NEW YORK – The Columbia wrestling team returns to the mats this Sunday, Nov. 24 when it competes in the New York State Championships hosted by Cornell at Newman Arena. The tournament will feature an ‘A’ and ‘B’ bracket, with each school allowed 10 entrants across any weight class in the ‘A’ bracket.
The Lions put up 152.5 points at last year’s NYS Championship, using weight class titles at 149, 157 and 174 pounds to finish second, trailing only Cornell.
Participating Division I varsity teams at this season’s event include: Army, Binghamton, Buffalo, Cornell and Hofstra.
COLUMBIA’S ‘A’ BRACKET LINEUP
Penn Gottfried posted a 3-2 mark at the Michigan State Open two weeks ago begin his senior campaign. In his three wins in East Lansing, none came via decision, with the Hartsdale, N.Y. native earning two pins and a 12-2 major decision over Ohio State’s Joshua Whitt. In 2012, Gottfried placed fourth, reaching the quarterfinals of the main draw before falling.
Cornell’s Nahshon Garrett, the reigning Ivy League and EIWA Wrestler of the Year, is the lone ranked wrestler at 125-pounds, entering the weekend slotted No. 2 by InterMat and AWN.
Angelo Amenta and Joe Moita will each wrestle at 133 pounds for the Lions. Amenta went 1-2 at the MSU Open, notching a 7-4 decision over Ohio State’s Kyle Visconti. Moita will be competing for the first time this season when he takes the mat Sunday. At last season’s tournament, Moita won four straight bouts in the consolation bracket to finish fourth.
A pair of first-years from Cornell and Hofstra enter Sunday ranked. At 5-0, the Big Red’s Mark Grey comes in at ninth in the latest AWN poll and 10th by InterMat, while AWN ranks the Pride’s Jamel Hudson No. 19.
No. 18/- (AWN/InterMat) Matt Bystol is fresh off a runner-up showing at the MSU Open. The Libertyville, Ill. native went 4-1 with two falls and a major decision to move up two spots in this week’s AWN poll.
Cornell’s Mike Nevinger and Hofstra’s Luke Vaith also sport national rankings, with Nevinger, last year’s winner at 141 pounds, coming in at No. 4/4 and Vaith at No. 7/10.
Connor Sutton kicked off his sophomore year with a trio of victories at the MSU Open. Pins of Eastern Michigan’s Chris Rau and Michigan’s Thomas Brosnahan preceded a 7-4 decision over Central Michigan’s Joey Keilbasa.
Chris Villalonga from Cornell is the lone ranked grappler at 149 pounds. The senior is 6-0 on the year, earning the No. 12/13 ranking.
First-year Markus Scheidel had arguably the most impressive performance at the MSU Open, tallying seven consecutive wins to earn fifth-place in his first collegiate tournament. After narrowly falling to No. 20/20 Ryan Watts from Michigan State, 3-2, Scheidel stormed through the consolation bracket with a pin of Matt Fee, a major decision against Central Michigan’s Malcolm Martin and five decisions.
Cornell’s Brain Realbuto, also competing at the collegiate level for the first time, is ranked No. 18/13 and also holds a 7-1 record.
Senior Josh Houldsworth will look to improve upon his third-place finish at last year’s NYS Championship. The White Lake, Mich. native also place third two weeks ago in East Lansing, posting a 4-1 mark. Houldsworth recorded his first pin of the season, taking down Edinboro’s Casey Fuller at MSU.
Hofstra’s Joe Booth is ranked No. 17/12 in the latest polls with a 5-1 record.
Juniors Shane Hughes and Eric Fajardo will both be in action for Columbia at 174 pounds. Hughes went 3-2 at the MSU Open, pinning Indiana’s Matt Irick and registering a 12-4 major decision against Lake Erie’s Dylan Zivcic. Fajardo will be competiting for the first time this season.
Sophomore Zack Hernandez will look to remain unbeaten this season after he went 4-0 to take the 184-pound freshman/sophomore title at MSU. The Honolulu, Hawaii native tallied three decisions and a pin of Lake Erie’s Tyler Hughes en route to the championship.
Cornell’s Gabe Dean, 4-1 in his first season with the Big Red, is ranked No. 10/15 in this week’s polls.
Columbia will not have ‘A’ bracket entries at 197 and 285 pounds.