EAST LAKE - On the strength of six weight-class winners, Venice won the 2003 East Lake Wrestling Invitational Saturday at East Lake High School.
The Indians easily outdistanced the 19-team field, outscoring second-place Miami Southridge by nearly 100 points, 262-179.5. Bloomingdale was the area's top finisher, placing third with 132.5 points.
Venice's Jeremie Cook won the 171-pound class with a 10-4 decision and was named the outstanding wrestler of the tournament. In addition to Cook, Venice's Shawn Rouhan (103 pounds), Keith Koziel (112 pounds), Brian Little (160 pounds), Mike Cozy (189 pounds) and Adrian Bull (275 pounds) won their respective weight classes.
Three Ridgewood wrestlers won their weight classes, including Billy (130 pounds) and Matt Bullwinkel (135 pounds). Keith Coghlon won the 140-pound class with a pinfall at 1:41.
The prestigious tournament, held in East Lake since 1987, expanded the field this year. East Lake coach Chris Waite said that, while the early-season tournament is an excellent way for coaches to gauge their teams, its an essential tool for wrestlers with postseason aspirations.
"Yes, as a coach this tournament is a good measuring stick," Wait said. "But I think it really benefits these guys because they get to see the kind of atmosphere they'll experience at states, which can be a bit overwhelming. This helps them to feel more comfortable in that situation."