This past weekend, wrestlers from across the nation descended on the University of Delaware for the prestigious, two-day Beast of the East Tournament. Blair’s powerhouse wrestling program won its 21st straight team title at the tournament, crowning five champions and nine place winners and clinching first place with a final score of 269.5, 43 points ahead of the second place Delbarton.
Coming off a win at the Ironman Tournament, Blair fielded a strong team last weekend with four No. 1 seeds and nine seeded wrestlers. Leading the way for the Bucs at the Beast of the East were Leo DeLuca ’25 (113 lbs.) who contributed 36 points to the team’s total as well as winning the Major Ray Mendoza award. Leo had four pins throughout the tournament. Other champions include Marc-Anthony McGowan ’23 (120 lbs.), Matt Lopes ’24 (126 lbs.), Danny Wask ’22 (170 lbs.), and TJ Stewart ’22 (220 lbs.).
Third place winners Lorenzo Norman ’23 (160 lbs.) and William Henckel ’25 (145 lbs.) each wrestled in an incredible number of matches as well, with Lorenzo going 8-1 and William going 7-1. Ibrahim Ahmed ’22 (138 lbs.) placed fourth and Paul Ognissanti ’24 (138 lbs.) placed seventh.
Head wrestling coach Ross Gitomer ’05 expressed pride in the team, noting, “Beast of the East was a really good team effort. Going eight for nine in the last round showed the amount of care the kids have for their own wrestling, but more importantly, for their team’s performance. Our players will gain confidence from this, which is important, because it doesn't get any easier as we head to the Powerade after Christmas. That will be exciting and challenging for us.”