Navy 157 lber Andrew Cerniglia (Photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
Below is a recap of last week's EIWA action, with individual highlights worth noting.
The Eagles traveled to the Bearcat Open hosted by Binghamton.
At 184lb, Connor Bourne secured a 4th place finish, losing to Deprez of Binghamton.
William Jarrell finished the day in 5th place. He lost in the first round of the 197lb bracket, then rallied off 5 straight wins, all against EIWA opponents, most notably Cade Wilson of Brown.
Another wrestler who lost in the first round and battled back to 5th place after five straight wins was Patrick Ryan at 149lb.
Maximilian Leete only suffered one loss on the day to Allen (#32) of Navy, which earned him 5th place.
Some other notable performers include Ethan Szerencsits at 141lb, who won 4 consecutive matches in the wrestle backs, one round short of placing. AT 174lb, Colin Shannon and Ben Root ended their day just shy of placing. However, Root won 8-6 over Shannon in the consolation rounds.
My overall take on this team is still up in the air. They did not really have a season last year. With a new coaching staff and a bunch of young talent, this team's trajectory is somewhat unknown at the moment. This team had a bunch of wrestlers lose early and battle back, putting together a string of four to five wins. The fight is there, which is a terrific sign! Plus, with Borrelli's experience at Stanford, this team will only need a few short years to become a force in the conference.
The Black Knights attended the Journeymen Classic
Ryan Chauvin finished in 3rd with a win over Faraon of Sacred Heart, but a loss to Bayless of Harvard.
At 133lb, Mark Montgomery came up short against two ranked opponents in Devan Turner (#19) of Oregon State and Malyke Hines (#24) of Lehigh. Both losses were by one and two points, which was good for 3rd.
Corey Shie (#29) suffered only one loss to Willits (#12) of Oregon State by an 8-6 score, earning him a bronze.
The top performance of the day came from PJ Ogunsanya (#20). He won the 149lb pool, majoring Lehigh's Jimmy Hoffman along the way.
Markus Hartman (#32) came away with 5th place after losing to Willits (#17) of Oregon State at 157.
At 165lb, Dalton Harkins had a major, pin, and 5-0 win to capture gold.
Ben Pasiuk (#21) took 4th place at 174lb. He had losses to Heller of Hofstra and Logan of Lehigh.
At 184lb, Brad Laughlin (#28) won gold in his pool with wins over Burkhart of Lehigh and Small (#29) of Hofstra. His teammate Sahm Abdulrazzaq claimed 4th in the same pool. He had a loss to Small.
JT Brown (#21) defeated two EIWA wrestlers on his way to silver at 197lb. A decision over Urbas of Penn and Crowley of LIU helped him achieve a finals appearance where he lost to Beard of PSU by major.
As you can see, Army had a successful weekend at Journeymen. There is no reason why this will not continue throughout the entire season. They are a strong team, with most guys ranked in the bottom half of the rankings, that can easily upset a higher-ranked opponent on any given day. This team will be disappointed with anything less than 5th place at EIWAs. I would love to see them compete again due to their seven minutes of hard wrestling. Man, they are fun to watch!
The Bearcats hosted the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open
Christian Gannone came away with a 3rd place finish at 133lb - outplacing two other Bearcats in Anthony Sobotker and Ivan Garcia, who won two and three matches, respectively. Neither placed in the top 6.
Ryan Anderson, at 141lbs, lost 2 close matches, both to Cornell foes. He did have 2 falls before losing twice.
Nick Lombard fought his way to a second-place finish, losing to Anthony White of Rutgers 4-1 in the 149lb final.
Brevin Cassella was impressive, earning the title at 165lb, including 2 decisions and 3 majors.
Jacob Nolan (#27) took third at 174lb, losing to eventual champ Foca (#9) from Cornell 9-3 in the semis.
Sam Deprez took home third at 184lb. He lost to the champion (Loew of Cornell #20) in the semis via pin
Returning All American Lou Deprez (#10 @ 184) took home the title at 197lb. He defeated 2 Cornell wrestlers in the process.
My assessment of the Bearcats is that they may have a formidable lineup, very well suited for a tournament team. Lou Deprez wrestled up at 197 last week and is still wrestling at a high level. He is supposedly coming back down but will take a few weeks due to his descent plan. If he keeps winning up at 197, he may stay there. Who knows how much he'll enjoy his Thanksgiving. Anderson did not place, but his two losses were to very good Cornell wrestlers who may start, depending on Yianni's weight decision. I'm excited to see him moving forward. Some other guys I want to see more of include Cassella, Lombard, and Nolan. They all had solid performances.
The Bears traveled to Binghamton for the Bearcat Open.
