BY MICHAEL KELLY
GLENS FALLS — Jumping up and down, Anthony Laniewski threw short jabs at an imaginary target in front of him. A red Niskayuna wrestling jacket wrapped atop a hooded sweatshirt made sure his sweat was going. He was ready for his Division I 152-pound title bout at the Section II Wrestling Championships.
He also had 90 minutes to wait until his meeting with La Salle Institute’s Ryan Moore.
That was nothing for Laniewski. The junior had waited an entire year to get back to the Glens Falls Civic Center, the site of his demise in 2015. That’s when he’d entered the sectional tournament as a third seed and with a single loss to his name, and somehow left it with three defeats in four matches.
Laniewski’s driving goal throughout his junior season was to make up for that sixth-place showing. With a 3-1 victory Feb. 14 against Moore, Laniewski made good on his wish.
“It was all about realizing what I could do differently,” Laniewski said.
That meant wrestling smarter this season, like he did against Moore. After building a 3-0 cushion through two periods, he went conservative in the final session and never let himself get put in a dangerous position.
“I tried to stay smart. I knew I could get up from bottom [position], I’d done the work to do that,” Laniewski said. “It was a chess match … and I had to move the pieces into the right spot.”
“We knew nobody was going to let him take the title easily,” Niskayuna head coach Shaun Neely said. “He was ready for a war.”
Laniewski’s training partner Eoghan Sweeney — who won a Division I title at 160 pounds with a 6-3 decision against Shenendehowa’s Anthony DiNallo — had sensed throughout the week that Laniewski was primed to peak during the two-day sectional tournament.
“We were pushing it, pushing each to the very last bit other all week in practice,” Sweeney said. “We were going 100, 110 percent every time. You could tell he was prepared.”
In Sweeney’s match, the sophomore picked up his second consecutive sectional title after a hard-fought matchup. In a physical battle, Sweeney held a slim 2-1 lead after a period before gaining some separation in the second round.
“I needed to keep my composure and think about what I needed to do,” Sweeney said.
The same went for Laniewski, who gave the credit for his preparedness to Neely and assistant coach Mark Hitchcock.
What the wrestler himself provided was the drive to succeed.
“It was about getting to the mountaintop and peaking at the right time,” Laniewski said. “I was halfway there last week [at the Class A tournament].
“Now,” he finished, “I’m at the top.”
Shenendehowa 209.5, Burnt Hills 155, Columbia 137, Queensbury 116, Schenectady 111.5, Averill Park 101.5, Amsterdam 90.5, Ballston Spa 74, Albany Academy 78, Saratoga 69.5, Niskayuna 57, South Glens Falls 53, Mohonasen 49, Colonie 42.5, Bethlehem 36, La Salle 35.5, Shaker 16.5, Guilderland 16, Albany 14, CBA 7.
99 — Trent Svingala (Albany Academy) dec. Brock Delsignore (South Glens Falls), 4-2; 106 — Michael Gonyea (Columbia) pinned Antione Grace (Queensbury), 1:14; 113 — Trent Nadeau (Columbia) pinned Shiva Bhoge (Mohonasen), 3:01; 120 — John Devine (Columbia) pinned Jordan Sartin (Saratoga), 4:10; 126 — Kiernan Shanahan (Shenendehowa) dec. Josh Reed (Schenectady), 7-5; 132 — Christian Gramuglia (Burnt Hills) dec. Max Tempel (Averill Park), 7-4; 138 — Matt Saville (South Glens Falls) dec. Kevin Guardino (Shenendehowa), 9-6; 145 — Antonio Zamora (Schenectady) dec. Kyle Jasenski (Albany Academy), 4-2; 152 — Anthony Laniewski (Niskayuna) dec. Ryan Moore (La Salle), 3-1; 160 — Eoghan Sweeney (Niskayuna) dec. Anthony DiNallo (Shenendehowa), 6-3; 170 — Tyler Barnes (Ballston Spa) dec. Collin Derboghossian (Schenectady), 3-2; 182 — Kevin Parker (Shenendehowa) pinned Jake Cook (Ballston Spa), 1:32; 195 — Dylan Dubuque (Columbia) default over Marcus Torres (Amsterdam), win by injury; 220 — Joe Messare (Burnt Hills) dec. Garreck Golish (Ballston Spa), 2-1; 285 — Jake Warren (Burnt Hills) dec. Chris Garrison (Amsterdam), 10-2.
99 — Jake Kimble (Colonie) dec. Cody Deuel (Shenendehowa), 5-0; 106 — Daniel Montalvo (Amsterdam) dec. Ryan Encarnacion (Saratoga), 14-11; 113 — Lucien Loeper (Averill Park) dec. Anthony Canova (Bethlehem), 8-3; 120 — Caiden Mondore (La Salle Institute) dec. Andrew Dennis (Averill Park), 2-1; 126 — Danny Jada (Burnt Hills) dec. David Wolanski (Guilderland), 4-0; 132 — Dietrich Hartman (Shenendehowa) dec. Deyker Edwards (Schenectady), 15-5; 138 — Nick Robbins (Queensbury) dec. Joe Cauwenberghs (Averill Park), 9-7; 145 — Jon Law (Queensbury) dec. Vincent Pedone (Burnt Hills), 9-5; 152 — Jared Bruno (Queensbury) pinned Andrew Fountain (Averill Park), 0:53; 160 — AJ Melendez (Schenectady) pinned Zach Zebrowski (Albany Academy), 1:45; 170 — Nico Mattia (Queensbury) dec. Nick Joseph (Shenendehowa), 7-5; 182 — Brandon Barbagelata (Burnt Hills) pinned Jake Rodecker (Amsterdam), 3:25; 195 — Dustin Bruhns (Shenendehowa) dec. Nelson Quinones (Amsterdam), 3-2; 220 — Joe Galusha (Mohonasen) dec. Tyson Jones (Albany), 9-1; 285 — Shane Walpole (Shenendehowa) pinned Spencer Wickert (Saratoga), 4:37.