Wrestling notebook: Giampietro eyes Beast tourney this weekend

Smyrna’s Gabe Giampietro. Delaware State News file photo

SMYRNA — Gabe Giampietro went up against some of the best high school wrestlers in the country last weekend.

He’s itching to do it again this weekend, this time in his home state.

Giampietro, Smyrna High’s 106-pound wrestler, is coming off a third-place finish at the Walsh Jesuit Ironman tournament in Ohio. He is one of numerous Delaware wrestlers slated to compete in the 27th annual Beast of the East tournament this weekend at the Bob Carpenter Center on the University of Delaware’s campus.

“I love that excitement,” Giampietro said. “Being able to go out there knowing, this kid is a nationally-ranked wrestler, having a chance to wrestle the best in the country is an honor. I love it.”

Giampietro was one of four Delawareans who placed at last year’s Beast of the East tournament. He finished seventh as a freshman at 106 pounds, tying him with Caesar Rodney’s Jackson Dean (138) pounds for best finish by an instate wrestler last season.

Giampietro is off to a strong start this year.

He won his weight class at the Ray Oliver Invitational during the first week of the season which set him up as a fifth seed at the Ironman. He reached the semifinals before falling to top seed Marc-Anthony McGowan of Blair Academy (N.J.).

But Giampietro rebounded with a pinfall in the consolation semifinals before a 13-7 victory via decision in the third-place match to out-perform his seed.

“This whole week, starting off with the Ironman was great,” Giampietro said. “Going out there and beating my seed, I was fifth and got third, that was awesome. Just the experience out there is amazing. The caliber of kids out there is insane. Really every match was awesome and I loved it.”

Giampietro had little time to rest as he bumped up a weight class for Wednesday’s dual meet and defeated Caravel Academy’s Luke Poore 5-2 in a 113-pound bout. Poore is highly-regarded around state as one of the front-runners for the individual state title in his weight class.
“Gabe is as tough as they come,” said Smyrna coach Aaron Harris. “He had to bump up against the toughest opponent in the state. I’m proud of him for pulling that out, that could have been an overtime match.”

Giampietro wasn’t the only Smyrna wrestler to place at the Ironman tournament. J.T. Davis (182) and Hugo Harp (285) finished eighth in their respective weight classes.

Davis also placed at last year’s Beast of the East tournament.

Caesar Rodney’s Dean also wrestled at the Ironman, in the 145-pound weight class, and earned a seventh-place finish.

Ten Delaware teams are entered in this year’s Beast of the East. Action begins on Saturday with the championship round scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday.

“It’s our tournament,” Harris said. “We like to go in there and try to make a name for ourselves. People come in and don’t expect the Delaware teams to do well but we want to get as many kids on the podium as possible. The tournament comes through Delaware, so let’s represent Delaware well.”

Delaware has not had a Beast of the East winner since Smyrna’s Brent Fleetwood won his weight class in 2012.

Giampietro is expecting to see many familiar faces on the mat this weekend.

“I’m really excited for Beast of the East,” “There’s a lot that’s going to happen there. There’s going to be a lot of crazy matches. A lot of the kids that I wrestled at the Ironman will be here too so it will be a real good one. It’s an awesome tournament and puts it Delaware on the map. We all want to go there and place.”