Week in review: EIWA invades Empire State

A total of nine schools from the EIWA traveled to upstate New York this past week to partake in either the Binghamton Open or the Oklahoma Gold Tournament in Brockport.

A total of nine schools from the EIWA traveled to upstate New York this past week to partake in either the Binghamton Open or the Oklahoma Gold Tournament in Brockport.

Six Ivy Leaguers took Binghamton by storm as wrestlers from No. 1 Cornell, Penn, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, and Harvard took part in the 20-team tournament.

In what will be the case nearly every time they step into the ring this year, the Big Red claimed individual first place finishes all over the field including undefeated performances by No. 1 Cam Simaz (197), No. 2 Kyle Dake (149),  No. 6 Steve Bosak (184), and No. 6 Justin Kerber (165).

Penn’s only individual title came at the hands of the aforementioned Ivy League powerhouse as Zack Kemmerer faced off against Cornell’s Hicks Manson in the finals of the 141-pound bracket.

Down by two with time winding down in the final period, Kemmerer dropped Manson at the buzzer to force overtime. In the extra period, Kemmerer was able to work the score in his advantage and take the match, 9-7.

Representing Columbia, junior heavyweight Kevin Lester pinned Cornell’s Stryler Lane and Matt Tourdot of Old Dominion en route to a second-place finish.

Also taking second in Binghamton were two wrestlers from Harvard in Corey Jantzen (149) and Walter Peppelman (157).

Sophomore Garrett Frey of Princeton made an early-season statement toward becoming the top 125-pounder in the EIWA when he took down No. 10 Frank Perrelli of Cornell. Frey, the No. 17-ranked wrestler in the country at 125, took third in the tournament.

Brown also competed in Binghamton, but did not place any grapplers.

Midas Touch

After No. 24 Rutgers breezed through its first two duals of the season, the competition for the Scarlet Knights stiffened at the Oklahoma Gold Tournament as the team went up against top talent in No. 8 Oklahoma, Maryland and fellow EIWA schools Army and American.

The Scarlet Knights headed into the semifinals sitting in first place, but a poor showing in the round left head coach Scott Goodale and Co. in second place overall with 124.5 points.

Senior heavyweight DJ Russo took first in Brockport for the second straight year, pinning three grapplers and defeating Quintas McCorkle of Clarion, 8-1, in the finals.

Matt Fusco (125), Scott Winston (165), and Dan Rinaldi (184) all took second in their respective brackets as Fusco and Rinaldi fell to Oklahoma grapplers in the finals. The Sooners took first overall in the tournament, amassing a total of 145.5 points.

Thanks to four, fourth place finishes; Army was able to take sixth overall. Sophomore Jordan Thome (133) started off his day by pinning Nick Falco of Binghamton in 1:46 while his older brother, senior Casey Thome placed fourth in the 141-pound bracket as well.

With two of its top guns sitting out with injuries — Steve Fittery (157) and Ryan Flores (Hvy) — No. 21 American could only muster a seventh-place finish despite a certain winner at 197 pounds.

No. 20 Daniel Mitchell went undefeated on the day and took down Oklahoma’s Keldrick Hall in convincing fashion, 13-5, in the final round of the 197-pound bracket.

No Love Lost

While the rest of the EIWA bolted for New York, No. 13 Lehigh kept it in state by dualing against No. 14 Pittsburgh and No. 6 Penn State.

In Steel Town, the Mountain Hawks dominated the Panthers early and often to the tune of a 29-7 score thanks to a seasoned veteran and two true freshmen.

Junior Sean Bilodeau (157) scored a fall while freshmen Frank Cagnina (133) and Stephen Dutton (141) earned major decisions by scores of 12-4 and 15-2, respectively.

Lehigh was not so fortunate when it traveled to Happy Valley in an attempt to tame the Nittany Lions. Both squads took five matches apiece, but in the end it came down to bonus points with Penn State winning 21-17.

Cagnina continued to impress by earning another major decision, 12-3, but pins at 157 and 133 paced the Nittany Lions.

Empire State of Mind

In light of the EIWA’s assault on upstate New York, several former standout grapplers from New York schools made their return to the Empire State and did not disspoint.

A former two-time New York state champion at Shoreham-Wading River, Harvard’s Corey Jantzen (149) took part in the Binghamton Open. The No. 12-ranked wrestler in the country only conceded one point en route to the finals where he faced off against No. 2 and defending national champ Kyle Dake of Cornell. Dake, a product of Lansing High School, got the better of Jantzen in a hard-fought, 2-0 decision.

Fellow Crimson and Shoreham-Wading River alum Steven Keith also put together a nice showing in Binghamton. The sophomore fell one round short of reaching the podium after reeling off three-straight wins following an opening-round loss.

Wrestling unattached, a pair of freshmen 125-pounders for American grappled in the Binghamton Open with different results.

Nick Arujau, a Syosset, N.Y., native, took fifth overall. The newcomer took down Penn’s Mark Rappo by a 2-0 score and won a total of six matches in the tournament.

Chris Brienza, representing Upper Brookeville, N.Y., won only one match in Binghamton, but impressed nonetheless dominating Army’s Nathan Santhanam by an 11-3 score.

Wrestler of the Week

Lehigh true freshman Frank Cagnina (133) made his mark on Pennsylvania collegiate wrestling this past week, going 2-0 against No. 14 Pittsburgh and No. 6 Penn State. The Hillsdale, N.J., native earned two major decisions by a combined score of 24-7 as the No. 13 Mountain Hawks went 1-1.

What’s to Come

Nov. 19 #9 Central Michigan at #1 Cornell

Nov. 20 Body Bar Invitational in Ithaca

Nov. 21 # 24 Rutgers vs. #6 Penn State

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