I took a recent look at the EIWA Pre-seed and I have to agree with Coach Ayres of Princeton. They make little to no sense. Nevertheless they are what they are. Now comes time to look at the allocations & do my best to determine who is in the hunt for them.
Spots Available: 6
Unlike many of the other conferences I've covered thus far, I feel that the EIWA 125 lbs got it just right. Not too few, not too many, but exactly what it should have gotten, 6 allocations.
I don't care what the preseeds say, our forerunner for a title here is Pat Glory of Princeton. The two time NCAA All American who was 2nd in the nation last season is currently undefeated & likely to leave Philadelphia with an EIWA title. He owns an 8-6 decision over Ryan Miller of Pennsylvania.
Based on seeds alone, I wouldn't he all that surprised to see Diego Sotelo of Harvard across the mat from him in the finals. Sotelo had an excellent stroke of good fortune at the Midlands championships earlier this year & what a world of good it has done for his confidence. The young Crimson owns a 3-2 victory over Nick Babin of Columbia & a 1-0 victory over Brett Ungar of Cornell. He's also defeated Ryan Miller of Pennsylvania twice. Once by a 5:34 fall & a 5-4 decision.
Miller an NCAA qualifier last year, owns a 4-3 decision over Babin, a 6-3 decision over Sotelo, a 6-1 decision over Ungar & a 4-3 decision of Ethan Berginc of Army.
Ungar owns both a 2-1 decision over Babin & a 1-0 decision over Berginc.
Babin owns a 2-1 decision over Berginc.
Seeding if you take a look at the brackets doesn't do a great reflection of results but it is what it is. These should be our six qualifiers.
Spots Available: 5
5 allocations & 11 contenders. Obviously some of the spots are pretty much already spoken for & as to those more up for grabs, there are some who stand more of a legitimate shot, while others remain more of an outside.
It's all but guaranteed that our champion here is going to be two time All American (4th in '19 & 3rd in '22) Vitali Arujau of Cornell. The darkhorse NCAA champion candidate has dominated the EIWA field with a 13-7 decision over Michael Colaiocco of Pennsylvania, a 15-0 tech over Richard Treanor of Army & a 12-3 major decision over Angelo Rini of Columbia.
Colaiocco a two time NCAA qualifier owns falls over both Dante Frinzi of Harvard (2:49) & Rini (2:23) as well as an 11-0 major decision over Treanor.
Connor McGonagle of Lehigh, also a two time NCAA qualifier, owns a 6-1 win over Rini.
Kurt Phipps of Bucknell, owns a 3-0 win over Treanor, a 2-0 win over Kyle Waterman of Drexel & he's beaten both Brendan Ferretti of Navy (9-6 & 4-0) & Rini (2-1 & 9-3) twice.
Ferretti owns two wins over Treanor 7-3 & 9-7 s.v.
Hunter Adrian of Harvard owns a 3-2 victory over Ferretti, a 2-0 win over Pat Phillips of Franklin & Marshall, a 6-4 s.v. over Rini & an 11-3 major over Frinzi.
Waterman owns a 5-1 decision over Adrian, a 6-2 decision over Phillips & two (one in sudden victory) 3-1 decisions over Frinzi.
Rini owns a 10-3 decision over Ferretti.
Phillips owns both a 2-1 tiebreaker over Rini & a 6:10 fall over Ferretti.
Treanor pinned Adrian in 39 seconds & owns a 3-2 decision over Frinzi.
Frinzi owns a 1:45 fall over Rini.
In my personal opinion 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th aren't so much the fight as is the 5th place spot.
Spots Available: 5
This is gonna be a fun weight class. You have 5 allocations & 7 wrestlers all very worthy of earning them. As you'll soon be able to tell the parity of the results suggest that this weight class is rather wide open in terms of who could win it & which of the 7 will earn a top 5 qualification spot.
Matt Kazimir of Columbia won the EIWA title last season. If he is to do so again, he'll have to avenge some in-season losses. As to victories, he has both a 7-3 decision over Malyke Hines of Lehigh & a 1-0 decision over Carmen Ferrante of Pennsylvania.
Vince Cornella of Cornell has proven himself to be a very tough freshman with the capability to win an EIWA title. He owns a 5-4 decision over Kazimir, a 15-3 major over Josh Koderhandt of Navy & a 3-1 decision over Darren Miller of Bucknell.
Miller an NCAA qualifier in '21 owns a 2-0 decision over Kazimir, a 5-3 decision over Koderhandt & a 4-2 decision over Hines.
Hines, a two time NCAA qualifier, owns a 4-2 decision over Cornella, a 7-2 decision over Ferrante & a 10-5 decision over Koderhandt.
