133 lb Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational champion Vito Arujau (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
This weekend had an insane amount of wrestling. The EIWA was all over the country, making its presence known in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational out west. They also competed in the EIWA/B1G challenge, at the Garden State Grapple. We also had teams getting some non-conference dual action as well.
This week's Outstanding Wrestlers were both crowned champions at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Cornell's Vito Arujau went on a tear to win 133lbs bracket, beating two former All-Americans in the process. He is a force to be reckoned with at his new weight class. The other Outstanding Wrestler this week was Cornell's Julian Ramirez. He avenged a loss to Columbia's Ogunsanya from EIWA's last season in the semifinals - before earning a first-period technical fall in the finals. Congrats to both Big Red Wrestlers!
The Eagles hosted the Army Black Knights to a dual, winning two of ten bouts, in a 27-6 loss. There were some other close losses as well, which could have made the score closer than indicated. The AU staff made some lineup changes, bumping up Raymond Lopez to 133 lbs and Jack Maida up to 141 lbs to try and snag two wins. Unfortunately, both of these resulted in a loss for American. Caleb Campos knocked off 28th-ranked Dalton Harkins by a 4-3 score. The second win for American came at 197lbs where Connor Bourne defeated Kyle Swartz. Max Leete suffered a one-point loss to Berginc (#10 @ 125lbs). Max Leete has had some great close losses this year. With a few tweaks to correct, he'll find himself winning these in March. American is getting better every week. They will be off until they compete at George Mason in a few weeks on December 18th.
Army West Point
As mentioned above, Army defeated American 27-6. They won four of the six closely contested bouts en route to victory. Richard Treanor defeated Lopez at 133 lbs, after Lopez bumped up. Julian Sanchez had a win by major decision over a tough Maida, after Maida bumped up to 141lbs. Nate Lukez (#31 @ 157lbs) took care of business with a major decision. Ben Pasiuk (#20 @ 174lbs) also worked for a major decision. This was a nice performance by Army, who is now 2-0 in the EIWA. They will have a tough conference match-up at Penn this Friday.
The Bearcats were participants in the Garden State Grapple. They squared off against Michigan State and Indiana, dropping both duals. Against Michigan State, only Sam DePrez (174lbs) and Cory Day (285) earned victories. Lou Deprez (#18 @ 197lbs) dropped a match to Cam Caffey (#17) in the ultimate tiebreaker after being in on the leg half a dozen times, failing to finish. Also, dropping a 1-0 decision to Layne Malczewski (#10 @ 184lbs) was Jacob Nolan #25 @ 184lbs).
Against Indiana, the Bearcats dropped the first four matches, then got wins from Dimitri Gamkrelidze at 165lbs by major, Nolan at 184lbs won by fall, and Lou DePrez at 197lbs. This was not enough to stage a comeback, but the Bearcats competed hard. After nearly knocking off both North Dakota State, and Minnesota two weeks ago, this team is sneaky tough. I can't wait until the lineup takes form in the second semester. Before then, they will wrestle LIU at home this coming Saturday in a conference matchup.
The Bears were off over Thanksgiving and the weekend after. They will host two tough matches this weekend. They'll square off against #20 Pitt on Friday then #25 Michigan State on Saturday.
The Bison were in Las Vegas for the CKLV Invitational. Although they had no placewinners, the team scrapped hard, dropping matches to multiple highly-ranked opponents. Kurt Phipps (133lbs) won three matches, while losing two to top-10 opponents and former All-Americans. At 141lbs, 20th-ranked Darren Miller lost to two EIWA foes in #22 Vince Cornella of Cornell and #27 Josh Koderhandt of Navy. Kolby DePron had two victories on the weekend at 149lbs. At 157lbs, Nick Delp won three matches while losing to #2 Peyton Robb of Nebraska and #14 Trevor Chumbley Chumbley of Northwestern. Nolan Springer also won 3 matches at 197 lbs, losing both matches to ranked opponents. After the long weekend of wrestling, The Bison will be off this coming weekend.
The Lions finished in 13th place out of 33 teams at the CKLV Invitational, walking away with two placewinners. Their highest finisher was Josh Ogunsanya (#12 @ 165lbs), who earned 5th place. His only ranked loss was to Cornell's Ramirez (#7 @ 165lbs), who went on to win the bracket. Josh had a win over #23 Matthew Olguin of Oregon State. At 157lbs, Cesar Alvan lost in the first round, only to rally off a few wins for 7th place. Alvan is having a nice year thus far with a 9-3 record. Expect to possibly see him in the rankings shortly. Going 2-2 on the weekend was Angelo Rini at 133 lbs. He had a win over #33 Boo Dryden of Nebraska, then dropped his second loss to Phipps of Bucknell. Columbia's 149lb wrestler, Danny Fongaro, went 3-2 in the event. Lennox Wolak almost upset Ethan Smith (#7 @ 174lbs) â€“ which would have been the second time in this short season. Matt Kazimir had a tough break at 141 lbs, winning only twice. Both losses were to quality opponents in #16 Parker Filius of Purdue and #13 Ryan Jack of NC State. Columbia will face their third-ranked team (losses to #6 Michigan and #4 Ohio State) in a dual this week, when #20 Pitt comes to town Sunday afternoon.