Hunter Adrian walked away with fourth place at 125lb.
Justin Bierdumpfel came in third place. His only loss was to the 141lb champ from Franklin & Marshall, Gil, by 10-7 decision.
Jack Bokina was the 6th place finisher at 157lb. He lost to 2 Cornell wrestlers in Yapoujian (#25) and Santoro.
Cade Wilson, like Bokina, lost in the first round and battled back for 6th at 197 lbs.
Lear Quinton placed 3rd at heavyweight. He lost to Ethan Laird of Rider in the semis.
My overall impression of the Bears is that it's too early to tell who they are yet. This was their first competition of the year after missing all of last season. They have some young firepower that I'm excited to see come to fruition for Coach Beckerman. I'm thrilled to see how AJ Corrado (165) will compete when he's ready. I really think a guy like him, plus the wrestlers mentioned before, can be a darkhorse at conferences.
The Bison traveled to George Mason in Fairfax, VA, to compete in the Patriot Duals. They had matches against Averett (D3), George Mason, and Bellarmine.
Bucknell defeated Averett by a score of 40-3. Most wins were by major decision or tech fall. The only loss came from Brandon Seidman via a 7-5 decision to Samuel Braswell (#1 - D3).
Bucknell then beat George Mason 26-6. Zach Hartman (#9 - 165), Kurt Phipps (133) and Darren Miller (#25 - 141) all won by decision.
Bucknell then easily handled Bellarmine 39-2. Nick Delp won in overtime at 157lb, while the rest of the team coasted to easy wins.
My overall thoughts on the Bison squad remain inconclusive. I haven't seen this team compete yet, admittedly. This weekend was their first competition of the year, and they won with very little challenges. Behind returning All-American and the face of the program, Zach Hartman, there are guys on that team that can find themselves on the podium higher than most anticipated. I am interested to see if they are as good as they can be.
Columbia - no action last weekend
The Big Red sent a handful of wrestlers to the Bearcat Open.
Chris Foca (#9) won the 174lb bracket, beating 4 EIWA opponents. He beat two Navy wrestlers, but his most notable win was Nolan (#27) of Binghamton.
At 184lb, Jonathan Loew (#20) was the champion of the bracket. His closest victory was over Navy's Key (#30). He also had 2 falls.
Greg Diakomihalis earned himself a silver at 125lb with a close loss to Allen (#32) of Navy.
The 157lb runner-up was Colton Yapoujian (#25). He defeated 3 of his own teammates before dropping a 7-5 decision to Cerniglia (#21) of Navy.
Cole Handlovic came away with a 2nd place finish, dropping a close one to Gil of F&M at 141lb.
At 197lb, Jacob Cardenas lost in the finals to Deprez (#10 @ 184) of Binghamton.
Julian Ramirez finished in 3rd place with 3 majors over EIWA competition.
The 157lb bronze was earned by Gage McClenahan. His only defeat came from Cerniglia (#21) of Navy
Josh Saunders was the 6th place finisher at 141lb. He did have a 4-2 win over Anderson of Binghamton.
Finally, Lewis Fernandes (#15) won by major, pin, then tech before medically forfeiting to 6th place.
Well, we all know Cornell is good. They are ranked #11 in the country for a reason. Many of these guys have not seen the mat in almost two years, so it will be much easier to get a grasp once we see more mat time from them. And, since their lineup is more secretive than the 23 flavors of Dr. Pepper, we are still waiting to see where Yianni and Vito will be. These guys will be the heaviest of the heavy hitters in that lineup.
Drexel - no action last weekend
Franklin & Marshall
The Diplomats made the trip up to the Bearcat Open in Binghamton.
Wil Gil was the champion of the 141lb bracket. He beat Bierdumpfel of Brown in the semis and Handlovic of Cornell in the finals.
At 184lb, James Conway went 3-2 while beating a 2019 EIWA placer, Berreyesa of Cornell.
Crew Fullerton went 2-2 at 165lb.
Jose Diaz (125), Noah Fox (174), and Pat Phillips (133) all won a match in their brackets.
The Diplomats are still a young team, and the results show it. They are young in terms of experience.
Many of the starters have seen very little mat experience. Since they were forced to sit out last year due to COVID, many of the upperclassmen are seeing full-time starting jobs for the first time at the collegiate level. Although, I expect them to gradually improve throughout the season. Wil Gil is my second darkhorse pick for this conference. We should expect to see him in the rankings very soon if he keeps wrestling to his ability.
The Crimson competed at the Journeymen Classic. This was their first competition in 617 calendar days.
Josh Kim (#32) won his 174lb pool after defeating Logan of Lehigh then Heller of Hofstra-unattached.
