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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    EIWA Conference Recap (1/4/23)

    165 lbs Midlands Champion Quincy Monday (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)

    We had a lot of action over the holiday break. The perennial midseason classics like the Midlands and Southern Scuffle are back, with many EIWA schools in action. The Soldier Salute, in Iowa, is new this season - which also had some EIWA teams participating.

    Some major stories included two high-profile athletes making weight changes. Quincy Monday was last year’s 157lb NCAA runner-up. He teased us this year stating he’d move up to 165 lbs, but did not. Well, he’s back up to 165 lbs and ended up winning The Midlands. His teammate (and fellow NCAA runner-up) was also rumored to move up to 133lbs. He was registered at 133 lbs but turned out to be a late scratch. I am told he will remain at 125lbs for the remainder of the season – but expect him to be on a “pitch count.”

    The EIWA saw two champs at Midlands. The previously mentioned Quincy Monday won at 165 lbs. The other champ was Michael Colaiocco of Penn at 133 lbs. He won a bracket with three former All-Americans in it. Monday had a win in the finals over Dean Hamiti, who was ranked fourth and a returning All-American. These two have earned my Outstanding Wrestlers of the Week.

    The Eagles had a handful of matches days before Christmas. They were off during the holiday and will be back at the F&M Open this Friday 1/6.

    The Black Knights were at the Soldier Salute, coming in second place as a team behind Iowa. The highest finisher was #23 at 174lbs, Ben Pasiuk. His win in the finals was by medical forfeit. Julian Sanchez walked away with second place. He had a big win over #26 Matt Kazimir of Columbia. At 133lbs, Rich Treanor earned fifth over teammate Ryan Franco. Ethan Berginc wrestled to fifth place, too. Nathan Lukez (#30 @ 157lbs) came in sixth, while Dalton Harkins at 165lbs earned fourth, as did Sahm Abdulrazzaq at 184lbs. After a few surprising losses, at least in my opinion, the team rallied to earn second place behind #2 Iowa. They will go back to the east coast at the F&M Open in Lancaster on Friday.

    The Bearcats spent the new year in Chattanooga, TN at the Southern Scuffle. With two runners-up, the team ended the event in 7th place, ahead of teams like Maryland, Purdue and Iowa State. Veteran Lou Deprez (#16 @ 197lbs) was a runner-up. He had wins over #10 Jaxon Smith of Maryland and Nick Stemmet of Stanford (#20). This may have been a coming-out party for Cory Day at heavyweight. The 33rd-ranked wrestler had a win over #21 Jonah Niesenbaum of Duke, dropping a decision to #8 Zach Elam in the finals. Day recently made his debut in the national rankings, and I don’t expect him to leave them anytime soon. After a medical forfeit, Jacob Nolan (#23) walked away with eighth place at 184 lbs.

    Other noteworthy things to address include Anthony Sobotker making his debut down at 125 lbs, after spending last season and the first half of this season at 133 lbs. With Micah Roes already manning this weight, this could make for an interesting battle in the room. We saw NCAA Qualifier, Brevin Cassella, return at the Wilkes Open as he made the transition down to 165lbs. He was absent from the Southern Scuffle after winning all five of his matches at Wilkes. The Bearcats have two tough bouts this weekend against #6 NC State and #24 Appalachian State – both on the road.

    The Bears were in Chicago competing at The Midlands. Their lone placewinner was Hunter Adrian at 133 lbs. He dropped a 4-1 decision to returning All-American #19 Chris Cannon of Northwestern in the quarterfinals. His win for seventh place was over former AA, #20 Taylor LaMont from Wisconsin. At 149 lbs, there seems to be a battle for the starting spot between Blake Saito and Ricky Cabanillas. Neither wrestler outperformed the other, each going 1-2 on the weekend. We’ll keep an eye on this one. The Bears had a few other wins. It may not seem like much, but we will give Coach Leen a few years to build this program as he envisions. Next up for Brown, they will dual F&M, Presbyterian, and Davidson at the F&M Duals on Thursday. They will compete in the Open the following day.

