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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    2022 EIWA Championships Recap

    157 lb EIWA champion Quincy Monday of Princeton(Photo/Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    The 118th EIWA Conference Championships Recap
    125lb Placewinners

    1st - Vitali Arujau (CORN)
    2nd - Patrick Glory (PU)
    3rd - Ryan Miller (PENN)
    4th - Joe Manchio (COL)**

    5th - Beau Bayless (HARV)
    6th - Sheldon Seymour (LEH)
    7th - Brandon Seidman (BUCK)
    8th - Reese Fry (Brwn)

    Bold Text NCAA Qualifiers
    ** At large selections

    The top 4 seeds finished as seeded. The only exception was second seed Vito putting a beatdown on top-seed Glory in the finals. With a 19-6 major decision, the match was not close from the start. Vito looks primed and ready to be in the national title hunt. He looked fantastic all weekend. He had relentless attacks, some turns on top, and sky-high confidence. Glory will be back next week. Depending on his seed, we may see a rematch with Vito at NCAA's. For third place, Miller won over Manchio by major decision. His only hiccup was a loss to Vito. Manchio earned a wild card after a nice season. The bracket buster here was Sheldon Seymour of Lehigh. Being a late addition, he was given the 17th (last) seed. His two losses were to Glory (8-2) and Manchio (3-2). Being the back-up at Lehigh, the depth at the lower weights is deep. Returning NCAA Qualifiers Mininno of Drexel and Allen of Navy combined for one win total. This turned out to be a deep weight, plus Seymour's unfortunate seed; the bracket saw a few surprises.

    133lb Placewinners

    1st - Michael Colaiocco (PENN)
    2nd - Josh Koderhandt (NAVY)
    3rd - Dom LaJoie (CORN)**

    4th - Jack Maida (AU)
    5th - Richard Treanor (ARMY)
    6th - Nick Kayal (PU)
    7th - Jaxon Maroney (DRXL)
    8th - Nicky Cabanillas (Brwn)
    DNP - Malyke Hines (LEH)**

    This bracket was busted from the beginning when Hines came in as the third-seeded Hines was forced to injury default his opening match, then medical forfeit his next due to injury. He did earn a wild card selection due to his impressive body of work during the season. Without Hines, Colaiocco pretty much ran through this bracket for his first EIWA title. Navy's freshman, Koderhandt, had an awesome battle with LaJoie in the semifinal. He earned a pin in overtime. This was one of the better matches I remember, with tons of scrambling by both guys. It's a toss-up every time they go at it. LaJoie earned a wild card after placing 3rd. Jack Maida was the biggest surprise of this weight, in my eyes. Coming in as the 7th seed, he took out Phipps (5th), Maroney (8th), and Treanor (11th) in the wrestle backs to claim 4th place. The true freshman has a bright future under American assistant coach, Joey Dance. Other wrestlers outperforming their seeds were Treanor of Army (11th), Kayal of Princeton (10th), and Cabinillas of Brown (14th).

    One thing I'd like to note is the Brown lightweights at 125 and 133 both outwrestled their seeds by a significant amount. Much of this is due to newly appointed assistant coach, Jesse Delgado. There are a few bright spots at the bottom of that line-up, and it started to shine here.

    141lb Placewinners

    1st - Matt Kazimir (COL)
    2nd - CJ Composto (PENN)
    3rd - Wil Gil (F&M)
    4th - Connor McGonagle (LEH)

    5th - Darren Miller (BUCK)
    6th - Ryan Anderson (BING)
    7th - Danny Coles (PU)
    8th - Justin Hoyle (HOF)

    The top two seeds held true at this weight class. Kazimir held onto a 6-4 decision over Composto of Penn. Kazimir took some losses this year and battled some injuries. He did enough to earn the first seed en route to EIWA gold. He was not super flashy, nor did he score a ton of points. The dark horse of the bracket went on a tear to earn third place. Wil Gil of F&M came in as the 7th seed and performed better than I have ever seen him wrestle. He took out the 4th and 5th seeds to claim a third-place finish. It's a shame we did not get to see Miller nor Anderson receive an at-large bid, as they have been ranked inside the top 20 coming into the conference tournament. Hofstra's Hoyle came in as the 14th seed and snuck onto the podium. He took out the 11th and 9th seed in the wrestle backs.

    149 Placewinners

    1st - Yianni Diakomihalis (CORN)
    2nd - Anthony Artalona (PENN)
    3rd - Max Brignola (LEH)
    4th - Marshall Keller (PU)

    5th - Danny Fongaro (COL)
    6th - PJ Ogunsanya (ARMY)**
    7th - Lukus Stricker (HARV)
    8th - Nick Lombard (BING)

    Yianni did his thing, as expected. He had all bonus-point victories. Artalona was solid with runner-up finish. Brignola of Lehigh wrestled to his seed, placing third. The biggest overperformance was Marshall Keller of Princeton. He was the 16th seed, losing first round to Yianni. He stormed back beating the 9th, 6th, 7th, and 4th seeds to find himself in the 3rd place match. Talk about turning it on at the right time! The real bummer here was Ogunsanya's injury. He was wearing a heavily taped ankle on the mat and a walking boot off the mat. Thankfully, he earned a wild card due to his body of work during the regular season. Nichter of Drexel (6th seed) was entertaining to watch until he had to default out due to injury. He battled injuries all year and just came back a few weeks ago. Only being a freshman, expect him to make some noise next year. Besides Keller's run, this weight held its seeds well.

