Saturday, January 6, 2024

David Lehman Open (Franklin & Marshall) Recap


As I was expecting this tournament turned out to be very good. Lots of great wrestling & as our sport usually is, full of some big surprises. 

'Vengeance Be Mine' Sayeth The Camel 

What a great tournament for the Camel!  Seeded *3,  Anthony Molton not only took out the *2 & *3 seeds in route to being crowned Lehman Open Champion, he avenged an ugly loss from CKLV.  In Vegas, Troy Hohman of NC State took him out 10-2, but here in Lancaster, it was all Molton as he won a 4-1 decision.  Molton also defeated Vince Robinson of NC State 5-4 in the semi-finals. 

Panther Dines on Soup of Terrapin & Bald Eagle

Vince Santaniello with two nice wins to crown himself Lehman Open Champion.  He first overcame Braxton Brown of Maryland 3-1 in the semis, then taking out Lock Haven's Gable Strickland 5-2 in the finals.  Speaking of Strickland, he came into this championship unranked & scored a huge 4-2 decision over Dom Zaccone of Campbell.  This should help him to get into the rankings now.  Brown for the record pinned Zaccone at the 4:22 mark to take 3rd place. 

Bald Eagle Rips Apart Competition, As Mountain Hawk Illustrates Depth in Lehigh Room

Well wrestled tournament for Lock Haven sophomore Wyatt Henson. I think it's clear after stints at both Iowa & Oklahoma, he's really come into his own as a Bald Eagle. A 7-2 solid decision over Cole Matthews of Pitt in the semis, he then scored a 14-4 major decision over Carter Bailey of Lehigh in the finals. Bailey himself with an outstanding tournament.  4-1 over teammate Connor McGonagle in the Quarters, it was a huge 9:39 fall in sudden victory over Kal Miller of Maryland in the semis. Makes you wonder if the 141 lbs spot will still be Malyke Hines come EIWA time doesn't it?  Miller came back to defeat Matthews 4-1 for 3rd.   The other notable happening in this bracket was that Army's Rich Treanor was able to upend F&M's Mason Leiphart twice.  Defeating him 4-1 in round two & then defeating him again for 5th place 7-5. 

Black Knight Senior Saves Best Performance For Last

Haven't heart a whole lot out of Matty Williams during his career at Army, but he made a statement here at the Lehman Open.  A nice 5-2 decision over Nick Stonecheck of Lock Haven in the semi-finals, he then won the title with a 4-1 win over Kelly Dunnigan of Penn.  Dunnigan himself scored a huge 5-2 upset of Ethen Miller of Maryland in the semi-finals. 

Quakers Continue to Show Off Young Talent 

It's more than obviously that Pennsylvania is building up their squad. They have a lot of young talent on their team & Jude Swisher is one of them.  The freshman scored a smart 5-2 victory over Maryland's Michael North in the semis & just had his way with Dylan Evans of Pitt in the finals with a 10-0 major decision. 

Midshipmen Bounces Back Like He's Brand New

A testimony to intestinal fortitude, an affirmation of quality coaching, it amazes me that not only did Andrew Cernigilia bounce back from a horrible weekend, he did so with absolute retribution.  That's guts & that's the coaching of Cary Kolat.  He looked like a completely different wrestler here in Lancaster than he did in Coralville.  11-2 major decision over Joshua Kim of Harvard in the semi finals, he then took out Dalton Harkins 12-3 major decision in the finals.  The turn around here is unbelievable, purely unbelievable. 

The other story in this bracket was Dakota Morris of Army.  Pulled off a huge 3-2 upset over Brevin Cassella of Binghamton the *1 seed in the quarterfinals.  Then on top of it, collected bronze with another big win, a 12-1 major over Kim. 

Another Top Performance For the Crimson

It has been a real treat watching Philip Conigliaro of Harvard back on top of the heap thus far in '23-'24.  Last season was a bit of a down for the Crimson & he's came back very strong this year.  A recent runner-up finish at the Midlands, it was all gold here at the Lehman Open.  Scored a 4-2 victory over a tough Austin Murphy of Campbell in the finals.  Murphy himself with a huge 14-5 major over Navy's Danny Wask in the semis.  Wask defeated Murphy the last time the two met. 

Bearcat Wins Tough Bracket At 184 lbs

Binghamton picked up a champion at 184 lbs as Jacob Nolan took out home-team hero James Conway 4-2 in the finals. Conway himself scored a nice 7-2 decision over Caleb Hopkin of Campbell in the semis. 

Back & Better Than Ever

When a guy gets hurt & is away from the mat for a while, you always wonder what he's gonna be like when he comes back.  In the case of Lou DePrez of Binghamton, better than ever.  I thought Levi Hopkins of Campbell would give him a good match, but it was all Bearcat in a 17-2 technical fall.  This was keep in mind, after Hopkins himself scored a very dominant 9-0 decision over John Crawford of F&M.  Crawford came back strong to collect bronze. 

Wyatt Hendrickson Does What Wyatt Hendrickson Does Best

In some ways watching Wyatt Hendrickson reminds me of back when I was in junior high wrestling. We'd go to a tournament or a duals & there would always be this one kid on one team that was bigger than all of our fathers. Here we were none of us with anything more than peachfuzz on our faces & there would always be this one kid with a full grown mustache.  You prayed you weren't the kid that was gonna have to wrestle him & you always felt bad for the kid that did.  That's Wyatt Hendrickson, only this isn't junior high, this is NCAA Division I! 

The guy is just so strong and so powerful.  Pinned Cory Day of Binghamton in 1:25 in the semis.  Then against Taye Ghadiali of Campbell, a big strong powerhouse in his own right, won a 9-3 decision.  Ghadiali defeated last year's Lehman Open champion Grady Griess of Navy 8-3 in the semis.  Day then defeated Griess 5-3 for third.  Tough bracket.  

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