Kenny Herrmann won his respective 141lb pool while collecting a decision, major, and tech fall.
Nick Marcennelle earned gold in his pool at 197lb, picking up 2 pins in the process.
Both Dom Mata and Luke Rada went 3-0 at 184lb to earn first place in their respective pools. Mata defeated teammate Leo Tarantino in the finals.
Diego Sotelo and Beau Bayless both earned silvers in their pools at 125lb.
The Crimson had a sufficient performance, overall. This was without their top two wrestlers in Conigliaro (#12 - 165) and Slavikouski (#16 - HWT). Kim pulled a few upsets at 174 to win his pool. Diego Sotelo was in a tight match with Lane of Lehigh (#16) in the finals until he was cradled in a scramble and pinned. I'm looking forward to the 141lb starting battle between Jaffe and Herrmann. This team is pretty talented top to bottom.
The Pride sent their squad to the Journeymen Classic also.
Zachary Knighton-Ward (#22) won his heavyweight pool. He knocked off Goldin of Penn to do so.
At 141, Justin Hoyle won his pool with a major and a pin in his first two matches.
Charles Small (#29) wrestled to a silver placement with an overtime win over Addulrazzaq of Army. Then he had an OT win over Antrassian of Penn. Ultimately, he dropped a 3-2 decision to Laughlin (#31) of Army.
The 165lb bronze was awarded to Ricky Stamm. His only loss on the day was to Revano of Penn.
Reece Heller wrestled unattached at 174lb. He came away with a silver, losing to Kim (#32) of Harvard.
The Hofstra Pride are an interesting team to me. They have a handful of guys in the rankings, but mostly in the 20-33 range. With multiple national qualifiers returning this year, I would not be surprised to see them squeak out a top 5 finish at EIWAs in March. Again, I want to see how they improve over the year before I can really make an assessment.
The Mountain Hawks wrestled at the Journeymen Classic. They had 22 total competitors, 4 wrestling unattached.
Jaret Lane (#16) won his pool with a pin over Sotelo of Harvard at 125lb.
Brian Meyer (#30) also earned gold in his 165lb pool with wins over Heller of Hofstra in OT, then a tiebreaker win over Revano of Penn. He had a great weekend.
The final champ for the day was Jordan Wood (#10) at heavyweight. With the toughest bracket in the classic, he beat Traub of Oregon State and Stencel of CMU (#11) by a 3-1 decision.
At 133lb, Malyke Hines (#24) finished third. He had a close win over EIWA opponent, Montgomery of Army.
Two potential starters at 141 lb, Dan Moran finished 3rd just ahead of his teammate Drew Munch by 12-4 major decision. Expect a close wrestle-off between Moran and Connor McGonagle (#32).
Another potential starting lineup battle occurred at 149lb. Manzona Bryant defeated Jimmy Hoffman by a 4-1 decision to claim 5th. He also beat him during the intra-squad match-up a few weeks prior.
Unfortunately, Josh Humphreys (#9) medically forfeited out of the tournament after losing a close one to Zapf (#23) of Penn at 157lb.
Jake Logan earned himself a 3rd place finish at 174lb. He dropped a decision to Kim of Harvard (#32) but beat Pasiuk (#21) of Army.
At 197lb, JT Davis finished 4th in his pool.
AJ Burkhart came away with a solid 5th place finish at 184lb.
My impression of Lehigh is that they are starting to take form like we expected them to. Lane is looking like he's the guy at 125lb after losing his wrestle-off a few weeks ago. Wood is doing his thing at a talented HWT class. Meyer had a great tournament, earning himself a spot in the rankings this week. To me, it looks like 141 and 149 are still unsettled. Whoever the Hawks throw-in, expect to see a run made at conferences.
The Sharks also made the trip to Lancaster County, PA, to wrestle in the Journeymen Classic.
Bryce Cockrell wrestled his way to a 4th place finish in the B Pool at 133lb, losing to Dunnigan of Penn.
Drew Witham also wrestled to 4th place finish in his respective 149lb pool.
At 174lb, Ryan Ferro dropped a 4-3 decision to Pasiuk (#21) of Army, earning 6th place.
The bright spot of the day for LIU was at 197lbs, where Nunzio Crowley finished the day with a bronze in the A Pool. He defeated both Urbas of Penn and Davis of Lehigh in overtime for EIWA wins.
The newest edition to the conference has some catching up to do, frankly. As a recent addition to the Division 1 wrestling program count, they will need some work to catch up with the rest of the conference. This is not a knock on them, by any means. Being a member of this conference and located in a hotbed of wrestling, the Sharks can make some improvements over the next few years. If I'm being honest, they may take a few lumps this year. But I am very interested to see how they perform at conferences. They have some gamers that can find themselves on the podium at conferences. I expect a good year out of Crowley, who already defeated Urbas and Davis, who are no slouches.
