Keystone Classic champion Anthony Artalona (photo courtesy of Tony DiMarco/Fantasy College Wrestling)
A lot of various action this week in the EIWA. The biggest, most surprising news was Yianni's 75-match win streak coming to an end. Austin Gomez (#3 @ 149) shocked most of the country with his 9-3 win over the 3X NCAA Champion. Binghamton lost two road matches to ranked opponents, each by one match. They are looking sharp. Hofstra's upperweights continue to impress, resuming the success of last season. Both Lehigh and Princeton take losses, and look to bounce back.
This week's Outstanding Wrestler Award goes to Lennox Wolak of Columbia at 174 lbs. He had a huge upset over 6th-ranked Ethan Smith of Ohio State. The score was 8-6, in one of the biggest upsets of the weekend that was clouded by Yianni's loss. Interestingly enough, he is a Columbus, OH native who had quite the homecoming. With his current 3-2 record on the season, I'm sure he will carry this win into the holiday break and continue to build momentum. Congrats to Lennox on this win and accomplishment.
I'm creating a special shoutout this week - something like an Ironman Award - and it goes to Lucas Revano of Penn. Of his six matches on Sunday, three were in overtime. Of those three overtime bouts, two of them went to the tiebreaker (both against Hunter Mays of Rider). One of those tiebreakers went to an entire second overtime because riding time was even after the first tiebreaker. This dude was EXHAUSTED by the end of the day. Rest up, Lucas. You have another tough one this Saturday against 13th-ranked Patrick Kennedy of Iowa - at Iowa.
The Eagles made the short trip to compete at the Navy Classic. One of the best performers was Max Leete at 125lbs. He lost his first match in overtime to 12th ranked Anthony Noto of Lock Haven, to win four straight and earn fifth place. At 165lbs, Caleb Compos came away with seventh place - wrestling to a 3-2 record on the day. Also in fifth place, was Will Jarrell at heavyweight. With one loss to a ranked wrestler (Greiss of Navy, #20), he won four matches. With one of their best wrestlers, Maida, not wrestling at 133lbs, the results for American are a little skewed - assuming he would have placed in his bracket. The Eagles will be off until December 3rd when they host Army in a conference dual.
The Black Knights hosted numerous teams, including top-ranked Penn State, to their Black Knight Invitational. Of the 10 teams participating, Army was tied for second with Indiana. Ethan Berginc (#24 @125lbs) keeps his undefeated season alive with four decision wins. Expect him to keep climbing the rankings. At 174lbs, Ben Pasiuk (#21) lost in the finals to Indiana's DJ Washington (#17). Army's middleweights each earned 3rd place. Dalton Harkins (#28 @ 165 lbs) and Nate Lukez (#28 @ 157 lbs) both lost one match. Both Sahm Abdulrazzaq (184lbs) and Matthew Williams (149lbs) were both fourth. "America's Team" had multiple other placewinners. They'll have the holiday weekend off and resume competition on December 3rd, with a dual at American. For what it's worth, the champs of each weight received a camouflage Kevlar vest (I believe that's the correct terminology). Props to them for the unique awards!
The Bearcats were on a cold, northern, Midwest road trip to square off against both #21 North Dakota State and #11 Minnesota. They dropped both matches, but in very close fashion. The most notable performance came from Jacob Nolan (#22 @ 184lbs) as he defeated #29 DJ Parker of NDSU and #10 Isaiah Salazar of Minnesota. Things are starting to come together for Jacob.
Lou DePrez (#7 @ 197lbs) won both matchups over lower-ranked opponents. He continues to be "the guy" for Binghamton, helping others step up. Also winning both matches was Cory Day at heavyweight. Freshman at 141lbs, Nate Lucier, went 1-1 losing only to #9 NDSU's Dylan Droegemueller in a tight one. This Bearcat team is looking really tough at the moment. I'm excited to see them continue to improve. They were one match away from upsetting both ranked squads this weekend. They will face Buffalo on Sunday 11/27, in the blizzard-laden city of Buffalo. Hopefully, no shovels will be needed.
The Bears were one of the EIWA teams at the Black Knight Invitational. Blake Saito (149lbs) was the lone place finisher for Brown. He dropped a match to 11th-ranked Johnny Lovett of Central Michigan. Many of the Brown wrestlers won a few matches before the day ended. Brown is looking to rebuild under new Head Coach, Jordan Leen. The team will take some lumps, but as the saying goes, "Rome was not built in a day." This was only their second competition of the year, so expect improvements week after week. After a few weeks off, the Bears will host #16 Pitt on 12/9 and Michigan State on 12/10.
