NEW YORK – Sophomore Zack Hernandez won four straight matches Saturday to capture the freshman/sophomore division title at 184 pounds at the Michigan State Open. As a team, Columbia wrestlers represented ten placewinners in the first competition of the season.
Below is a recap, broken down by weight class and division of Columbia’s victories.
Open: Johnson Mai and Penn Gottfried saw action in the open division at 125 pounds. After a bye in the round of 32, Mai picked up his first win via tech fall, 17-0, over Calumet’s Anthony Hawkins, but he dropped his next match to Ohio State’s Nathan Tomasello.
Gottfried suffered a tough 2-0 defeat in the opening round to Navy’s Brendan Campbell, but bounced back to win three straight in the consolation bracket. Ohio State’s Joshua Whitt was the first to go down, as Gottfried posted a 12-2 major decision and followed with a pin of Central Michigan’s Logan Shanks in 2:43. The next round pitted Gottfried and Mai against one another with Gottfried earning a fall in 5:41. Northern Illinois’ Nathan Harrison would finally end Gottfried’s run in the consolation semifinals, taking an 8-2 decision.
Freshman/Sophomore: First-year Britain Carter had a successful showing in his first action as a collegiate wrestler, taking fifth. In Carter’s first match, he toppled Olivet’s Kyle Gillies with a 6-2 decision. Following a loss in the quarterfinals, Carter moved into the consolation bracket where he edged Edinboro’s Anthony Rivera, 2-1. A rematch against Gillies came next, with Carter recording a 10-2 major decision to advance to the 5th-place bout against Central Michigan’s Kody Azarian. With a fall in the time of 4:14, Carter claimed fifth in the division.
Open: Angelo Amenta represented the Lions in at 133 pounds, going 1-2 Saturday. Amenta picked up his victory in the first round of the consolation bracket, taking down Ohio State’s Kyle Visconti with a 7-4 decision.
Open: Coming off an NCAA appearance last season, Matt Bystol put up a strong showing in the first tournament of the 2013-14 season, going 4-1 and finishing as the runner-up. Bystol eased through his first two matches, downing Lake Erie’s Austin Gillhan with a 19-5 major decision and then pinning Tiffin’s Michael Screptock in 6:55. Purdue’s Nick Lawrence provided a tough test for Bystol, but the Columbia senior was able to come away with a 2-0 overtime win. The semifinals saw Bystol record his second fall, pinning Northern Illinois’ Tyler Argue in just 1:21. The finals pitted Bystol against Central Michigan’s Zach Horan, with the Chippewa winning, 12-5.
Freshman/Sophomore: This division saw sophomore Ryan Murdock reach the finals, while first-year Matt Leshinger placed fourth. Murdock dispatched his first opponent, Lake Erie’s Cobey Fehr with a 3-1 decision and then posted an 8-0 major decision over Findlay’s Jared VanVleet. Lindenwood’s Wardell Morgan would go down as Murdock’s first pin of the season in 3:54 in the quarterfinals before a 7-3 decision over Notre Dame’s (Ohio) James Jenkins sent Murdock to the finals. Ohio’s Noah Forrider proved to be a tough opponent in the final bout, edging Murdock, 6-2.
Leshinger begin his collegiate career consecutive decisions over Lake Erie’s Nick Bloch (4-1) and Lindsey Wilton’s Keaton Thomas (11-4). Leshinger’s first collegiate fall came in the quarterfinals over Notre Dame’s (Ohio) Antonio McKee. Forrider would then top Leshinger by a narrow 3-2 margin, preventing an all Columbia final.
Open: Connor Sutton went 3-2 at the MSU Open, beginning the tournament with a pin of Eastern Michigan’s Chris Rau in 2:42. In the consolation bracket, Sutton notched another fall, downing Michigan’s Thomas Brosnahan in 48 seconds. Sutton’s third win came in the next round over Central Michigan’s Joey Kielbasa via a 7-4 decision.
Open: Three Columbia wrestlers won a bout in the 157-pound open division with Markus Scheidel leading the way with a fifth-place finish. After dropping his first round bout, Scheidel strung together seven victories, with all but his first coming via decision. In his first consolation match, Scheidel pinned M. Fee in 1:56. In the consolation finals, Scheidel went up against Edinboro’s Johnny Greisheimer where he earned his second straight one-point decision to secure fifth place.
Chad Ryan also won three matches in the consolation bracket, pinning trio of opponents, including Campbell’s Daniel Luty (3:22) and Northern Illinois’ Matt Smith (3:39). Similarly, Jake Kazimir recorded a pair of falls in consolation action with pins of Edinboro’s Trevor Hartless (1:43) and Notre Dame’s (Ohio) Louden Gorden (2:42).
Open: Josh Houldsworth put together an impressive performance to begin his senior campaign, going 4-1 to claim third place. Houldsworth began the day with a shutout (4-0) decision over Pittsburg’s Troy Reaghard and then pinned Edinboro’s Casey Fuller. An 7-5 overtime win over Michigan’s Connor Brancheaugot Houldsworth into the semifinals where he fell in a decision to eventual champion Bo Jordan from Ohio State. In the third-place bout, Houldsworth went up against Navy’s Peyton Walsh, capturing a 6-2 decision.
Open: Shane Hughes wrestled to a 3-2 record Saturday, beginning the day with a pin of Indiana’s Matt Irick in 1:38. In the consolation bracket, Hughes added a major decision over Lake Erie’s Dylan Zivcic and a 6-0 decision over Ohio’s Marshall Willet.
Freshman/Sophomore: Austin Coniker came away with sixth place in the freshman/sophomore division, going 3-2. A close 5-4 decision over Luke Kreich began Coniker’s day, before being forced to the consolation bracket. Coniker reached the consolation finals with consecutive decisions over Ohio State’s Jacob Brescaiani and Indiana Tech’s Tyler Goldman, but Central Michigan’s CJ Brucki was able to take the fifth-place match in overtime, 4-3.
Open: Adam Fondale registered a trio wins in the consolation bracket all via decision. Those wins came over Notre Dame’s (Ohio) Charles Mason (2-1), Purdue’s Andy Wiseman (3-1) and Central Michigan’s Craig Kelliher (11-6).
Freshman/Sophomore: Hernandez reeled off four straight wins, three by decision and another by fall to capture the title in the freshman/sophomore division. Calumet’s Dennie Brown was the first to go down to Hernandez, 7-2, followed by a pinning of Lake Erie’s Tyler Hughes in 3:39. A 4-0 shutout of Central Michigan’s Austin Severn sent Hernandez to the finals where he recorded a 7-2 decision against Notre Dame’s (Ohio) Garrett Lineberger to lock up the title.
First-year Troy Hembury also placed, taking fifth place after he pinned three of his opponents.
Open: Matt Idelson picked up a victory in the consolation bracket over Indiana’s Garrett Goldmanvia 4-2 decision.
Freshman/Sophomore: In the consolation bracket, first-year Mike Fetchet picked up two major decisions and a 5-4 decision before falling in the consolation finals to take sixth-place.
Open: Wyatt Baker notched his first win of the season in the consolation, a 7-2 decision against Northern Illinois’’ Authur Bunce.