Orange junior Yury Pozdneev pinned his way to the 2018 John Lance Invitational title at Loudonville High School on Saturday.
Pozdneev was one of four Lions to earn a spot on the podium. Jason Abounader, Qyce Dweik and Jayden Hill all finished among the top eight at their respective weight classes for the Lions, who finished in 13th place as a team.
“Yury was dominant in all five matches, even up a weight,” Orange coach Al DiGiovanni said. “Qyce Dweik was a potential finalist who was winning a match and got caught and pinned. Jayden Hill, Tanner Coker and Jason Abounader all are capable of more success. They just need a mixture of more experience and confidence. The same goes for Josh Decipeda and Desmond Washington, who are both freshmen.”
Pozdneev, who earlier this season finished second at the rugged Solon Comet Classic at 120 pounds, bumped up to 126 for Saturday’s competition and pinned all five of his opponents.
“Yury is as tough as they come from a mental standpoint,” Orange assistant coach Cody Kovach said. “He is strong and extremely flexible, so he is difficult to wrestle. If he improves his transitions in technique he will able to contend for a state berth or even state place.”
Abounader finished seventh at 138 pounds, Dweik was fifth at 160 and Hill placed fifth at 220.
“The other three winners are fine with how they did but know they need to get better in situations where they have the opportunity to score and pass,” Kovach said. “They have been working so hard in the wrestling room and we know they can only improve.”
Washington competed at 152 for the Lions while Decipeda and Coker were at 195 and 285, respectively.