of East

Smyrna’s Tony Wuest

Wrestlers from all over the country will be in Newark this weekend as the Beast of the East celebrates its 25th anniversary.

And there are some local wrestlers eying a Beast of the East championship.

More than 900 wrestlers and 130 teams are competing at the tournament which begins this morning at the Bob Carpenter Center on the campus of the University of Delaware. The first round of the two-day event kicks off at 7:45 a.m.

The quarterfinals are scheduled for Sunday at 8:30 a.m. with the semifinals following at 11 a.m. The championship round will take place on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Twelve wrestlers from the Henlopen Conference are seeded; the brackets were revealed Thursday night.

Milford’s Robbie Rosser

Smyrna High senior Tony Wuest has the best seed of all Delaware wrestlers. He is No. 2 in the 195-pound weight class.

Wuest, a two-time state champion, finished third at 195 in last year’s Beast. The top seed in his bracket is Michael Beard of Malvern Prep (Pa.) who is ranked second in the country amongst all 195-pounders.

Smyrna has three more seeded wrestlers. Nick Natarcola is 15th at 132 pounds, Greg Baum is 11th at 145 and J.T. Davis is 12th at 160.

Two Caesar Rodney High wrestlers earned seeds. Cam Hayes is No. 15 in the 126-pound weight class while Jackson Dean is 138th at 132 pounds.

Cape Henlopen High also has a pair of seeded wrestlers. Anthony Caruso (126) is seeded 14th and Chris Handlin (182) is 15th.

Avery Mayan of Polytech is the 10th seed as a 160-poinder while Robbie Rosser of Milford is the seventh seed at 120 pounds. Will Rayne (Indian River) is 15th at 113 pounds and Rashad Statton (Sussex Central) is 14th at 132 pounds to round out the seeded downstate contingent.

Caesar Rodney, Cape Henlopen, Indian River, Lake Forest, Milford, Polytech, Smyrna, Sussex Central and Sussex Tech are the Henlopen Conference schools who have sent at least one wrestler to the tournament this year.

There are 11 former Delaware state champions in the field.

Wrestlers from 15 states and Canada are competing in the tournament. It features six of the top-10 teams in the country and has more than 60 wresltlers who have won a championship in their home state.

Seven of the Beast’s 14 weight class will have the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the country.

One more invitational

The Beast of the East is not the only event taking place this weekend.

A good number of Delaware teams will be participating in the Howdy Duncan Invitational hosted by William Penn High.

Caesar Rodney, Delmar and Polytech are the three downstate schools partaking, sending their wrestlers who have not entered the Beast of the East. The rest of the 29-team field is made up of upstate schools and five schools from out of state.

Action begins at 10 a..m today.

Bonus points

• Friday night’s scheduled dual meet between Sussex Central and Middletown at the Bob Carpenter Center was postponed due to weather.

• Sussex Central and Blair Academy (N.J.) are the only two teams to participate in all 25 Beast of the East Invitationals. Blair Academy has won the team title 21 of the 25 times.

• Seaford and Laurel are entered in the Parkside Holiday Tournament this weekend, hosted by Parkside High in Maryland.

• Laurel’s dual meet scheduled for Tuesday at Caravel has been postponed. No makeup date has been announced.

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