Patterson beats Funicello to win U S Beach Nationals title

By Gary Abbott | July 19, 2009, 6:26 p.m. (ET)
Nate Patterson (right) pummels for position against Jeff Funicello in the 187.5 pound finals at the 2009 U.S. Beach Nationals in Rochester, N.Y.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Returning Beach World Team Trials champion Nate Patterson (Ontario, N.Y.) defeated two-time World bronze medalist Jeff Funicello (Gilbert, Ariz./American Pankration-Sunkist Kids) in the 187.5-pound finals at the 2009 U.S. Beach National Championships at Ontario Beach Park.

Patterson defeated Funicello, 2-1, in the featured match of the tournament, breaking a 1-1 tie with a clean takedown. Patterson, who competes for Binghamton University, won his second straight U.S. Beach Nationals title.

Last year, Patterson won the Beach Nationals at 171 pounds, while Funicello won the tournament at 187.5 pounds. They met in the finals of the 2008 U.S. Beach World Team Trials, where Patterson won a 1-1 referee's decision.

Winning a second career U.S. Beach Nationals title was Lehigh Univ. graduate Trevor Chinn (Canandaigua, N.Y./Team Titan), who captured the 170 pound title. Chinn defeated runner-up Josh Veltre (Rochester, N.Y./Cheeburger Cheeberger), 2-0, in the deciding match in his weight class.

Chinn was a 2007 U.S. Beach Nationals champion at 165 pounds, and was second behind Patterson in the 2008 U.S. Beach Nationals at 171 pounds.

The top three placewinners in each of the Senior weight classes have earned a spot in the 2009 U.S. Beach World Team Trials on Sunday. The U.S. Beach World Team Trials will be held in the two FILA weight classes (Below 85 kg, Above 85 kg) and will determine the U.S. wrestlers who are eligible to compete at the 2009 Beach World Championships in Bulgaria.

The 2009 U.S. Beach Nationals set an entry record of 125 participants, breaking the mark of 103 entries set at the 2006 U.S. Beach Nationals held in Riviera Beach, Fla.

In the 321-pound weight class, 2008 Beach Nationals runner-up Mike Carroll (Lake Winola, Pa./Team Avalanche) won his first Beach national title. He defeated runner-up Matthew Mahon (Rochester, N.Y./Ithaca College), 2-0, in the key match in his weight class. Carroll was also second in last year's Beach World Team Trials.

In addition to competing, Carroll also served as one of the referees, working all day in the ring working a whistle, and only taking a break to wrestle in his matches.

Other individual champions on the Senior level were Rocco Rosso (Rochester, N.Y./Cheeberger Cheeburger) at 139 pounds, Gordon Leach (Rochester, N.Y./Irondequoit) at 160 pounds, Ben Johnstone (West Henrietta, N.Y./RIT) at 180 pounds, Jason McGuckin (Rochester, N.Y./West Side Wrestling) at 193 pounds and Brett Giehl (Livonia, N.Y./West Side Wrestling) at 210 pounds.

Winning the lone Senior women's weight class was Pat Fox (Colorado Springs, Colo./Team Titan) at 148 pounds.

Individual champions were determined in the Junior, Cadet, Schoolboy and Veterans divisions.

The only athlete in the age-group divisions to repeat as a national champion was Benjamin Brooks (Rochester, N.Y./Team Titan), the Schoolboy champion at 117 pounds. Last year, Brooks won the gold medal in the Schoolboy division at 95 pounds.

Winning the team title and earning the Beach Belt for the third straight year was Team Titan Worldwide of New York, which had nine individual champions combined in all of the divisions.

At Rochester, N.Y., July 18

Senior Men champions
139. - Rocco Rosso (Cheeburger Cheeburger)
160.- Gordon Leach (Irondequoit)
170. - Trevor Chinn (Team Titan)
180.- Ben Johnstone (RIT)
187.5 - Nate Patterson of Team Cook
193- Jason McGuckin of West Side Wrestling
210 - Brett Giehl of West Side Wrestling
321 - Mike Carroll of Team Avalanche

Senior Women champions
148 - Pat Fox of Team Titan

Junior champions
130 - Mike Gentilcore of Spartan Wrestling Club
143 - Nate Smith of Hilton
151. - Bobby Burg of Team Titan
160. - Mike Clark of Team Titan
171 - Sean Grove of RIT
189. - Zerik Miller of Team Titan
221 - Brandon Contreras of Team Titan

Cadet champion
120 - Jeff Kommer of Westside Wrestling Club
138 - Chaz Milly of McQuaid
150 - Tory Cain of Wayne
160 - Nick DeFranco of Webster Thomas
185 - Benny Youngman of Team Titan
277 - Jeffrey Timmerman of Williamson HS

Schoolboy champions
91 - Mitch Moran of Team Titan
100 - Christopher Auer of High Point
117 - Benjamin Brooks of Team Titan
130 - - Patrick Oliveri of Irondequoit
146 - Keanu Budia of Williamson HS

Veterans champions
158 - Dan Nier of Holley Weird
180 - Mike Morone of Unattached
205 - Cpt Robert Peterson of Sand Hill Wrestling Club
321 - Michael Cain of Unattached