LI champions at MVP Arena in Albany included two who triumphed after losses in final last year, NewsdayTV's Carissa Kellman reports. Credit: Newsday/William Perlman

ALBANY – Greyson Meak finally got his revenge.

The Cold Spring Harbor junior defeated top-seeded Tavio Hoose (Southwestern) via 5-3 decision to claim the Division II state wrestling championship at 190 pounds Saturday night at MVP Arena.

It was a rematch of last year’s 172-pound final, in which Hoose scored a last-second takedown to scrape out a one-point victory.

When the two met at the Eastern States Classic in January, Hoose took another one-point win.

This time around, Meak held a 5-0 lead in the third period before Hoose started to creep back into it.

“I definitely knew I had it. I did start slowing up at the end, but I knew if I was wrestling offensively, I would’ve been fine. That’s what got me the lead,” Meak said.

Meak, the second seed, denied Hoose’s final single-leg takedown attempt with 18 seconds left to secure the victory.

Following the match, Meak gave coach Mike Ferrugiari a bear hug, before slamming him to the mat for celebratory takedown.

“It felt good. It was well-deserved,” Ferrugiari said. “He worked his butt off. I couldn’t be more proud of him. He bikes to gym in the morning before school. He goes to practice and training after that. He doesn’t stop.”

Meak (41-1) pinned No. 3 Luke VanGorden (Palmyra Macedon) in 3:23 in the semifinals. It was his third pin of the tournament.

“I know how much the feeling sucked last year and I’m just glad I’m not in that position again,” Meak said.

Severino’s run to final

For most athletes, losses are discouraging, but for Lindenhurst’s Anthony Severino, his losses have proven to be his greatest motivation and have helped transform him as a wrestler.

Last season, he finished with an overall record of 11-14 - one he wasn’t satisfied with.

“Honestly, throughout the season I wasn’t doing all I could,” Severino said. “At the county tournament last year, I lost in the first round and my season was over. That was a big wake-up call for me, and after that, I wanted to push myself to get better.”

To get there, Severino put in as much work as possible during the offseason.

“There’s offseason wrestling, and then there’s what he did,” Coach Ron Frole said. “He went above and beyond, he wrestled over 90 matches. That’s like three seasons worth in one summer”

Severino says it was all about gaining experience. “It’s a comfort thing, really,” he said. “I learned how to walk onto the mat with confidence.”

All of his hard work paid off.

The sophomore went on to win the league, and Suffolk County championship and was awarded the most oustanding wrestler are both tournaments. He way to the state championship with a 37-2 record.

“The goal I set for myself was to place at the county championship,” Severino said. “I definitely didn’t expect myself to win it and make it this far”

At the New York State wrestling championship at the MVP Arena in Albany, Severino made it all the way to the final round in 116 lbs. He fell to Midwood’s Evin Gursoy via a 14-2 decision. Although it didn’t go his way, he says it only makes him that much hungrier for a state title.

“If you told me I was going to make it to the state championship last season, I wouldn’t have believed it,” Severino said. “This is my motivation now, I just got to keep getting better.”

With two more wrestling seasons to go, Frole says he’s excited for Severino’s future.

“This is just the beginning,” Frole said. “With his work ethic, and his love for the sport, he can go as far as he wants to go.”

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