Cornell 165 lber Julian Ramirez (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
In this week’s action, Cornell won its second consecutive Ivy League Title, Drexel extended their win streak to 7 matches after a 3-0 weekend, and Max Leete earned his 11th pin of the year.
This week’s Outstanding Wrestler for me is Julian Ramirez of Cornell. His win over returning NCAA runner-up, Quincy Monday, has helped establish him as the top dog in the conference at a loaded 165 lbs bracket. He’s earned a co-OW award from me after his performance at the Cliff Keen Invitational. This will be his first outright award, and he's the first repeat award winner. An interesting tidbit about Ramirez – a season ago, he beat defending national champ Shane Griffith in front of a home crowd. This past weekend, he defeated Monday in front of a home crowd. The guy excels in front of his Big Red crowd! He’ll be looking to keep the momentum into the last few matches and the postseason. Congrats to Julian.
The Eagles were on the road at Virginia. They dropped the dual 23-15, after a quick :23 pin by Max Leete at 125 lbs. This was his 11th of the year – now tied for the most in D1 wrestling. They had 3 more wins by decision from Jack Maida (133 lbs), Lucas White (174 lbs) and Will Jarrell (285 lbs). American wrestled hard in this dual. An interesting wrinkle to the lineup was having Raymond Lopez (who spent time at 125 and 133) in at 141 lbs. Maybe beefing him up is the best look for their lineup… We’ll follow that one into next week as they host Lock Haven and Air Force.
The Black Knights were in Bethlehem, PA for an EIWA dual with Lehigh. Three wrestlers earned wins in the 26-9 defeat. The first win of the night was by Ethan Berginc (#31 @ 125 lbs) in overtime over a very solid Carter Bailey. Next, Dalton Harkins (165 lbs) snuck out a 2-1 win, which was followed up by a decision by Ben Pasiuk (#18 @ 174 lbs). It looks like Trae McDaniel is manning the 149 lb spot lately. He dropped a match in overtime to Max Brignola, a returning NCAA qualifier last season. Army caught Lehigh with a nearly 100% lineup, which has been rare for them. A good showing, though, for Army. This weekend, the Black Knights will be at Drexel for a dual on Saturday.
The Bearcats wrestled Princeton in a dual. They lost 28-10 with a lineup missing some firepower, mainly a ranked Brevin Cassella at 165 lbs. They did see a win from Anthony Sobotker at 133 lbs, by major decision, to tie up the match. At 149 lbs, Michael Zarif had a win over returning NCAA Qualifier, Marshall Keller. We’ve seen steady improvement from him lately. Jacob Nolan has kept his winning ways alive with a decision over a ranked Nate Dugan. This team has young talent that may take another year or two to shine. Expect big things from some of the veterans at EIWAs, however. Next up, is a match against #5 Cornell – at Hilton high school in New York – hometown of Collin Burns, and the DePrez brothers of Binghamton, and the Diakomihalis brothers of Cornell.
The Bears were off this past weekend, as they wrestled three duals on the road a week ago. Catch them in action this weekend as they host LIU and Columbia.
The Bison hosted Columbia and Navy, losing both 25-12 and 25-9, respectively. Bucknell saw two wrestlers win both matches this weekend. At 285 lbs, Dorian Crosby secured a win over #19 Grady Greiss of Navy. He’s on a nine-match win streak since January 6th. 23rd ranked at 133 lbs, Kurt Phipps was 2-0 on the weekend, beating a tough Angelo Rini of Columbia and #31 Brendan Ferretti of Navy. Darren Miller (#33 @ 141 lbs), dropped one match to EIWA runner-up, Josh Koderhandt of Navy but, later, beat returning EIWA champ Matt Kazimir of Columbia (#21).
Dylan Chappell is continuing his growth into 149 lbs. He was 1-1 on the weekend, with a solid win over Danny Fongaro. In positive news, we did see Nick Delp return to the line-up at 157 lbs with a win. He then lost at 165 lbs against #16 Josh Ogunsanya of Columbia. I do like this team’s talent. Getting Chappell into the lineup is a bonus for the Bison. He’s one of the best guys on the team, just stuck at a weight with the two best guys on the team. I’m excited to see them finish the season strong. They have two more duals this year, including this week’s battle with Lehigh at home.
