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Wrestling preview: Oliveto, Artrip power Suffern

Posted Friday, December 12, 2008 by js

Wrestling preview: Oliveto, Artrip power Suffern
Tony Pinciaro The Journal News
December 03, 2008 12:17 PM


During a recent water break at Suffern wrestling practice, Julian Negri and his teammates were looking forward to quenching their thirst.

They kicked back and relaxed, momentarily, from the grueling workout and steamy conditions. However, not all of the wrestlers welcomed the break.

"Nick (Oliveto) and Justin (Artrip) are always wrestling," said Negri, a senior captain. "I think they wrestle 24/7. Even when we're taking a water break, they're pushing each other and wrestling; even when they are joking around with each other."

Oliveto and Artrip are Suffern's powerhouse lightweight tandem. They've had a major impact on the Mounties' success the past two seasons.

"With Nick and Justin, they do a good job of getting the momentum going," Negri said. "We look forward to seeing these guys there for us because we draw off of their energy."

The duo debuted on the varsity as eighth-graders with Oliveto wrestling at 96 pounds and Artrip going 103. Oliveto is a two-time Rockland County champion and finished fifth and second, respectively, in the Section 1 Division I championship. Artrip was the Rockland County 103-pound titlist and sectional fifth-place finisher last season.

Last season, Oliveto won 30 matches and Artrip collected 27 victories.

Not only did Oliveto and Artrip come to the varsity together, but their friendship extends to their early wrestling careers. Both began with the Suffern peewees, and they immediately were paired up. Since then, they have been inseparable on the mat.

"Justin and I know each other's styles so well, but we work hard and push each other to the limit," Oliveto said. "Practice will get pretty competitive because nobody wants to give up a point. We wrestle like it's a match every day in practice."

Even though he knows practice is going to be tough, Artrip looks forward to it every day.

"Nick has always been the best partner," Artrip said. "We both work hard and we both want to help each other get better.

"I love practicing with Nick and I would rather have it tough than easy."

Along with being workout partners, Oliveto and Artrip are in many of the same classes. They train together at Premier Wrestling Club in New Jersey. And they have something else in common - their fathers also wrestled for Suffern.

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When they aren't grappling with each other, Oliveto and Artrip also work with David Bailen, Dan Ventarola and Negri. Ventarola and Bailen followed Oliveto and Artrip in the lineup last season.

"Drilling with Dave and Dan, who are both bigger, helps us get better and helps us get stronger," Artrip said.

Oliveto and Artrip are looking forward to the season. Based on the workouts both endure on a daily basis, they are ready, as are their teammates.

"We're all excited for the season, and everyone has been working hard," Artrip said. "We all think we're going to do well this year."

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