Koderhandt an NCAA qualifier last season, owns both a 4-3 & 6-4 decision over Miller as well as a 4-1 decision over Julian Sanchez of Army.
Ferrante an NCAA qualifier in '19, owns a 4-1 decision over Sanchez.
Sanchez owns a 6-4 decision over Kazimir.
Spots Available: 2
There is other talent within this weight class, but I know for a fact no one is upsetting three time NCAA Champ/three time EIWA champ Yianni Diakomihalis of Cornell. He already owns an 8-3 decision over Doug Zapf who the preseeds have for some asinine reason as *1. With that said, I can't see anyone else in the bracket beating Zapf either. Other than his loss to Diakomihalis, he's undefeated within the EIWA himself.
Spots Available: 3
Only three allocations here at 157 lbs but 7 worthy candidates in competition for them. Will be a fun weight.
Our likely champion here is one of the best yet to All American in the nation, Josh Humphreys of Lehigh a two time NCAA R12'er who is currently undefeated on the season. A monster from the top position, he owns a 6-3 decision over Army's Nathan Lukez.
Anthony Artalona of Pennsylvania is another top wrestler yet to All American. He himself is also a two timer NCAA R12'er. While he's shown at times to be susceptible to loss, he's always wrestled tough at this tournament. Victories include a 3-2 decision over Cole Handlovic of Cornell, a 7-6 decision over Lukez & a 2:01 fall over Trevor Tarsi of Harvard.
Cesar Alvan of Columbia has had himself a very nice season. If anyone is going to keep our final from being anything other than Humphreys Vs Atalona, it is Alvan. He already owns a 7-5 decision over Artalona. He also owns a 4-2 decision over Tarsi.
Andrew Cerniglia of Navy has had a roller coaster of a season, but seems to be on he up rather than the down at the moment. The two time NCAA qualifier majored Handlovic 10-0 & he also owns a 7-2 decision over Lukez.
As to Handlovic, teammate Colton Yapoujian defeated him earlier this season 7-0, but hasn't wrestled since the beginning of January. Not sure if Handlovic eventually won the spot or if Yapoujian is out with an unannounced injury. Either way, Handlovic is the starter & he owns a 6-4 s.v. over Alvan.
Lukez owns 4-2 decision over Handlovic.
Spots Available: 5
In terms of earning NCAA qualification, 165 lbs may be the most interesting of all the EIWA weight classes. Some are certainly more favored than others, but I'd say everyone I have listed here is within the hunt for a top 5 finish. Among the talent, there really is little to no "owning" someone here. Most every match contested during the regular season has been a close contest. Most decisions by 3 points or less.
Quincy Monday of Princeton, a NCAA finalist last season has exactly one loss on the season & that is to Julian Ramirez of Cornell who defeated him 10-6. Among his victories, Monday owns a 4-1 decision over Josh Ogunsanya of Columbia, a 3-1 decision over Lucas Revano of Pennsylvania & a 5-1 decision over Joshua Kim of Harvard.
Along with his win over Monday, Ramirez who was NCAA R12 last year, owns victories over Ogunsanya (8-2), Revano (4-2), Kim (5-2) & Dalton Harkins of Army (4-2).
Evan Barczak while he hasn't faced Monday, Ramirez or Ogunsanya, currently stands undefeated against EIWA competition. The two time NCAA qualifier owns a 3-0 decision over Brevin Cassella of Binghamton, a 2-1 t.b. over Revano, a 3-1 t.b. over Kim & a 4-0 decision over Harkins.
Ogunsanya an NCAA qualifier last season owns a 3-1 decision over Revano & a 3-1 decision over Kim.
Casella also an NCAA qualifier last season, owns a 3-2 decision over Kim & a 5-2 decision over Val Park of Navy.
Revano seems to almost always lose by 1 or 2 points. If he could figure out a way to turn these close losses into close wins, he could be one of the biggest surprises of the tournament. Among his wins a 10-5 decision over Kim & a 3-1 decision over Harkins. He was an NCAA qualifier last season.
Kim is much in the same boat as Revano. Seems to lose a lot of close matches. He'll need to turn those close losses into close wins if he wants to see a top 5 finish.
Spots Available: 4
Contenders: 6 (Maybe More)
184 lbs EIWA allots for four NCAA qualifiers. I feel pretty good about three of them. It is the 4th place spot that is leaving me in question.
Tate Samuelson of Lehigh a transfer of Wyoming, is already a four time NCAA qualifier. He looks to be in excellent position to add an EIWA title to his resume as he nears the end of his career. He owns a 4-1 decision over Jacob Nolan of Binghamton, as well as an 8-0 major over Sahm AbdulRazzaq (Sorry for leaving out the h in the picture. Typo on my part) as well as an 8-2 decision over David Key of Navy.
