NEW YORK -- The Columbia wrestling team raced out to a 27-0 lead over the first seven bouts and finished off the Princeton Tigers by a final score of 30-7 Friday night at the New York Athletic Club. Matt Bystol and Jake O'Hara propelled the victory with pins in the 133 and 157-pound bouts, respectively.
Penn Gottfried gave Columbia the early 3-0 lead with a victory via decision in the 125-pound bout. The Columbia junior built a 5-0 lead with two takedowns and an escape in the first period and then closed out the decision in the third with a reversal to take the opening bout, 11-5.
In the 133-pound bout, Matt Bystol recorded his second fall of the season. Going up against Andrew Nirai, Bystol needed just 29 seconds to get the Princeton senior to the mat for the pin.
Alec Mooradian extended the Lions' lead to 12-0 with a favorable decision in the 141-pound bout. Mooradian tallied the only points of the first period on a takedown. He added one point for an escape at the start of the second period and added the riding time point for the 4-0 victory.
Steve Santos improved to 19-2 on the year with a 6-3 decision over Zach Bintliff. Bintliff proved quite the challenge for the No. 6 wrestler in the nation, but Santos built a 5-1 lead and held off the late charge from Bintliff to close out the tough bout.
Jake O'Hara gave Columbia a 21-0 advantage at the midway point of the match with his first pin of the year. O'Hara, who is tied for the team-lead with five major decisions, got Brandon Rolnick to the mat 35 seconds into the match and worked his opponent until he notched the fall at 2:44.
Following a brief intermission in which the captain of the NYAC, Chris Cassell, and Columbia Alumnus Andrew Barth spoke to the crowd regarding the future of wrestling in the 2020 Olympics, the Lions got back on the mats and won three of the final five matches. (Visit keepwrestlingintheolympics.com for more information on the Olympic wrestling movement)
Josh Houldsworth improved to 16-5 on the year with an 8-3 triumph over Judd Ziegler in the 165-pound bout. It was a one-point bout heading into the final period, but Houldsworth scored an early escape and added a takedown in the final minute to push his lead to 7-3. The addition of the riding time at the conclusion of the match pushed the winning score to 8-3.
Stephen West made it seven wins in a row for the Lions, notching an 8-6 decision in a hard fought bout at 174 pounds. West held a 5-3 lead heading into the last period, but Ryan Callahan rallied to go up 6-5 in the final minute. West, though, rebounded with a quick reversal and Callahan was issued a penalty to give West his 19th win of the season and put Columbia up 27-0.
Scott Gibbons got Princeton on the board with a major decision win in the 184-pound bout, but Nick Mills came back in the 197-pound bout with a win for Columbia. Mills went up early with two takedowns in the opening minutes and then held off a stiff challenge from Dan Santoro to even the match late to register the 8-6 win.
Columbia would fall in the heavyweight bout, but the 30-7 final score would be the widest margin of victory for Columbia since a 34-4 toppling of Brown on Feb. 18, 2012.
Columbia's Robert Dyar and Adam Fondale each won exhibition matches prior to the start of the 10 main bouts.
The Lions return to the University (Blue) Gym for the final home match of the season Saturday afternoon. Columbia will host Penn on Senior Day at 3 p.m.
125 - Penn Gottfried (C) wins by decision over Max Rogers (P) - 11-5
133 - Matt Bystol (C) pins Andrew Hirai (P) - 0:29
141 - Alec Mooradian (C) wins by decision over Kevin Moylan (P) - 4-0
149 - Steve Santos (C) wins by decision over Zach Bintliff (P) - 6-3
157 Jake O'Hara (C) pins Brandon Rolnick (P) - 2:44
165 - Josh Houldsworth wins by decision over Judd Ziegler (P) - 8-3
174 - Stephen West (C) wins by decision over Ryan Callahan (P) - 8-6
184 - Scott Gibbons (P) wins by maj. dec. over Drew Rebling (C) - 11-0
197 - Nick Mills (C) wins by decision over Dan Santoro (P) - 8-6
285 - Cole Lampman (P) wins by decision over Chris Manna (C) - 3-2
125 - Robert Dyar (C) wins by decision over Ryan Cash (P) - 4-0
165 - Adam Fondale (C) wins by decision over Rich Eva - 10-5