The excitement of a night of world-class wrestling at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, in which a sold-out, record-breaking crowd of 5,000 was treated to 13 electrifying matches, spilled over into the post-event Beat the Streets Benefit Celebration at The Wilson on Monday. And while the victories by Olympic champions Jordan Burroughs (2012, gold), Kyle Snyder (2016, gold) and J’den Cox (2016, bronze) and local favorites like Nick Suriano (Rutgers University) and James Green (Willingboro, N.J.) stole the show on the mat during “Grapple at the Garden,” it was the Beat the Streets youth wrestlers who were the real winners, as $1.3 million was raised for this worthy not-for-profit in support of programs which empower young people in New York City through the great sport of wrestling.
“It’s hard to put into words what the support of everyone involved in this great night means to these kids and our mission,” said Brendan Buckley, Beat the Streets Executive Director. “The wrestling community responds year after year to this important cause, and not only did they get to enjoy an amazing night of unbelievably high-level wrestling at a historic venue like the Hulu Theater at MSG, but they also went away with the knowledge that they make everything we do at Beat the Streets a reality. We couldn’t me more pleased and can’t wait to grow this even bigger next year.”
The award winners announced at the Benefit Celebration include:
Junior League Female Wrestler of the Year: Sujeydy Matos, Inwood Academy for Leadership
Junior League Male Wrestler of the Year: Sulayman Bah, MS 129
Become Your Own Dream Foundation Scholarship: Adrian Rosario Beato, Mott Haven Campus – This financial scholarship is given annually to a New York City student-athlete who has overcome obstacles, worked through hardship, and plans to continue wrestling in college.
Female Student Athlete of the Year: Lyn Kajihara, The Bronx High School of Science – This career achievement award is given to a female athlete who exhibits the greatest combination of academic and extracurricular success.
Male Student Athlete of the Year: David Berkovich, Poly Prep Country Day School – This career achievement award is given to a male athlete who exhibits the greatest combination of academic and extracurricular success.
Grit Award: Michael Babbcort, George Wingate Educational Campus – This career achievement award is given to the New York City wrestler who has embraced the grind and shown improvement through their tireless effort and dedication to the sport.
Lady Liberty: Shola Cascen, Harry S. Truman High School – This career achievement award is given to the New York City female wrestler who has stood as the beacon of opportunity and promise, representing all that is strong and proud of New York City women’s wrestling.
Atlas Award: Terry Adams, Monsignor Farrell High School – This career achievement award is given to a male athlete who has picked up New York City wrestling and taken it to new heights.
Junior League Coach of the Year: Jonathan Khoury, Eagle Academy for Young Men
Girls High School Coach of the Year: Ted Cook, Harry S. Truman High School
Boys High School Coach of the Year: Michael Stern, Queens Metropolitan High School
Assistant Coach of the Year: Barry Hart, George Wingate Educational Complex
Volunteer of the Year: Jake O’Hara, Columbia University (‘14)
Beat the Streets Benefit competitions, which began in 2010, have since become a major showcase of the best of international wrestling. This unique annual event has helped Beat the Streets raise millions of dollars to support local youth wrestling programs which empower young people in New York City.
The first Beat the Streets Benefit was held on the U.S.S. Intrepid, an aircraft carrier docked on the west side of Manhattan. Since then, the benefit has taken place at other notable New York City spots like Grand Central Station and Times Square. Team USA has faced off against teams from around the world including Japan, Cuba, Russia and Iran. Last year, the competition was hosted at the new Pier 17 in the Seaport District and included the highly anticipated Burroughs vs. Frank Chamizo match.
New York City’s Madison Square Garden is one of the most famous sporting and entertainment venues in the world. The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden is an impressive venue with the capacity to seat over 5,000. The theater has hosted notable wrestling events including the 1998 Goodwill Games wrestling competition and the 2017 Grapple at the Garden college wrestling event.
2019 Beat the Streets “Grapple at the Garden”
May 6, 2019, Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York
122 lbs. (girls) – Valentina Bailon pin Elleny Seda, 3:22
138 lbs. (boys) – Jo Jo Aragona pin Adam Busiello, 4:06
Men’s freestyle – 57 kg – Jack Mueller tech. fall Nick Piccininni, 11-0
Women’s freestyle – 62 kg – Mallory Velte (USA) tech fall Linda Morais (Canada), 10-0
Men’s freestyle – 70 kg – James Green dec. Anthony Ashnault, 8-4
Men’s freestyle – 97 kg – Kyle Snyder tech. fall Nishan Randhawa (Canada), 15-1
Men’s freestyle – 125 kg – Nick Gwiazdowski dec. Derek White, 9-0
Women’s freestyle – 57 kg – Becka Leathers (USA) dec. Diana Weicker (Canada), 10-6
Men’s freestyle – 61 kg – Nick Suriano dec. Joe Colon, 3-1
Men’s freestyle – 86 kg – Drew Foster inj. dft. David Taylor, 0:31
Men’s freestyle – 92 kg – J’den Cox tech. fall Patrick Brucki, 10-0
Men’s freestyle – 65 kg – Yianni Diakomihalis dec. Bajrang Punia (India), 10-8
Men’s freestyle – 74 kg – Jordan Burroughs tech. fall Ben Askren, 11-0
cover image: Credit Justin Hoch