Luis Lizama is heading into new territory.
After a strong showing on the first day of the Nassau Division I wrestling championships, the Uniondale senior will be wrestling in the county semifinals for the first time in his career.
Lizama pinned all three of his opponents, the last of which came in 2 minutes, 33 seconds against Bethpage’s Aiden Wolf in the 215-pound quarterfinals Saturday at Hofstra. His other two pins came in a combined 1:48.
“He’s seen the highest highs and the lowest lows,” Uniondale coach Tim Godoy said. “Last year, he was unsure if he belonged or not. This year, he thinks he should win every match.”
A year ago, Lizama reached the quarterfinals as the 10th seed, but suffered a loss and failed to place in the tournament. Now, Lizama is the top seed at 215 pounds and is two matches away from a county title.
Lizama (33-3) is set to meet Oceanside’s Ben Rivezzo in the semifinals, which kick off at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday at Hofstra.
“I’m here to win,” Lizama said. “Everyone is here to win, but I think I want it more than everyone else. I’m confident that I’ll take home this championship.”
The upset of the day came at 190 pounds, when Farmingdale’s Josh Kama took a last-second win from top-seeded Jared Marine of Oceanside. Kama trailed 8-3 in the third period, but earned an escape with 1:06 remaining.
In the final seconds, Kama scored a takedown and got Marine on his back for three nearfall points as time expired for a 9-8 decision.
“His legs were open, so I just took my shot and believed in it,” Kama said. “He pinned me in a dual meet about a month ago, so I’m glad I got my revenge. It’s a huge confidence booster. I just beat the top seed. Nothing but respect to him, he’s a great wrestler.”
The eighth-seeded sophomore will meet Westbury’s Angel Flores in the semifinals.
For the second straight year, Herricks senior Joe Manfredi had his season cut short. In his second match, Manfredi dislocated his shoulder and was forced to forfeit.
Manfredi won a state title in 2022 but missed last year’s state tournament with mononucleosis. In January, Manfredi won the 145-pound title at the Eastern States Classic.
“You just feel terrible for the kid,” Nassau wrestling coordinator John Mankowich said. “He’s been such a good wrestler for several years now. He’s the top-ranked kid in the state at 145 pounds, so it’s a huge loss for us as a section.”
Plainedge leads the team competition with 126 points, with Long Beach (113) and Wantagh (112.5) close behind.