    The Bison were at the Southern Scuffle. Kurt Phipps was the highest placer was 32nd ranked Kurt Phipps at 133lbs. With a victory over 16th-ranked Attasauov of Iowa State in the consis, I would expect the ranking of Phipps to increase after his strong performance. At 141lbs, Darren Miller won in the quarters over #11 Dylan Droegemueller of North Dakota State. He had to medically forfeit to sixth place after the semifinal loss to #3 Andrew Alirez of Northern Colorado. Dorian Crosby at heavyweight, had one win on the day – but it was a big one – as he defeated #20 Jaron Smith of Maryland. Expect Bucknell to go back to the drawing board before they will be wrestling Michigan State in Michigan on Friday, then host Hofstra to a dual on Monday.

    The Lions were one of the EIWA teams at the Soldier Salute in Iowa. Top wrestler, Josh Ogunsanya, did not compete at 165lbs. The top performance by a Columbia wrestler was Lennox Wolak at 174 lbs. His win over #30 Hayden Hastings of Wyoming should propel him into the next set of rankings, especially since his loss in the finals does not count against his record due to being a medical forfeit. At 125lbs, Nick Babin had a great win over #22 Ethan Berginc of Army before placing fourth. Angelo Rini was runner-up at 133 lbs after a pin, major, and decision. Last season’s EIWA champ at 141lbs, Matt Kazimir earned fourth place after dropping a match to Army’s Sanchez. Danny Fangaro went 4-2 on the day for a fifth-place finish at 149lbs. It is exciting to see Babin making some noise at the bottom of the lineup. His work with Coach Tanelli is paying off. This team has talent, especially when a healthy Ogunsanya is included. The Lions will take time to heal this weekend, before returning to competition next Friday the 13th.

    The Big Red were not in action after competing at the Collegiate Duals before the holidays. They needed a few weeks to heal up. They take on #3 Arizona State on Wednesday 1/4 in Austin, TX. They will then wrestle at Virginia Tech two days later.

    The Dragons were off between holidays. Expect them in action at the F&M Open this week.

    Franklin & Marshall
    The Diplomats were on the road at The Midlands. Even though they had zero placewinners, we saw improvement at most weight classes. Most notably at 197lbs, John Crawford finished in the round of 12 losing to only the runner-up #12 Braxton Amos of Wisconsin, and third-place finisher Andrew Davison of Northwestern. He is really turning a corner up two weight classes from a season ago. At 133lbs, Pat Phillips had two tech falls on the backside. He lost to previous national qualifier, Cole Rhone of Bloomsburg. At 174lbs, Noah Fox was 3-2 on the weekend, as was James Conway at 184lbs. Conway had a win over returning qualifier Jack Jessen of Northwestern. We saw Vincenzo Pelusi (#31 @ 285lbs) make a return, going 1-2 on the day, including a loss to #7 Yaraslau Slavikouski of Harvard. F&M hosts Brown, Presbyterian, and Davidson to duals on Thursday before hosting the F&M Open on Friday.

    The Crimson participated in The Midlands. This could have been a coming-out party for Diego Sotelo at 125 lbs. He lost in the first round and wrestled back to earn third place. One upset included a pin over #21 Ryan Miller of Penn. Before he claimed wins via two medical forfeits, he also had a great win over Sheldon Seymour of Lehigh. Both 141lbs wrestlers for Harvard competed hard. Keep an eye out for Joe Cangro and Kenny Herrmann, as they seem to be pretty evenly matched at this weight. Although he didn’t place, Trevor Tarsi had a nice win at 157 lbs over Corbyn Munson of Central Michigan (#31). Harvard’s other placer was heavyweight Yara Slavikouski. He came in fourth, with ranked wins over #31 Pelusi, #27 Wolfgram, #26 Goldin, and #10 Hillger. We did not see Phil Conigliaro (#12 @ 174lbs) compete, as he is nursing an injury. We will expect to see him back soon. Harvard’s next event is at the F&M Open on Friday.

