Times Square, NY -- "United In the Square," the Beat the Street Gala event in Times Square, was held for the seventh straight year on Wednesday May 18th to raise substantial funds for the work of Beat the Streets in New York City. The next day, an exciting slate of wrestling matches took place on a portable ring under the bright lights of Time Square as evening set upon the city. 

Beat The Streets is an organization which supports youth wrestling opportunities for boys and girls. This year, athletes came from the United States, Iran, Canada and Korea.

The website, BSTNY.org says the nation-wide organization is “a 501 (c)(3) non-profit that uses wrestling as the vehicle through which young people achieve their full physical, cognitive, and social potential and develop into strong and effective individuals and members of the world. We work with middle and high schools in all five boroughs of New York City to provide a safe, positive atmosphere in which disadvantaged and at-risk youth can learn the essential life lessons of personal responsibility, physical fitness, education, and teamwork.”

The organization believes that the sport of wrestling fosters an uncommon combination of character traits that lead to enhanced social and personal development, and ultimately to better life outcomes in the youth they serve.

In addition to some superb amateur athletes from various BTS program, there was some elite Olympic talent on display from all over the world going head up and providing inspiration for the up-n-coming grapplers in attendance.Youngsters from BTS programs in New York, Philly and Baltimore participated and contributed to advancing the program's social and athletic objectives.  

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Beat the Streets Youth Matches Results:

Shamelle Sinclaire, BTS-NY pin Tiarra Andrews, BTS-Philadelphia, 1st period

Shamella Sinclaire, BTS-NY tech. fall Jailyn Reedy, BTS-Baltimore, 10-0

Clement Woods, BTS-Baltimore, pin Jack Reusing, BTS-NY, 2nd period

Jayden Cardenas, BTS-NY dec. Kyree Brisco, BTS-Baltimore, 14-6

Angel Garcia, BTS- Philadelphia, pin Joe Perez, BTS-NY, 1st period

Josh Laubach, BTS-Baltimore, pin Demitrius Henry, BTS-NY, 2nd period

Jake Barry, BTS-NY dec. Ron Palmer, BTS-Philadelphia, 14-11

Edwin Morales, BTS- Philadelphia tech. fall Simon Chee, BTS-NY, 21-8

Leo Rabinovich, BTS-NY tech. fall Ernest Holland, BTS-Philadelphia, 10-0

Adding more of a home style feel to the event was the PSAL H.S. Girls Freestyle Dual Meet Finals. We were treated to a “Battle of The Boroughs, " as  Brooklyn Tech’s lady wrestlers took out Truman from the Bronx, by a score of 30-22

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Here are the results:

117 –Adalix Siri (Brooklyn Tech - 12th) dec. Natasha Padilla (Truman-11th), 10-5

121 – Jessica Lau (Brooklyn Tech) pin Patricia Booth (Truman -10th)

139 – Michael Samuel (Brooklyn Tech - 12th) pin Lusia Perez (Truman – 11th)

148 – Shannon Zheng (Brooklyn Tech – 11th) pin Zandora Blyden (Truman – 12th)

159 -  Kiara Rice (Brooklyn Tech – 11th) pin Dasia Smithjordan (Truman – 11th)

172 – Nia Crossdale (Truman-11th) pin Wenley Ma (Brooklyn Tech – 12th)

198 - Shaniece Hunter (Truman-12th) by forfeit

255 – Shanique Reid (Truman – 12th) by forfeit

105 – Pearl Fletcher (Truman-11th) pin Crystal Siew (Brooklyn Tech - 11th)

112 – Aileen Gonzales (Brooklyn Tech - 12th) pin Femi Brown (Truman-9th)

130 – Katrin Okalyukhin (Brooklyn Tech - 11th) dec. Collette Hamilton (Truman - 11th), 10-6



Team USA Wrestling Stars 

Four U.S. Olympians and three UWW Junior National champions from the United States won matches against top foreign opponents. It was the first time in which age-group international events were included in a Beat the Streets event.

Winning bouts for the USA were two 2016 U.S. Olympians in men's freestyle, J'den Cox at 97 kg/213 lbs. and Jordan Burroughs at 74 kg/163 lbs., as well as 2016 U.S. Olympians Helen Maroulis at 53 kg/116.5 lbs. and Adeline Gray at 75 kg/165 lbs.

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                                                (Photo Credit: teamusa.org)

Burroughs won his sixth career match in a Beat the Streets event, and Maroulis her fifth time, while Cox and Gray were competing here for the first time.

Cox, the two-time NCAA champion from Missouri scored four second-period take-downs and added a step-out for a dynamic victory. Cox has made a habit of accumulating major triumphs as he won the NCAA Championships, the U.S. Olympic Trials, the World Olympic Games Qualifier in Mongolia and now a Beat the Streets match in less than two months. His ascent to the top has been swift and emphatic.

A 2012 Olympic champion and three-time World champion, Burroughs scored a dominant 11-2 win over 2105 Asian champion Peyman Yarahmadi of Iran in the final match of the night to remain unbeaten in six Beat the Streets international events, with previous wins over four Russian wrestlers and an opponent from Cuba.

Maroulis, a 2015 World champion and three-time World medalist, scored a pin in 2:41 over Canadian veteran Samantha Stewart. Her five Beat the Streets wins were over opponents from Canada, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba and the United States.

Gray, a three-time World champion and five-time World medalist, scored an impressive 11-2 win over 2015 Canadian World Team member Justina Distasio. It was a rematch of the 2015 Pan American Games finals, which Gray won by scoring in the final seconds.

The United States reigned supreme in three of its four UWW Junior-level matches against Iran, with wins from Daton Fix of Oklahoma at 55 kg/121 lbs., Mitchell McKee of Minnesota at 60 kg/132 lbs. and Mark Hall at 74 kg/163 lbs. All four of the U.S. athletes competing at this level were 2016 UWW Junior Nationals champions.

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Iran's only win of the night came in the UWW Junior match at 84 kg/185 lbs., when 2015 Junior World champion Mojtaba Goleij of Iran had a strong second period to defeat 2015 U.S. Junior World Team member Zahid Valencia, 10-1.

All of these Junior-level dynamo’s then flew off to Texas to compete in this past weekend’s  UWW Junior World Team Trials, held alongside the Body Bar Women's Nationals.

It was a truly festive event and a great prelude to the Olympic Games in Rio. Retired NFL great Ray Lewis was the honorary coach for Team USA, and gave the American team one of his classic inspirational speeches before the matches began. A worldwide audience also watched the event live on Flowrestling.