The Lions had a rather dominant win over Bucknell, 25-12. The match started at 174 lbs, where Lennox Wolak (#32) earned a tech fall. Aaron Ayzerov and Jack Wehmeyer followed up with wins at 184 lbs and 197 lbs. 30th ranked Nick Babin (125 lbs) defeated his opponent by tech fall also. The final two matches included wins from Cesar Alvan (#24 @ 157 lbs) and Josh Ogunsanya (#16 @ 165 lbs). Josh had a pin to end the dual. This team is a main part of the rise of the Ivy League, overall. With over half of the team in the rankings, we may see them end up in the top five at EIWAs. This week’s duals include road matches at Harvard and Brown.
The Big Red were “red” hot this weekend in both duals, earning the Ivy League title. They beat Princeton 32-7 and defeated #25 Penn 19-15. Cornell’s heavy hitters shined through. Vito Arujau (#3 @ 133 lbs) was 2-0 on the weekend, which included a six-point win over #8 Michael Colaiocco of Penn. Top-ranked Yianni Diakomihalis (149 lbs) was 2-0 on the day as well, beating two NCAA qualifiers in the process. Speaking of beating two NCAA qualifiers, Jacob Cardenas secured two majors over #32 Cole Urbas and #20 Luke Stout. Interestingly, Cardenas lost to both of these guys at conferences. He came back with a vengeance this weekend.
Heavyweight, Brendan Furman, made his way into the rankings this week thanks to a win over Travis Stefanik of Princeton. Chris Foca had a vital fall over #20 Nick Incontrera to help seal the deal over Penn. The one hole in this lineup (if you consider it that) has been 157 lbs for the Big Red. Cole Handlovic seems to be stepping up to the challenge and manning it quite well. A 3-2 loss over Artalona (#15 @ 157 lbs) is one of those good losses I mention from time to time. The MVP of this team during the weekend was Julian Ramirez at 165 lbs. His win over Quincy Monday (retuning NCAA runner-up) was a huge win for him in this loaded weight class. This team has been the favorite to win the conference since the beginning of the season, and they look to have solidified that assumption - for the time being. This week, they will be in Hilton, NY for a dual with Binghamton.
The Dragons were on the road this weekend, taking on LIU – where they defeated LIU (31-6) and George Mason (28-13). The next day, they edged Hofstra 19-16. 5th ranked Mickey O’Malley (174 lbs) was in action again, going 3-0 on the weekend increasing his undefeated record to 12-0. Kyle Waterman (133 lbs) went 2-0 on Saturday, but did not wrestle against Harvard. Evan Barczak (#18 @ 165 lbs) was unbeaten in his two matches. At 149 lbs, Luke Nichter (#24 @ 149 lbs) was 2-1, as was Sean O’Malley at 197 lbs. Brian Bonino (#27 @ 184 lbs) had a great win over Hofstra’s Jacob Ferreira (#23) in overtime. Making improvements, Jordan Soriano was 2-1 at 141 lbs. Keep an eye for him as a young dark horse at this weight. He wrestles hard! The Dragons are on a seven-match win streak, and will look to extend that at home against Army Saturday. Sunday afternoon, the city of Philly will have a nice Super Bowl appetizer when Drexel plays host to Penn for the infamous Cheesesteak Trophy.
Franklin & Marshall
The Diplomats were off this weekend. They will host D2 Millersville in the battle for the Rupp Cupp, named after Ted Rupp. Coach Rupp coached both teams simultaneously in the 1948-49 season. This will be F&M’s last dual of the season.
The Crimson had a weekend off. This week includes two EIWA home duals against Colombia and Hofstra.
The Pride split matches on the weekend - defeating George Mason 26-16 and losing to Drexel 19-16. Chase Liardi (133 lbs) and returning EIWA placer, Justin Hoyle (141 lbs) each were 2-0 on the weekend. Liardi earned two majors, while Hoyle had one pin. Also winning both matches, was Trey Rogers (#30 @ 197 lbs). At 184 lbs, Jacob Ferreira (#23) had two overtime matches – losing only one to #27 Bonino of Drexel. Ross McFarland (174 lbs) was split matches also, earning one major decision. This team’s strength is the same as last year – from 184 and up. This was the case against George Mason. They were losing until they won every match from 174 to heavyweight. They took Drexel to the brink, and had a few opportunities to win that one. This team is very solid. They will be at Harvard and Sacred Heart this weekend.