    The Pride were at the Southern Scuffle. The single placer was fifth at 184lbs. Jacob Ferreira (#24) had a loss to #14 Travis Wittlake of Oklahoma State in the semifinals. He had a great outing, wrestling to his seed. We typically see Knighton-Ward win matches, but he was 2-2 in the event. Justin Hoyle (141lbs) had losses to Darren Miller of Bucknell and Carter Young of Oklahoma State (#25 & #28, respectively). Missing from the lineup was Trey Rogers (#26 @ 197lbs), as he was a little banged up. We will see this Hofstra team compete at the F&M Open, along with a handful of EIWA teams. Following up a few days later, they will square off with Bucknell on Monday.

    Lehigh sent a handful of wrestlers to the Midlands. Freshman phenom Ryan Crookham made the semifinals after a win over #9 Joe Heilmann of Rutgers. His 3-1 loss to #19 (and returning AA) Chris Cannon of Northwestern was his last match of the event before medically forfeiting out to sixth place. At 125 lbs, Sheldon Seymour walked away with seventh place in his redshirt season. Another strong performance for Seymour. Max Brignola (#26 @ 149lbs) also came away with a sixth-place finish. Two losses came from #10 Doug Zapf of Penn and #25 Tyler Badgett of Pitt. I’m sure we will see some wrestlers at the F&M Open, but the Mountain Hawk’s next competition will be Jan. 14th at Cornell.

    Long Island
    The Sharks will be at the F&M Open after a small hiatus during the holiday break.

    The Midshipmen had a small appearance at the Soldier Salute. They brought only a handful of competitors. Ryan Catka was runner-up at heavyweight, losing to #3 Tony Cassioppi of Iowa. Jake Lucas at 197lbs earned fifth place. Another great performance came at 133 lbs. Brendan Ferretti’s only loss on the weekend came to Angelo Rini of Columbia. He had a win over Richard Treanor of Army, who was top 6 at EIWA’s last season. Catch the team at the F&M Open this coming Friday.

    The Quakers were runners-up at The Midlands as a team. Michael Colaiocco (#9 @ 133lbs) defeated three former All-Americans in the process. He is looking like a legit All-American threat. Doug Zapf (#10 @ 149 lbs) was third place. He had wins over #29 Jarod Verkleeren of UVA, #26 Max Brignola of Lehigh, and #24 Caleb Tyus of SIU Edwardsville. At 157lbs, Anthony Artalona (#15) wrestled to fourth place after eight matches over two days. Lucas Revano also had a long weekend, wrestling seven matches. This included one win over #28 HoldenHeller of Pitt. Nick Incontrera (#20 @ 174lbs) was runner-up. He lost to Ruth (#10) of Illinois. At the upperweights, both Cole Urbas (197lbs) and Ben Goldin (#27 @ 285) each placed seventh. This week, we will see some wrestlers at the F&M Open on Friday. The team will host #25 North Carolina Saturday night.

    The Tigers made some noise before the Midlands even started. Pat Glory was registered at 133lbs, however, did not wrestle. Quincy Monday was ranked #1 in the nation at 157lbs, but is now wrestling up at 165lbs. In his debut, he went 5-0 with a win over #26 Heller of Pitt, #11 Braunagel of Illinois, and #5 Hamiti of Wisconsin. At 197lbs, Luke Stout (#20) took fifth place. At 149lbs, Rocco Camillaci had a win over #26 Max Brignola of Lehigh during his 3-2 tournament. Freshman Kole Mulhauser placed seventh in a solid performance. We still have a competition for the heavyweight starting position between Travis Stefanik and Matthew Cover. Neither wrestler separated from the other, so expect this to continue for another few weeks. The Tigers will have competitors at the F&M Open, along with most of the conference.

    Sacred Heart
    The Pioneers were off during the holiday season. We will see them at the F&M Open on Friday.

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