Greyson Meak of Cold Spring Harbor wrestles in a 190-pound Division...

Greyson Meak of Cold Spring Harbor wrestles in a 190-pound Division II quarterfinal match at the 2024 NYSPHSAA wrestling championships on Friday at the MVP Arena in Albany, N.Y. Credit: William Perlman

ALBANY — The feeling still haunts Greyson Meak.

The Cold Spring Harbor junior was moments away from a state title last year, but was taken down with three seconds left and came up one point short.

After earning a spot in the state Division II wrestling semifinals at 190 pounds on Friday, Meak is looking for a chance to avenge that loss at MVP Arena.

“Every time I’m exercising or doing conditioning or wrestling at all, it’s always nagging me in the back of my head, pushing me to get better and train harder,” Meak said. “I don’t ever want to be in that position again.”

Meak (39-1) pinned Ivan Dolphan (Horace Mann) in his first match in 27 seconds and followed it up with a pin of Trent True (Holland Patent) in 1:08 in the quarterfinals.

For the second straight year, Meak is Nassau’s only representative in the state Division II semifinals. Meak, the second seed, will face No. 3 Luke VanGorden (Palmyra Macedon) in the semifinals on Saturday. If Meak can advance to the final, he could find himself in a rematch with top-seeded Tavio Hoose (Southwestern), who edged Meak in last year’s championship match.

“I have much better technique now and I’m a lot stronger than I was last year,” Meak said. “I know what I want, I know what I’ve been training for. This has been my goal.”

SWR's Mangano advances

Shoreham-Wading River freshman Gavin Mangano also came up one match short of a state title last year. Mangano, last season's runner-up at 110 pounds, finds himself as the top-seed at 131 pounds this time around.

Mangano earned a 6-4 decision over Abdul-Ja Zaggout (Unatego/Unadilla Valley) in the quarterfinals. Mangano seemed to hurt his wrist in the first period and entered the third period in a 2-2 tie, but was able to score a reversal and a takedown to reach the semifinals.

Mangano faced Zaggout on Dec. 28 and won via technical fall in the second period.

“I wasn’t committing to my tilts as much this time, which is what I’m really good at,” Mangano said. “It definitely felt like a different match. I feel like I could’ve done better, but it happens sometimes. I just had to push through.”

Mangano (49-1) will face No. 4 Justin Mullis (Hudson Falls) in the semifinals.

“I have to win it," Mangano said. "Even if it’s close matches like that last one, I can’t stop short."

Fahrbach, Aiello eye another title

Mount Sinai’s Brayden Fahrbach and Glenn’s Tommy Aiello are two returning champions who will look to collect some more hardware on Saturday.

Fahrbach found himself in a rematch of last year’s championship match with Newfane’s Aidan Gillings. Fahrbach led 2-0 after the first period and scored a reversal in the third period to help close out a 4-2 decision at 138 pounds.

When the two met at the Eastern States Classic in January, Fahrbach (37-0) took a 9-5 decision.

“We know each other’s styles pretty well, so there’s not much we can really do,” Fahrbach said. “It doesn’t matter how you win or what the score is. Survive and advance.”

Fahrbach, the top seed, is confident and hungry to remain undefeated and win a second state title. He’ll face No. 5 Patrick Grimsey (Lowville) in the semifinals.

“My plan for tomorrow is to win and then eat whatever I want," Fahrbach said. "I’m really looking forward to that."

Aiello faced a familiar opponent in the 108-pound quarterfinals. When he wrestled Tioga’s Kadin Cole at the dual meet state championship last month, Aiello lost a 10-7 decision. On Friday, Aiello fought for every point in a 6-5 decision.

The fifth seeded Aiello earned an escape in the second period to take a 4-3 lead. After Cole evened the score with his own escape in the third period, Aiello scored a takedown with 53 seconds left to regain the lead.

“He got to his offense a little bit more and he had better opportunities to score today than he did last month,” Glenn coach TJ Brocking said.

Aiello (32-6) will face top-seeded Maverick Beckwith in the semifinals. When they met in last year’s 102-pound semifinals, Aiello earned a 5-4 decision.

“He’s improved throughout the year where he’s ran into guys with different styles… His opponent tomorrow morning is a long, defensive type of wrestler,” Brocking said. “A lot of the matches we put him in during the year were to simulate that type of matchup.”

The semifinals are slated to begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday with the finals starting at 6:05 p.m.

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