Thomas Bachmeier has a very simple wrestling philosophy: Pin the opponent.
The Bethpage senior isn’t interested in winning any other way and on Saturday he recorded three en route to a first-place finish in the 220-pound weight class at the Locust Valley Invitational. Bachmeier was the Eagles’ lone first-place wrestler, a performance he said he believes can help shape the rest of his season.
“I don’t care if I win or lose, if I don’t pin them, it’s not worth it,” Bachmeier said. “It’s all about the mental aspect for me.”
Bachmeier recorded pins in 48 seconds and 1:23 in his first two matches before taking down Longwood’s Anele Nwanyanwu in 5:22 in the final. It was a close match early on, but Bachmeier was able to remain patient, waiting for the opportune moment to make his move.
“[Nwanyanwu] was a very base, go-getter kind of guy,” Bachmeier said. “I was waiting for him to take as many starts as he could on me, so he’d tire himself out. Then I got him down and got my move.”
Bachmeier’s pin-first approach has been the calling card of his entire career and for good reason. His older brother Charles, who also wrestled at Bethpage, regularly pinned his opponents and, according to Golden Eagles coach Ben Resnick, once recorded nine consecutive pins, a program record.
Bachmeier is hoping to follow in his brother’s footsteps.
“They’re very similar boys and one my favorite families that I’ve ever dealt with,” Resnick said. “[Thomas] has picked it up this season. He has a shot on any given day.”
Bachmeier wasn’t the only wrestler who pinned his way through the event. Bellmore-JFK’s Greg Brach did the same at 120 pounds and even managed to avenge a loss earlier this season by defeating Whitman’s Anthony Costantino in the final.
“I wrestled him in one of the first tournaments this year and I got pinned,” said Brach, who won Saturday in 3:44. “I worked on a lot of the mistakes I made and started building up my confidence. It was faith over fear.”
While Bachmeier and Brach’s victories highlighted their team’s days, Mahopac (Putnam County) captured first place with 250.5 points. Locust Valley finished second with 208.5 points and John Glenn rounded out the top three with 193 points.
“We were wrestling tough,” said Locust Valley’s Gage DeNatale, who placed first at 132 pounds. “We’ve been working hard all week and we got it done today.”
It was a long day for all, but for Bachmeier it was a day he won’t soon forget. He has his sights set on counties, as well as a possible state tournament berth, but he knows if he’s going to grab some family bragging rights, he’s got to keep pinning his opponents.
“I’m just looking to try as hard as I can,” Bachmeier said. “Every year since I was a freshman, I’ve gotten third place in qualifiers. So this year, I’m trying to break that and keep going.”