Gomez enters his own zone, where he focuses only on defeating his opponent for the entirety of the match.
“As we wrestle I don’t pay attention at all to anybody else besides who I’m wrestling and that’s about it,” Gomez, a junior, said.
At the annual NYC Wrestling Mayor’s Cup tournament on Sunday, Gomez was fully locked on to his opponents, as he topped his competition to win the crown in the 106-pound division.
Gomez, who entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed, defeated the No. 1 seed John Luke DeStefano of Poly Prep High School in the finals. After wrestling all three rounds with DeStefano, Gomez won the decision with a 4-1 point advantage.
“I’m impressed. He had a really tough opponent in the finals,” said Cardozo wrestling head coach Chris Milani. “It was a great match.”
About 10 schools from Queens were represented at the annual NYC Mayor’s Cup championship at Columbia University. Besides Cardozo, Long Island City, Flushing, Grover Cleveland, Information Tech, William C. Bryant, Springfield Gardens, Hillcrest, Martin Luther School and Lexington School for the Deaf all sent representatives to the mats.
The tournament featured the city’s top 16 wrestlers from the public, Catholic and private schools, in 15 different weight classes.
While Gomez was the only wrestler from Queens to have a first-place finish in their weight category, many of the other athletes enjoyed the experience of competing with top wrestlers from other leagues.
“It’s a big tournament. It’s good to [oppose] people that you don’t usually,” said wrestler Thomas McLoughlin of the Martin Luther School. “You wrestle them all the same. You go out there and you wrestle your game. You don’t wrestle to theirs.”
Queens wrestlers results
- 99 pound category, Randy Cazales of Flushing High School finished in third place.
- 106 pound category, Oscar Estudillo of Long Island City High School finished in fifth place.
- 113 pound category, Abdul Rabbani of Grover Cleveland High School finished in seventh place.
- 138 pound category, Thomas McLoughlin of Martin Luther School finished in third place.
- 152 pound category, Shaquille Jones of Hillcrest High School came in fourth place.
- 160 pound category, Troy Walters of Flushing High School finished fifth place.
- 170 pound category, Alex Ortiz of Martin Luther School finished in sixth place.
- 182 pound category, Gabriel Ortega of Grover Cleveland High School finished in fourth place.
- 195 pound category, Nnamdi Uchendu of Springfield Gardens High School finished in third place.
- 220 pound category, John Pierre-Louis of Springfield Gardens Hill School finished in third place.
- 285 pound category, Daniel Pottinger of Benjamin Cardozo High School finished in sixth place.