The Big Red had a great weekend in Las Vegas, as they crowned two champions and multiple placewinners. They finished seventh in the team race, without Yianni and Jacob Cardenas competing. Third-ranked Vito Arujau looked super impressive, winning the 133lb bracket and knocking off former All-Americans Sam Latona and Michael McGee (12th and 4th ranked, respectively). He seems to be settling into his new weight class without any speed bumps. Also winning a title, was Julian Ramirez. His path did not have any All-Americans, but he defeated Will Formato (26th) of App State, Cook (18th) of South Dakota State, and Ogunsanya of Columbia. Ramirez was defeated by Ogunsanya at EIWAs a season ago. Brett Ungar, at 125lbs, came onto the scene right away when he upset 11th-ranked Heinselman of Ohio State. He then beat Trombley of NC State on his way to a seventh-place finish. Chris Foca lost in the semifinals to Mekhi Lewis (#3 @ 174lbs) before earning bronze with a win over Cade DeVos (#19) of South Dakota State. Unfortunately, both Jonathan Loew (#6 @ 197lbs) and Lewis Fernandes (#15 @ 285lbs) were both forced to exit the competition early due to injury. Hopefully, they will be back in a few weeks when the Big Red travel to New Orleans for the National Collegiate Duals.
The Dragons dropped two matches to their B1G opponents at the Grapple State Garden on Sunday. Evan Barczak (#24 @ 165lbs) was the first victory of the day for them. Brian Bonino was the other win against Indiana. The Dragons lost by a 29-6 score. One exciting match in this one was Cody Walsh nearly upsetting DJ Washington (#16 at 174lbs). The Dragons had a better outing against #24 Rutgers. Dom D'Agostino was the first winner at 157lbs for Drexel. Barczak and Walsh followed up with wins. Sean O'Malley won his bout at 197lbs also. With a few starters still banged up, the Dragons will have a tough road opponent in Wisconsin (#12) this weekend on Sunday afternoon.
Franklin & Marshall
The Diplomats dropped two close duals to both VMI (15-24) and Duke (18-19). Interestingly, Mason Leiphard had two forfeits on the day. Pat Phillips was up a weight class at 141lbs, and split matches on his day. Gio Diaz was up at 133lbs, winning both of his matches against larger opponents. F&M's John Crawford (197lbs) was also 2-0 on the day, after moving up two weight classes from a season ago. Finally, both Nick Alvarez (157lbs) and Noah Fox (174lbs) earned one win on the day. I'm sure the Diplomats are kicking themselves over these matches, but this will be a good lesson for the guys who came on the short end of the stick in the close matches. They will keep improving. They will battle D3 team Ursinus this week on Wednesday in a mid-week wrestling match.
The Crimson were competing in the CKLV Invitational in Vegas. The lone place winner was heavyweight Yara Slavikouski, currently ranked seventh in the nation. This weight class was loaded, and Yara beat almost everyone thrown his way. He had impressive wins over #18 Grady Griess from Navy, #14 AJ Nevills of South Dakota State, and a quality opponent in Owen Trephan of NC State. Earning third place at this weight class is no joke. Great weekend for Yara, after tearing an ACL a year ago at this same event. Harvard's second highest-ranked wrestler, Philip Conigliaro (#12 @ 174lbs) lost to #5 Demetrius Romero of Utah Valley before injury defaulting out. At 157 lbs, Evan Gleason won two matches, as did Josh Kim at 165 lbs. This team had a great Keystone Classic, but that momentum did not entirely roll through into Vegas. Yes, these tournaments are vastly different in terms of quality. I was looking forward to seeing some of their young talent make some noise, but we'll need to wait for that. Next up, they compete at the Midlands after the holiday break.
The Pride also were at the Vegas Invitational. At 197lbs, Trey Rogers (#25) won three matches on the weekend. His lone losses were to #26 Jake Koser of Navy and #19 Kordell Norfleet of Arizona State. One more win would have put him on the podium. Also losing in the round of 12 was #26 Jacob Ferreira at 184lbs. His losses were to #9 Matt Finesilver and #13 TreyMunoz. Ferreira had a nice tournament, but he will need to find ways to beat these two to find the podium in March. Hofstra's 133lbs wrestler, Chase Liardi, also lost to two ranked opponents in Dylan Ragusin (#7) of Michigan and Kyle Biscoglia (#6) of UNI. The Pride caught some tough breaks in the brackets, but that's how the sport goes. Expect them to get back to the drawing board before their next dual versus American a few days before Christmas.
