Brockport sweeps awards across the board
Junior John Wilkinson, left, led the Eagles to victory at the John Summa Invitational, Saturday, Feb. 2, after earning an individual title in the 285-lb weigh class. Wilkinson was one of three Eagles to win a title.
Brockport wrestling dominated this past weekend as the team grappled its way to yet another team title at the John Summa Invitational in Berea, Ohio Saturday, Feb. 2. This most recent team title is just one in a long run at the invitational. Brockport has won the tournament 16 of the last 17 years.
Brockport claimed the team title with 122.5 total team points. Waynesburg University finished in a close second with 111, followed by Baldwin-Wallace College with 81. Thiel College finished fourth with 79 team points, followed by Lake Erie College with 78.5, Washington and Jefferson with 65.5, RIT with 32.5, and Ohio Northern University followed with 17 points.
Sophomore Matt Ellis won an individual title in the 125-pound weight class, along with the distinction of the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Ellis began his day with an opening round bye. He then went on to claim a 10-5 decision over Gordon Bieber of Waynesburg University and a 16-7 major decision over Mike Nguyen of RIT. In the championship round, Ellis landed a 6-4 overtime decision over Jesse Gunter of Baldwin-Wallace.
"I knew leading up to this weekend I would have to make a statement in our final individual tournament before the regionals," Ellis said. "And knowing the level of competition at this tournament I knew that I would have to work twice as hard to make sure that I could compete with the best. I'm so happy with myself because finally I'm starting to see some positive results, but I'm far from done. [I've got to] keep the intensity up because there is so much more to accomplish.
"Being out on the mat every match I just remember what Coach Cruz told me the day before," Ellis said. "He said that fear is a choice and that if I keep up my level of intensity that I can beat anybody that I went against no matter how good they are."
"Being sick and tired of getting second place all the time I just felt more relaxed and more at peace with myself to not be afraid to take chances in winning the match and it paid off," he said.
Senior Clay Neivert earned the distinction of recording the most pins in the least amount of time at the 174-pound class. After losing a 10-5 decision to Dylan Zivcic of Lake Erie College, Neivert landed five consecutive pins in 14:37, including a 0:41 pin over Nick Fisk of RIT. Zivcic went on to claim the individual title.
Brockport sophomore Matt Lashway of the 197-pound. class also claimed an individual title. Like Ellis, Lashway was given a first-round bye. He went on to beat Dan Mahon and Travis Kuhn of Waynesburg by way of 12-3 and 9-5 decisions, respectively.
In the championship bout, Lashway faced off against freshman teammate Cole Tristram. The end of regulation saw the two Eagles deadlocked in a 1-1 draw, but Lashway prevailed by being awarded an extra point for his 1:22 seconds of riding time.
Tristram's second place run was well earned, as he landed three consecutive pins before falling to Lashway in his final bout of the day.
The final individual title was claimed by junior John Wilkinson of the 285-pound class. After receiving a first round bye, Wilkinson landed an 11-3 decision over Ryan Murphy of Thiel College and followed it up with a 7-1 decision over Bob Zappitelli of Lake Erie College and a 9-3 decision over Eddie McBride of RIT.
In the championship bout, Wilkinson claimed his title after Almont Patrick of Lake Erie College was forced to withdraw following an injury at the 6:25 mark.
Brockport also landed a set of second place finishes over the weekend.
Aside from Tristram, freshman Jordan Dyer and junior Kristopher Shirley both finished second in the 141 and 157-pound classes respectively. En route to his silver medal finish, Dyer landed both a pin and a technical fall.
Bronze medalists included Neivert, sophomore Jon Casper of the 184-pound class, senior Tyler Marlow of the 125-pound class, and senior Eliah Golding of the 149-pound class.
Sophmore Michael Leonard of the 133-pound class, senior Nick Joy of the 174-pound class, senior Jose Vasquez of the 125-pound class and sophomore Joe DelConte fo the 149-pound class rounded off the place finishers for Brockport with Leonard and Joy claiming fourth place and Vasquez and DelConte claiming fifth and sixth, respectively.
"I think the tournament went well, there's no question about that," Head Coach Don Murray said. "We placed in numerous weight classes and anytime you can place in all those weight classes, its good. It was good exposure. We got to wrestle some of the Ohio schools so now when we go into seeding meetings we have some comparative scores."
Next week the Eagles will look to build on the meet's success when they travel to Edinboro, Penn. for the Edinboro Invitational Feb. 9. The start time is 10 a.m.
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