The Bison were at the Navy Classic on Saturday. 23rd-ranked Darren Miller was the runner-up at 141 lbs. His lone loss was to #22 Brock Hardy of Nebraska. This was after knocking off #26 Josh Koderhandt of Navy. Also placing at this weight class was Dylan Chappell, as he took fourth. Drew Phipps walked away in third place after a few close wins. At 184 lbs, Logan Deacetis lost one match, earning fifth. His lone loss was to #20 Layne Malczewski of Michigan State. At 197lb, Mason McCready and Nolan Springer met for the fifth-place match - where Springer won 7-3. Bucknell is off for a week, as they prepare for a tough Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas the first weekend in December.
The Lions had two very tough road opponents in #4 Ohio State (6-33) and #8 Michigan (6-38). One of the largest surprise results of the weekend came against Ohio State at 174 lbs. Lennox Wolak knocked off 6th ranked Smith of Ohio State, as discussed already. The other win of the night came at 149lbs where Danny Fongaro won over Klay Reeves. These were the lone two wins for the Lions against Ohio State. Against Michigan, Josh Ogunsanya (#10 @ 165lbs) had a fall over his opponent. Although this was the only win for Columbia, there were a handful of tight matches. It was a tough weekend for the Lions, but this brutal schedule will prepare them for the tough competition at the Cliff Keen Invite in Vegas come early December.
In a slightly surprising result, #6 Cornell lost a home dual to #13 Wisconsin. Vito Arujau (#3 @ 133lbs) had the only bonus point victory of the four wins from Cornell. Freshman Vince Cornella (#21 @ 141lbs) had a nice win over 18th-ranked Joe Zargo. Cornella has yet to lose this season. #9 at 174lbs, Chris Foca, and 7th ranked at 184lbs Jonathan Loew rounded out the other two wins for the Big Red. Newcomer at 125lbs, Brett Ungar looked very tough in his match, where he fell to returning All-American, and 9th ranked Eric Barnett. This is another bump in the road that Cornell will overcome. I have zero doubt the Big Red will come back strong for the Cliff Keen Invite in Las Vegas. Before that, they will have some wrestlers at the Mat Town Open at Lock Haven, PA this Sunday right after Thanksgiving.
The Dragons walked up (or down) the street to compete at the PRTC's Keystone Classic. Evan Barczak (#20 @ 165) was the runner-up, losing to only Virginia Tech's Connor Brady (#31). Brian Bonino was the runner-up at 184 lbs. He lost to #9 Hunter Bolen of Virginia Tech in the final. The lightweights for Drexel had some good performances as well. Antonio Mininno earned fourth at 125lbs, reaching his six-match limit. Also in fourth place was Drexel's 133lb wrestler, Kyle Waterman. He had a nice win over 20th-ranked Richie Koehler of Rider, who was a former NCAA Qualifier. Two other placers were Cody Walsh at 165lbs (seventh place) and Josh Stillings at 184lbs (eighth place). The Dragons were without both Mickey O'Malley (#8 @ 174lbs) and Luke Nichter (#26 @ 149lbs) due to injury. The Dragons will return to action on December 4th in Newark for the Garden State Grapple, also known as, B1G/EIWA Challenge.
Franklin & Marshall
The Diplomats were at the Keystone Classic on Sunday. John Crawford was the highest finisher for them. He placed fifth at 197lbs after three wins and a medical forfeit victory. Mason Leiphart was the second placer for the Dips, earning sixth place at 125lbs. Two losses came to ranked opponents in #15 Ryan Miller of Penn and #25 Eddie Ventresca of Virginia Tech. Watching many of this team, the inexperience has shown. Once some of these things get massaged out, this team will continue to improve. They continue action during the first weekend of December when they take on VMI and Duke, at VMI.
The Crimson were at the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia without the firepower of Conigliaro (12th @ 174lbs) and Yara Slavikouski (5th @ 285lbs). These two are resting up for the Cliff Keen Vegas Invite. At the Keystone Classic, Kenny Herrman earned fourth at 141 lbs. His two losses both came to Penn's Carmen Ferrante. Also earning fourth place for the Crimson was Leo Tarantino at 184lbs. Freshman Joe Cangro was fifth place at 141lbs, while Josh Kim earned 5th place at 165lbs with a solid win over #19 Lucas Revano of Penn. The Crimson had some success from underclassmen. This team will be tough in the coming years if their trajectories continue. Look for the team to compete in Las Vegas at the Cliff Keen Invitational the first weekend of December.
The Pride were one of the EIWA teams at the Black Knight Invite. Overall, they had a strong performance with three runner-up finishes. At 184lbs, 25th-ranked Jacob Ferreira lost in the finals to #32 Giuseppe Hoose of Buffalo. Trey Rogers (#25 @ 197lbs) suffered a loss in the finals to retuning NCAA Champ Max Dean of Penn State. Finally, 26th-ranked heavyweight Zachary Knighton-Ward fell in the finals to #13 Taye Ghadiali of Campbell. Hofstra's final place winner was 141lber Justin Hoyle - ending his day in fifth place. Repeating from last season, the top three weights are shining for the Pride. This is their strength, with no disrespect to the lower weights. They have talent down there, but the results have not flourished quite yet like the upper weights. Like many other EIWA teams, Hofstra will next compete at the Las Vegas Cliff Keen Invitational.
