Beat the Streets Wrestling, Inc. and USA Wrestling today announced the high school and middle school freestyle wrestling matchups that will kick off “Salsa In The Square,” the annual international wrestling competition and fundraiser, which returns to Times Square on Thursday, May 21, this time back in the Duffy Square location at 46th Street in Manhattan. The elite youth matchups of both boys and girls will precede Team USA and the Cuban National Team competing in all three Olympic styles, a preview of top contenders for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
“There is no better way to showcase the young stars coming through our program than to have them compete in Times Square just prior to the United States meeting Cuba in this historic matchup,” said Mike Novogratz, founder of Beat The Streets. “These young men and women are a great representation of all we are doing with BTS around the country and we are excited to give them the chance to compete on literally the biggest stage in the world; Times Square.”
The youth and high school matches will begin at 4:00 pm and will include:
60 lbs Yasis Brooks, Blemont Charter, Philadelphia vs. Joey Adams, P.S. 50, Staten Island, NY
95 lbs Yashaira Burgos, Mariana Bracetti Acad, Philadelphia vs. Becky West, Townsend Harris HS
99 lbs Joe Heilman, S. Plainfeld HS vs Brandon Nunez John Bowne HS
105lbs Aileen Gonzlaez, Brooklyn Tech vs. Alex Samos, Curtis HS
115 lbs Norma Ramirez, Baltimore BTS vs. Cloe Cabrerra, Twin Parks (Pa.) HS
115 lbs Haley Finn, Scotia-Glenville HS vs. Michaela Beck, Trevor Day School
118 lbs John Wulffen, Frankford HS, Philadelphia vs. Doniyorkhon Mukhamadieve, Brooklyn Int’l HS
130 lbs Tevor Haberli, Pascacak Hills HS vs. William Yee, Information Tech
140 lbs Angel Garcia, Mariana Bracetti Acad, Philadelphia vs. Brandon Bido, Bathgate (NY) MS
148 lbs Travis Stefalnik , Nazareth Area (PA) HS vs. Lenny Merkin, Poly Prep Country day School
150 lbs Shawn Mosca, Wheatley HS vs. Ronaldo Rodriguez, Xaverian HS
150 lbs Alexis Blue, Schoarie Central HS vs. Viviane Vu, Brooklyn Tech
167 lbs Justin Henry, St. Johns & St. James HS, Baltimore, Md vs. Victor Sandoval, Twin Parks HS
170 lbs Don Donnelly, Ward Melville HS vs. Adrienne Ferriere, Mt. St. Michael Academy
195 lbs Tyree Sutton, Keansburg, NJ HS vs. Nat Rose, Eagle HS
Following the youth matches will be the meet between the U.S. and Cuba. Billed as the “Salsa in the Square,” this will be the first time that a dual meet between a U.S. team and a Cuban team in an Olympic sport will take place in the United States since the historic change in USA and Cuban political relations earlier this year. It is also the first time that a Cuban wrestling team will compete in New York City in a dozen years, since the successful 2003 World Freestyle Wrestling Championships were held at Madison Square Garden. Overall, this unique and electrifying annual event helps raise significant funds to further BTS’ mission to develop the full human and athletic potential of the urban youth and the strengthen the culture of New York City wrestling.
Team Cuba will include seven men’s freestyle wrestlers, four women’s freestyle wrestlers and two Greco-Roman wrestlers, showcasing talent in all three Olympic styles. The Cuban team features four past medalists in men’s freestyle: 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and three-time World medalist Livan Lopez Azcuy at 74 kg in men’s freestyle, three-time World medalist Reineris Salas Perez at 86 kg, plus 2014 World bronze medalist Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez at 57 kg and Javier Cortina Lacerra at 97 kg. The women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman athletes are a mix of veteran stars and exciting young talents. Combined, the team has won 11 Pan American individual gold medals and four Junior World medals.
The U.S. team will feature will feature Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs, Olympic medalists Clarissa Chun and Randi Miller and World medalists Tervel Dlagnev, Helen Maroulis, Andy Bisek and Jake Herbert.