Nolan, a two time NCAA qualifier owns both a 4-2 s.v. over Jacob Ferreira of Hofstra & a 3-1 s.v. over Brian Bonino of Drexel.
Ferreira spent some time at both North Carolina State & Bucknell as he now seems to have found his place at Hofstra. If he's able to place top 4 here, it'll be his first trip to the NCAA's. He owns a 10-5 decision over Key.
Bonino a transfer from Columbia, is another senior looking for his one & only NCAA qualification. He took Nolan into overtime & he owns a 3-1 s.v. over Ferreira.
Key as far as I'm concerned has the talent and ability to make the EIWA finals. He's not beating Samuelson, but everyone else in this bracket? He has the tools. He could finish as high as 2nd or he might not even finish within the top 8. He's just one of those wrestlers. Owns a 3-2 decision over AbdulRazzaq & was an NCAA qualifier in '21.
AbdulRazzaq has some funny losses this year, but he also owns a 2-1 tiebreaker over Bonino.
Spots Available: 5
This one is pretty straight forward. 5 allocations here & 5 strong candidates with an outsider who might, just might be able to steal the 5th place spot.
2021 7th place NCAA All American Michael Beard of Lehigh is a candidate to be an NCAA champion this year. I don't see him having any trouble picking up an EIWA title. A 6-2 decision over Jacob Cardenas of Cornell & an 11-4 decision over Luke Stout of Princeton he has technical falls over both Jake Koser of Navy (21-6) & Cole Urbas of Pennsylvania (20-4).
Jacob Cardenas looks to be a strong candidate to face Beard in the finals. He owns an 8-0 decision over Stout & a 12-2 decision over Urbas.
As to 3rd place, I see Stout Vs Koser. Stout an NCAA qualifier last year owns both a 20-4 tech as well as a 3:31 fall over Urbas. Koser, a two time NCAA qualifier owns a 6-0 decision over Hofstra's Trey Rogers.
Our 5th place match, the one for NCAA qualification looks to be between Rogers & Urbas. I really can't see either one of these guys beating any of the other four I have listed. The last Rogers & Urbas met, Rogers secured a 4-2 s.v.
Spots Available: 6
Contenders: The More Appropriate Question Here is....Who Isn't?
Tough weight class. 6 available allocations & at least 11 wrestlers capable of nabbing one.
Our most valuable candidate here is EIWA champion hopeful Yaraslau Slavikouski of Harvard. Undefeated against conference competition he owns victories over most everyone he'll meet. This includes both a 6-2 & 2-1 tiebreaker over Ben Goldin of Pennsylvania, a 4-1 victory over Cenzo Pelusi of F&M, a 7-3 decision over Grady Griess of Navy, a 6-1 decision over Cory Day of Binghamton, an 8-2 decision over Brendan Furman of Cornell, a 4-1 decision over Travis Stefanik of Princeton & a 6-1 decision over ZKW of Hofstra.
Grady Griess of Navy will contend for a spot in the EIWA finals. He owns a 9-1 decision over Nathan Taylor of Lehigh, a 7-0 decision over Day, a 3-1 decision of Stefanik, a 6-0 decision over ZKW & a 10-3 decision over William Jarrell of American.
Dorian Crosby of Bucknell owns a 5-3 decision over Griess, a 2-1 decision over ZKW & a 4-0 decision over Jarrell.
Taylor owns a 2-0 decision over Pelusi, an 11-0 major over Crosby, a 9-3 decision over Furman & both a 5-0 as well as a 3-1 s.v. over Stefanik.
Day owns a 3-1 decision over Taylor, a 3-2 decision over Furman & a 5-2 decision over ZKW.
Furman an NCAA qualifier in '20 owns a 6:48 fall over Stefanik.
Goldin an NCAA qualifier last season, owns a 2-0 win over Taylor, a 3-1 s.v. over Furman, a 4-3 decision over ZKW & a 6-5 decision over Jarrell.
Stefanik is an interesting case. A three time NCAA qualifier at 184, he moved all the way up to HWT this year. I think it took him a while to adjust to the heavyweight style of wrestling. I think now he's gotten the hang of it as he learned that not all 184 lbs strategies work against guys that can weigh up to 285 lbs. Adjustments made, he owns two 5-3 decisions over day & a 3-2 tiebreaker over Goldin.
ZKW in his own right is a two time NCAA qualifier. He owns a 7-3 decision over Jarrell & an 8-2 decision over Pelusi.
William owns a 13-2 major over Crosby
So there you have it. As you can tell the parity and back and forth results make HWT a tough one to predict. While I've been kinda harsh on some of the preseeding, here I am certainly more forgiving. This weight class is rather whacky on paper & I'm sure it'll be as whacky if not even whackier on the mat.