LYNN — The Lynn Shore Showdown gives young athletes of a variety of ages and sizes a chance to show off their wrestling skills while enjoying a day at Nahant Beach.
The third annual event, held Saturday morning, also showed and celebrated the growth of a sport that only made its debut in the Lynn school system two years ago.
“It has grown beyond even what I would have imagined,” Lynn School Committee member and event founder Jared Nicholson said. “We started by doing just a demonstration at the Marshall Middle School and we now have a full-fledged program at Marshall, a full varsity program and a team at Breed.
“The Marshall team started out the season this year with 80 kids going out for the program,” Nicholson, who wrestled in high school at Lincoln-Sudbury and in college at Princeton, added. “It has become really popular and we’re really proud and excited.”
Wrestlers came from all over including Boston, Providence, R.I. and Lowell to compete in a bracket style tournament. Athletes were divided into four groups; youth, middle school, high school and open (anyone over high school.
“When I went over the rules today I pointed out that we have a very wide range of experience and skill,” Nicholson said. “Today is about fun, the score matters during the season but it really doesn’t matter today. It’s about getting out, having fun, hanging out on the beach and enjoying and promoting the sport.”
The event featured around 50 participants, a number that is down from last years 80 wrestlers Nicholson said.
“It can be a tough time of year to reach people and we also had a group from Providence that had some transportation issues,” Nicholson said. “But we have around 50 wrestlers, a good crowd and were really excited about it.
“I also thank Boston Youth Wrestling and the Friends of Nahant Beach for helping us put this together,” Nicholson added. “They’re really important to making this day work.”
Winners included Nic Miragliugio (Open), Jonathan Feliz (High School Heavy), James Walter (High School middleweight), Malcolm Chrispin (High School lightweight), Jude Corra (Youth lightweight), and Ryan Meier (Youth Super lightweight).
Wrestling provides a unique experience that differs from most sports and helps kids learn discipline with teammates they might never be around in another environment, Nicholson said.
“One of the things I love about wrestling is an opportunity to put yourself out there as an individual but also be part of a team,” Nicholson said. “As an individual competitor you get to experience and learn being the only one out there, but you know you have your teammates backing you up everyday. I think it’s a really nice mix.”
“I think it’s great for discipline,” Nicholson added. “You learn a lot of discipline it’s also great for kids of all sizes. You get a team with a really wide range of skills and size and you get a nice blending of kids that you might not otherwise get together.”