Late in the third period of the 120-pound final at the prestigious Ironman wrestling tournament in Ohio, Center Moriches’ junior Jordan Titus secured a take down to become the first New York high school wrestler to win at the event — or so he thought.
The assistant referee disagreed and overturned the call which would have broken a tie and sent the match to overtime.
“I immediately went to go over to the official but Jordan waved me off and got right back on the mat,” Center Moriches coach Mike Koscinski said. “It was going through my head that he was going to have to beat a kid that’s ranked eighth in the country twice but when he got right back out there I knew he was going to win.”
And win he did, eventually coming out on top of Cooper Flynn of the McDonogh School 4-2. For his accomplishments Titus was named Newsday Athlete of the Week.
“I knew I could beat him so I just had to be focused,” Titus said. “It was a really great feeling and I was just happy to beat him.”
The pair had wrestled twice previously with Flynn coming out on top both times.
“I think Jordan is way more offensive than he was last year,” Koscinski said. “Last year he would score off other guys mistakes but this year he is the offense.”
Titus went 6-0 at the tournament, including a win over Dustin Norris of Cincinnati LaSalle, who is ranked 13th in the country according to Intermat, in the semifinals.
“It’s just the little things that you can improve on that make a big difference,” Titus said. “I think on top of that being more offensive is what I’ve been working on.”
Titus has been putting in the time outside of just practicing with his Center Moriches teammates, including extra sessions with two-time state champion (at Webster Schroeder in 2003, 2005) and four-time NCAA Division I All-American and UFC veteran Gregor Gillespie.
“Jordan wrestles all-year round against guys at this level and his outside work really helps him prepare to go up against the best,” Koscinski said.
Now Titus can shift his focus to defending his state division II title which he won in February after two previous appearances in the final.
“Jordan, his family and his coaches all discussed entering this tournament and it was something he decided to do,” Koscinski said. “He has very specific goals to be the best.”