NEW YORK – Five members of the Columbia wrestling team shined this past Sunday at the 2012 FILA Junior Nationals at Alliant Energy Center Convention Hall in Madison, Wisc.
Sophomores Matt Bystol and Drew Rebling and first-years Wyatt Baker, Eric Fajardo and Matt Idelson all placed in their respective Greco Roman weight divisions to qualify for the FILA Junior World Team Trials. The junior nationals is for wrestlers age 20 and under. All five wrestlers represented New York Athletic Club.
Competing in the 74 kg class, Fajardo took second place after winning three bouts to get to the finals. He took a 6-0, 0-3, 6-0 win by technical fall over Matthew Gray to start the day. Fajardo then defeated Matt Sieracki, 1-0, 6-0, and Patrick Budd, 1-0, 4-0, to reach the championship bout, where he fell to Caleb Smith, 2-0, 0-6, 3-1.
Baker took third place at 120 kg. He lost Parker Betts, 4-0, 1-0, but bounced back, defeating Tyler Smith by pin 4-6, 1:09 and David Woody, 4-0, 5-0, to secure third place. Baker also had a pair of consolation bracket wins in the freestyle division bracket at 120 kg.
Rebling took fourth at 79 kg. He bounced back from a 7-0, 7-0 loss by technical fall to Geordan Speiller by defeating Jimmy Prince 2-0, 3-1. In the third-place bout, Rebling lost to Carson Powell, 3-0, 5-0.
Bystol, who was the Lions’ regular starter at 141 pounds this past season, placed fifth at 66 kg. After advancing by forfeit, Bystol bested Travis Himmelman 6-0, 5-5, in his first action of the day. He lost by fall in his next two bouts to take fifth place. Bystol also competed in the 66 kg freestyle bracket at the FILA Junior Nationals, picking up two wins in the championship bracket.
Idelson placed sixth at 96 kg and enjoyed two strong victories on the day. He won his first bout over Laquan Hightower 3-6, 1-0, 2-1. In the consolation bracket, Idelson pinned Brandon Rivera in 0:51.
The FILA Junior World Team Trials will be held May 25-26 at Palmer High School in Colorado Springs, Colo. Winners will compete in the 2012 FILA Junior World Championships held Sept. 4-9 in Pattaya, Thailand.