The 13th-ranked Mountain Hawks were away at #17 Pitt in a top-20 dual meet showdown. The biggest win in the dual was at 133lbs where Connor McGonagle (#22) took out #8 Micky Phillippi in a thriller. Lehigh's 149lbs wrestler Max Brignola earned a decision while Josh Humphreys (#9 @ 157lbs) won by fall over 11th ranked Dazjon Casto, who was also Round of 12 a season ago while at The Citadel. The Mountain Hawks were simply outwrestled by a tough Pitt team. It's back to work for Lehigh, as they will host top-ranked Penn State to a dual on December 4th.
The Sharks competed at the Millersville Shorty Hitchcock Open. With 12 wrestlers at the open, four placed in the top six. The highest placer was Robbie Sagaris at 125 lbs, earning fourth place. Drew Whitam took home fifth place at 149 lbs. Both Rhise Royster and Aeden Begue earned sixth-place finishes at 157lbs and 285lbs respectively. A few more wrestlers were still alive in the consolation bracket before medical forfeiting. This was a strong showing for the Sharks at an open to get most of their guys some wins. After Thanksgiving break, LIU will travel to compete at the Las Vegas Cliff Keen Invitational.
The Midshipmen hosted the Navy Classic on Saturday. Thanks to multiple placewinners, they took home third place as a team, behind two BigTen teams in Nebraska and Michigan State. Although they had no champs - two wrestlers were runner-up in their bracket. Jacob Koser (#24 @ 197lbs) lost in the finals to #23 Silas Allred of Nebraska. At heavyweight, Grady Greiss (#20) dropped a 4-1 decision to eighth-ranked Wyatt Hendrickson of Air Force. At 141lbs, Josh Koderhandt (#26) had one loss on the day, coming to EIWA foe Darren Miller of Bucknell (#23). At 165lbs, Val Park took home fifth place with one loss to NCAA qualifier, Bubba Wilson of Nebraska. Tyler Hunt also took home 5th, at 133lbs. Sammy Starr had an impressive sixth-place finish at 174 lbs. Jacob Lucas was fourth at 197lbs, behind his ranked teammate in Koser. One of Navy's best exited the tournament with an injury. Andrew Cerniglia (#18 @ 157lbs) will hopefully heal up before their trip to the Las Vegas Invitational the first weekend of December.
The Quakers played host to the Keystone Classic. They finished in second place as a team, 11 points behind a tough #13 Virginia Tech squad. Anthony Artalona (#13 @ 157 lbs) was Penn's only champion. The runner-up at the stacked 149lbs bracket was #10 Doug Zapf; losing only to 2X All-American Jonathan Millner of App State (#4 @ 149lbs). At 133lbs, Michael Colaiocco (#10) took a loss in the finals to 9th ranked Sam Latona. Many Penn wrestlers earned bronze, including Ben Goldin (#24 @ HWT), Carmen Ferrante at 141lbs, Cole Urbas (#27 @ 197lbs), Evan Mougalian at 133lbs, and Ryan Miller (#17 @ 125lbs). Nico Incontrera (#23 @ 174lbs) finished in sixth. The Quakers have a tough, short turnaround. They travel to Iowa to face the #2-ranked Hawkeyes on Saturday.
The Tigers dropped a dual to Indiana last week (22-13), as they made the trip to the Midwest. Princeton won four of ten bouts. Top-ranked at 157lbs, Quincy Monday won by decision, as did Luke Stout (#18 @ 197lbs). Blaine Bergey won by decision at 165 lbs. Nate Dugan, at 184lbs, scored a major decision. Most notably, missing from the line-up, was Pat Glory (#2 @ 125lbs). He did not travel with the team, as he is nursing an injury. There was much inexperience in the lineup for the Tigers, which showed in a handful of close matches, most going in favor of Indiana. They are back to work, prepping for their matches against #12 Wisconsin and Michigan State at the Garden State Grapple on December 4th in Newark, New Jersey.
The Pioneers squared off against #2 Iowa last week, on a Thursday in Albany, NY. They battled for two wins at 125lbs and 157lbs, thanks to Mike Manta and Nick Palumbo, respectively. Then, they were at the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia on Sunday. Without Palumbo competing, there were no placers in a tough Keystone field - but they won a good number of matches. They will be traveling to the Cliff Keen Invite in Las Vegas. It will be a good opportunity for the team to get more quality matches. I am excited to see my EIWA dark horse at 157lbs, Nick Palumbo go on a run and win a match or two that will get him in the rankings.