    157lb Placewinners

    1st - Quincy Monday (PU)
    2nd - Andrew Cerniglia (NAVY)
    3rd - Josh Humphreys (LEH)
    4th - Markus Hartman (ARMY)
    5th - Doug Zapf (PENN)
    6th - Hunter Richard (CORN)**

    7th - Nick Delp (BUCK)
    8th - Trevor Tarsi (HARV)

    I think we all expected a Humpreys/Monday finals match-up. Cerniglia played the role of spoiler when he earned a defensive fall over Humphreys in the semifinals. Monday beat Zapf for the second time this year, again winning by a takedown. With 157 having six qualifiers, it shows the depth at this weight class. More impressively, two returning qualifiers from last year in Kropman of Drexel and Palumbo of Sacred Heart missed the podium and tournament this season. I'm glad Richard of Cornell earned an at-large bid. He belongs there, proving he can compete with the best. Hartman had close wins in the wrestle backs over Tarsi then Zapf. For 5th, Zapf had to defeat Richard for a second time over the weekend. He seems to have Richard's number, winning both matches by a takedown. Minus Humphrey's setback in the semifinals, he looks very capable of placing at NCAAs - along with Monday.

    165lb Placewinners

    1st - Philip Conigliaro (HARV)
    2nd - Joshua Ogunsanya (COL)
    3rd - Zach Hartman (BUCK)
    4th - Julian Ramirez (CORN)
    5th - Brevin Cassella (BING)
    6th - Lucas Revano (PENN)

    7th - Evan Barczak (DRXL)
    8th - Val Park (NAVY)
    DNP - Brian Meyer (LEH)**

    Sounding like a broken record, this weight class was the deepest weight in the conference. As an example, returning two-time NCAA qualifier Ricky Stamm of Hofstra earned the 11th seed, and did not place. He had losses to Cassella and Revano. Cassella had a nice outing for his freshman campaign. He came in as the 8th seed, ultimately earning a 5th place finish. This dude can scrap. Val Park is in a tough situation, as he placed 8th and beat Meyer of Lehigh in the blood round. Meyer earned an at-large bid, leaving Park out of the NCAA tournament. Dalton Harkins of Army came into the weekend ranked inside the top 33, but lost to Revano in the round of 12. In the consolation semi's, we saw Barczak take on Revano for the third time. Revano has won all meetings between them in overtime. These guys put on a show every time. Back to the championship bracket, from the start, we saw incredible matches. Every single quarterfinal was competitive, and the semis were very close matches. Conigliaro knocked off returning All-American Hartman. Conigliaro is tough, tough, tough! Ogunsanya beat top-seed Ramirez of Cornell as well. He is super quick on his feet and caused issues for Ramirez. Most of these guys will be back next year as well. The weight will be deep for years to come.

    174lb Placewinners

    1st - Mickey O'Malley (DRXL)
    2nd - Nick Incontrera (PENN)
    3rd - Ben Pasiuk (ARMY)
    4th - Jacob Nolan (BING)

    5th - Jake Logan (LEH)
    6th - Chris Foca (CORN)**
    7th - Nick Fine (COL)
    8th - Nate Dugan (PU)

    Overall, this group did not have any major bracket busters. The biggest overperformance was by Nolan of Binghamton. The 8th seed knocked off 4th seeded Fine of Columbia then had a MFF over Foca of Cornell to find himself in the 3rd place match. Pasiuk of Army came into the tournament as the 6th seed, ending his weekend as a national qualifier in 3rd. It was interesting to see a dominant O'Malley of Drexel end his run with four decisions. He is typically pinning opponents left and right. He wrestled Incontrera for the third time of the season this weekend in the finals. O'Malley beat the Penn rival by a 2-1 score in tiebreaker. Not the most exciting match, but when opponents know each other so well, this is bound to happen. Foca, who just returned from a concussion, looked to suffer another one in the semifinal bout. Hopefully, he can be at full strength at NCAAs.