The Mountain Hawks hosted the top team in all the land, Penn State, in front of a sold-out crowd. Winning four of ten matches, they fell short by the score of 24-12. Carter Bailey (#31 @ 125lbs) and Connor McGonagle (#8 @ 133lbs) started the match off with wins. Josh Humphreys (#8 @ 157lbs) won by decision over #30 Terrell Barraclough. The final win occurred at 197 lbs for the Hawks. The match of the night did not disappoint, as former Penn State All-American Michael Beard (#4) upset his former teammate, and defending National Champion Max Dean (#1 @ 197lbs) in an 11-9 thriller that was worth the price of admission. Lehigh was outmatched by Penn State, but they should feel pretty good about this one. Beard had a big win, in many aspects. Look for him to keep the momentum going when the Mountain Hawks wrestle #28 Cal Poly and #11 North Carolina State at the Collegiate Duals in New Orleans in a few weeks from now.
The Sharks took about half of their lineup to the Las Vegas Cliff Keen Invite. With a half-full lineup, they walked away with a few wins. Robbie Sagaris had a win over Sacred Heart's Mike Manta. Rhise Royster had some good results dropping a decision to Tommy Askey of App State and Luke Kemerer of Edinboro. Interestingly enough, Blake Bahna traveled all the way across the country to wrestle two EIWA opponents in Val Park of Navy and Josh Kim of Harvard. The Sharks were a little short-handed in Vegas. We'll see them return to action when they square off against Binghamton this Saturday 12/10 at Binghamton.
The Midshipmen were also at the Cliff Keen Invite in Las Vegas. 17th ranked Josh Koderhandt, at 141lbs, had quite the tournament â€“ walking away in fourth place. With wins over Lawrence Saenz of Cal Poly, Darren Miller (#25) of Bucknell, and Dylan D'Emilio of Ohio State â€“ he wrestled to a 6-2 record on the weekend. Jacob Koser (#26 @ 197lbs) earned a win over Trey Rogers (#27) of Hofstra on his way to a seventh-place finish. His two losses were to Isaac Trumble (#9) of NC State and Evan Bockman (#22) of Utah Valley. Grady Griess (#18 @ 285) was a round away from making the podium. Both of his losses came to #14 AJ Nevills of SDSU and #5 Yara Slavikouski of Harvard. Sammy Starr (174lbs) and David Key (#29 @ 184lbs) were both 2-2 in action over the weekend. Navy's two placers helped boost Navy up to 14th out of 33 teams. The Midshipmen will host (#19) Maryland on Sunday 12/11.
The Quakers competed against #19 Rutgers and #19 Wisconsin, dropping both duals 19-12 and 27-9, respectively. Anthony Artalona (#12 @ 157lbs) went 2-0 on the day with a win over #14 Garrett Model of Wisconsin. At 174lbs, 23rd-ranked Nick Incontrera was the other wrestler to go undefeated. He has a win over #28 Jackson Turley of Rutgers. Michael Colaiocco (#13 @ 133lbs) split matches, losing to #11 Joe Heilmann of Rutgers, but beating #19 Lamont of Wisconsin. At 165lbs, Lucas Revano earned a win over Connor O'Neill of Rutgers in his lone match. The Quakers let a few matches slip out of their grasp against Rutgers. This was a winnable match, and I know the team is kicking themselves over it. Moving forward, Penn will host Army this Friday and to try and get a â€œ1â€ in that win column.
The Tigers were up the road in Newark, competing in the Grapple in the Garden State. They were without NCAA runner-up Patrick Glory once again due to injury. They were forced to forfeit both matches, losing 38-3 to #11 Wisconsin and 21-15 to Michigan State. The only wrestler to go 2-0 on the day was Kole Mulhauser at 174lbs. Quincy Monday (#1 @ 157lbs) won his only match of the day over #15 Chase Saldate of Michigan State. Luke Stout (#16 @ 197lbs) had a busy day, going 1-1. He had an overtime loss to #14 Braxton Amos of Wisconsin. He followed it up with a major decision win over four-time NCAA qualifier, Cam Caffey (#17). At 165lbs, Blaine Bergey upset #32 Fish of Michigan State, to help close the gap for the team in the second dual. If Glory is healthy, you would imagine they win against Michigan State â€“ so overall, not a bad day for them. They'll have a big, rivalry matchup with #25 Rutgers this Sunday at home.
The Pioneers were the final team at CKLV in Las Vegas. They did not have any place finishers, but they won some quality matches. Andrew Fallon went 2-2 on the weekend, including a close 4-3 loss to returning All-American Chris Cannon (#18) of Northwestern. Unfortunately, Nick Palumbo had to medically forfeit after his first match in the 157lbs bracket. The story is the same every week. The Pioneers will be wrestling the best in the country whenever possible. This was no exception. They will take this as a learning experience, and get back to work. They are off this weekend, but have two EIWA duals the following week.