The Mountain Hawks hosted Army to a dual, winning handily 26-9. Tate Samuelson (#19 @ 184 lbs), Michael Beard (#2 @ 197 lbs) and Nathan Taylor (#29 @ 285 lbs) started the match off hot with a major, a tech fall, followed by another major – respectively. At 133 lbs, Connor McGonagle (#5) earned a major. Malyke Hines (#23 @ 141 lbs), Max Brignola (#30 @ 32 @ 149 lbs), and Josh Humphreys (#4 @ 157 lbs) each followed up with decisions of their own. The Hawks are getting healthy when it counts. Winning seven of ten matches over Army is no easy task. They have a lot of talent that can challenge Cornell at the top. It may be a tall order, but this team peaks for the postseason every year. This week’s matches, to conclude their dual meet season, are on the road at Bucknell and Princeton.
The Sharks hosted George Mason and Drexel to bouts on Saturday. Against Drexel, Rhise Royster was a winner at 157 lbs. Robbie Sagaris was victorious over the Dragons as well. The lower half of the lineup showed good performances with close decision losses to a tough Drexel squad. Against George Mason, their only victory came via forfeit at 133lbs. Kaelon Francois received the forfeit. He wrestled Waterman of Drexel to a close 5-2 loss. I keep saying it, but I like this team's progress. It will be fun to see someone from this team step up at EIWA’s and go on a run. On this weekend’s agenda, they will travel to Brown for an EIWA matchup.
The Midshipmen split matches on the weekend – losing 24-17 to Lock Haven and defeating Bucknell 25-9. At 197 lbs, Jacob Koser (#26) was 2-0 in his matches, including one fall. Returning EIWA runner-up, Josh Koderhandt (#30 @ 141 lbs) had a nice win over #33 Darren Miller of Bucknell in one of his two wins. Brendan Ferretti (#31 @ 133lbs) had a win over #33 Gable Strickland, but lost to #23 Kurt Phipps of Bucknell. A handful of other wrestlers went 1-1 on the weekend. Navy has been a little up and down this year, in my opinion. They have a lot of great young talent in their prep system – so expect a really good team in a few years. They will be off this weekend, before their rival match with Army the following week.
The Quakers split matches with #5 Cornell, but lost the dual 19-15. They gave Cornell all they can handle for the Ivy League Title match. At 125 lbs, Ryan Miller (#24) stepped up and beat Brett Ungar (#17) to get the lead for Penn. Their next win came from Carmen Ferrante at 141 lbs. At 157lbs, Anthony Artalona (#12) had a close win, as did Ben Goldin at heavyweight. The biggest win for Penn came at 184lbs, where Max Hale nearly majored #6 Jonathan Loew, who was an All-American a season ago. This team is fun to watch, and they will be gunning for that coveted EIWA Team title at conferences. To add to the dramatics, the tournament will be in their home gym. On the slate this weekend, they will host Princeton Friday night and battle Drexel Sunday afternoon.
The Tigers had a tough task against #5 Cornell, losing 32-7. They saw wins from #32 Nate Dugan at 184 lbs, over returning All-American Loew. Patrick Glory (#2 @ 125 lbs) was the other win – with a major over #17 Ungar. He also had a major in his next match. The team came back later with a dominant win over Binghamton. Chris Martino saw some time at 141 lbs, winning over Binghamton. Freshman, Ty Whalen, had a win at 157 lbs, as did Kole Mulhauser at 174 lbs. Both Quincy Monday (#3 @ 165 lbs) and Luke Stout (#17 @ 197 lbs) earned first-period falls. The win of the match came at the end of the dual where Travis Stefanik (#33 @ 285 lbs) earned an overtime win against Day (#18). There has been a lot of shifting weights with this team, but they have managed to wrestle well. There is a ton of young talent ready to step up. The future of this team is very bright. With Glory and Monday both being returning finalists, they have a lot of firepower for a tournament scoring system. This weekend’s matches include an away dual with Penn – followed by a home match against Lehigh.
The Pioneers dropped a dual to Bloomsburg 34-11 over the weekend. On a positive note, we saw Nick Palumbo re-emerge at 157 lbs. He earned a tech fall in his long-awaited return. Sacred Heart is glad to have him back and healthy. The team followed up with two decisions after Nick’s tech fall. Aidan Zarrella had a win at 165 lbs, as did Ryan Belletino at 174 lbs. Bloomsburg earned five bonus point wins to run away with this one. This team likes to battle and is not afraid to wrestle the best of the best. This team has a new look with Palumbo returning. This week’s battle will be against Hofstra.