    184lb Placewinners

    1st - Jonathan Loew (CORN)
    2nd - Travis Stefanik (PU)
    3rd - AJ Burkhart (LEH)

    4th - Charles Small (HOF)
    5th - Neil Antrassian (PENN)
    6th - Bryan McLaughlin (DRXL)
    7th - Brian Bonino (COL)
    8th - Cory Day (BING)

    The top two somewhat separated themselves from the rest this weekend. It's no real surprise to see Loew of Cornell against Stefanik of Princeton in the final. Loew widened the gap with a 12-5 victory, which is much more comfortable of a win compared to the two-point victory last time they met. The third-place finisher (and last automatic qualifier) went to Lehigh's Burkhart. The 7th seed knocked off returning qualifier McLaughlin of Drexel, Antrassian of Penn (5th seed), and third seed Small of Hofstra. Many knew he was capable of this once he upset Loew in the dual back in early January. Personally, I feel both Small and Antrassian had arguments to get at-large selections, but the NCAA committee felt differently. There were some exciting matches on the backside, with many one-score matches in the blood round, continuing into the placing matches. After the top two, the field was very evenly matched. Expect this weight to reload next year with a few placers graduating.

    197lb Placewinners

    1st - Lou DePrez (BING)
    2nd - Luke Stout (PU)
    3rd - Jacob Koser (NAVY)
    4th - Cole Urbas (PENN)
    5th - Jacob Cardenas (CORN)

    6th - JT Davis (LEH)
    7th - JT Brown (ARMY)**
    8th - Sam Wustefeld (COL)

    DePrez remains King of the EIWA, this time at a different weight class. DePrez's third title was just as impressive as his first two. His closest bout was a one-point match over Koser of Navy. The most exciting match on the winner's side was probably the semi between Stout and Cardenas. Stout earned a takedown in OT to avenge his loss from a month earlier. DePrez won the finals match-up by a 10-4 score. Navy's Koser had a nice tournament, finishing in third place. Urbas of Penn (8th seed) did exactly as I called in my preview. He upset the 5th and 2nd seeds in the wrestle backs using his effective top game. This is his first trip to NCAA's, with a few more in his future. JT Davis of Lehigh had himself a nice tournament, as well. Columbia's 12th seed, Wustefeld, snuck onto the podium with an 8th place finish. DePrez and Brown are the only place winners graduating. This is another weight class that we should see improvement on next year.

    285lb Placewinners

    1st - Jordan Wood (LEH)
    2nd - Lewis Fernandes (CORN)
    3rd - Joe Doyle (BING)
    4th - Ben Goldin (PENN)
    5th - Matt Cover (PU)
    6th - Zachary Knighton-Ward (HOF)

    7th - Cenzo Pelusi (F&M)
    8th - Daniel Conley (COL)

    Jordan Wood of Lehigh will go down in the history books as the first (and possibly only) five-time EIWA Champion. He was the favorite all year. But his matches were very close. With a 2-0 win over Penn's Goldin in the semi, and a 2-0 win over Fernandes in the final, Wood wasn't the point-scoring machine we typically see. But, when you are the favorite to win, like he is 99% of the time, he will wrestle some close matches. Fernandes had two pins and then a 5-0 win, before his defeat to Wood in the finals. Watching Doyle of Binghamton wrestle is one of the most entertaining things in the heavyweight division. He wrestles like a funky 125lb guy, using all sorts of rolls from Granby's, to funks, to Petersons. He could be a potential dark horse in the NCAA bracket. I was glad to see the EIWA get two at-large bids here in Knighton-Ward of Hofstra and Cover of Princeton. Both guys are athletic, and fun to watch as well. Goldin is just solid all around. I like him too. The EIWA will be well represented in Detroit next week.

    Team Race

    1st - Cornell (153 points & 3 champs, 9 NCAA Qualifiers)
    2nd - Penn (143 points & 1 champ, 9 NCAA Qualifiers)
    3rd - Princeton (120.5 & 1 champ, 6 NCAA Qualifiers)
    4th - Lehigh (111 points & 1 champ, 7 NCAA Qualifiers)
    5th - Columbia (84.5 points & 1 champ, 3 NCAA Qualifiers)

    This was a tight team race. Many may not have expected Penn to be right on the tails of the Cornell Big Red. Many would assume Lehigh would duke it out with Cornell, but major injuries at 125 and 133 held them back slightly. Could this be a permanent situation moving forward? Will this continue to be a four-team battle for the top spot, with Penn now in the mix? Being at the tournament this weekend, Penn had a ton of support in the stands. It almost seemed like they had home-mat advantage in some bouts. Shoutout to Columbia. Fifth place for that team is an incredible step for coach Tanelli and crew. What an improvement they have made over the past few years. Even the middle tier had impressive showings. Binghamton was 6th place, followed by Navy, Army, Harvard, and Drexel rounding out the top 10. We've seen big-time improvements, from the Ivy League schools. Now that the other teams are stepping up their game, this conference will only start to get more competitive year after year.

    Miscellaneous Awards

    Outstanding Wrestler Award - Vitali Arujau of Cornell
    Most Cumulative EIWA Career Team Points - Jordan Wood of Lehigh (109 points)
    Most Falls in Least Amount of Time - Lewis Fernandes of Cornell
    Coach of the Year - Roger Reina of Penn
    Sportsmanship Award - Columbia University

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