Westhampton Beach senior Alex Tanzman (106 pounds) and Eastport South Manor junior Travis Passaro (120) were champions in their weight classes on Wednesday night at the Division I Suffolk County wrestling tournament.
Tanzman made school history, becoming the first Hurricane wrestler to ever win multiple county titles. He was the county champ at 99 pounds last year. This year, he squared off against Steven Lee in a rematch from the 99-pound final last season and pinned him in the third period to get the win. Tanzman was down by as much as 4-0 midway through the second period but he scored an escape and a takedown to cut Lee’s lead to 4-3 going into the final period. In that period, Tanzman started on bottom and got out to tie it up at 4-4. With less than a minute left, Tanzman used a shrug to take Lee down, and put so much force into the move that he put Lee right to his back and then got the pin a few seconds later.
Passaro was in a barnburner of a match with Mike D’Angelo of Hauppauge. D’Angelo had a 3-1 lead midway through the second period before Passaro got a takedown and two back points to go up 5-3. Passaro was leading 6-3 with 1:50 left in the final period before D’Angelo took the lead again with a takedown and two back points, making it 7-6. Passaro got back to a neutral position, tying the match at 7-7, and then scored the winning takedown with just under a minute left.
Both Tanzman and Passaro earned a spot in the New York State Championships, which will take place at the Times Union Center in Albany February 22 and 23. It will be the second trip to states for Tanzman and the first for Passaro. Passaro’s older brother, Maverick Passaro, won both a county and state championship for ESM last year.
ESM had two other finalists in this year’s tournament. John Busiello (99 pounds) lost 9-3 to John Arceri of Huntington, and Jimmy Leach (126) lost 5-2 to Mark West of Hauppauge.