The Midshipmen competed at the Bearcat Open in Binghamton, with 10 overall wrestlers placing in the top 6.
Jacob Allen (#32) beat Cornell incoming freshman Greg Diakomihalis in OT in the 125lb finals to capture a title, after being down 5-1 in that match.
Andrew Cerniglia (#21) defeated Cornell's Colton Yapoujian (#25) of Cornell in the finals 7-5 at 157lb. Interestingly, he defeated a Cornell wrestler in the quarters and semi-finals also.
Freshman Cael Crebs earned silver at 174, losing to Cornell's Chris Foca (#9) in the finals.
Junior Hunter Johns also earned a silver, losing to Jonathan Loew (#20) of Cornell.
Val Park lost his first match and came storming back to win five in a row, before being forced to settle for 6th place at 165lb due to a restriction of number of matches one can wrestle in a day.
Heavyweights Grady Greiss and Riley Smith were set to wrestle for 5th place but did not wrestle due to number of match restrictions.
My overall thoughts on Navy are that they are a sneaky good team. They may not be in the top three just yet, but they have bright spots in that lineup that will help the team score points at conferences. With Navy being a hard-nosed team full of guys ready to scrap, I expect to see this team steadily improve over the year and possibly sneak into the top 3 at EIWAs in March. I think Cerniglia could be a blood-round (or better) type of guy at NCAA's. This will all depend on how the conference shakes out, as this class is LOADED with talent in the EIWA. Finally, I'd love to see more of Val Park. He lost 3-2 first round to the eventual champ and won 5 not-all-that-close straight matches. He gave Casella his tightest match of the day.
The Quakers traveled to the Journeymen Classic for their first NCAA competition in over 600 days!
Michael Colaiocco (#14) was the top placer for Penn. He won the 133lb bracket by defeating Turner (#19) of Oregon State.
At 157lb, Doug Zapf (#23) pulled an upset over Humphreys (#9) of Lehigh to eventually earn 3rd place. His lone loss was to Lovett (#22) of Central Michigan.
Lucas Revano lost a tiebreaker match in the finals to Meyer (#30) of Lehigh to earn silver in his 165lb pool.
Neil Antrassian placed 6th in his 184lb bracket. His losses were 4-3 to Addulrazzaq of Army and 8-6 to Burkhart of Lehigh. His big win was against Small (#29) in overtime.
At heavyweight, Ben Goldin walked away with silver in the B Pool. His only loss came to Knighton-Ward (#22) of Hofstra.
Ryan Miller made the best of debut at 125lb. He took home a bronze, only losing to Lane (#16) of Lehigh.
Carmen Ferrante was wrestling up a weight at 141lb. He lost to two ranked wrestlers but came away with a 5th place finish.
At 174lb, Nick Incontrera won the B Pool in dominating fashion with a six-point victory, a major, and tech fall.
Maximus Hale earned himself a 3rd place finish, with his only loss at 184lb coming to Tarantino of Harvard.
Finally, Cole Urbas was the 5th place finisher after medical forfeiting. He had two losses beforehand, by a total of three points at 197lb.
My excitement for the Quakers is no secret. They have a very solid and capable lineup. Doug Zapf is one of my darkhorse wrestlers to watch in the conference. He defeated a returning NCWA All-American in Humphreys. Colaiocco will be an All-American threat at a loaded 133lb weight class. When guys like Miller, Revano, and Urbas (plus more) get rolling - this team will be a contender to claim the team conference championship. Artalona at 149 is still out on injury, but he'll be back soon to add another All-American threat to the lineup.
Princeton - no action last weekend
The Pioneers had a dual with Penn State this past Saturday, and then competed in the Journeymen Classic on Sunday. There were some competitors at the Bearcat Open as well.
Nick Palumbo had the lone victory against Penn State. He defeated Joey Blumer 8-3 at 157lb. He did not compete at Journeyman the following day, however.
Robert Hetherman earned himself a 5th place finish in the 184lb Bearcat Open bracket. His lone losses came to EIWA foes Bourne (American) and Key (Navy).
Mark Blokh battled his way to 3rd place in his pool at Journeymen.
My first impression of the Pioneers is that they were everywhere at Journeymen. Every time I looked, there were like at least three Sacred Heart singlets out on the mat at one time. They may not have won as many matches as they were hoping, but the fight is definitely there. Coach Clark has these guys ready to wrestle every time they step on the line. With a roster of over 70 kids, it may take some more time for me to get a full understanding of this team's identity. I do think there are a few bright spots in the lineup. They have two returning national qualifiers.