If timing is everything in life, the College’s wrestling team is in great shape.
The sixth-ranked Lions ended their regular season on a 10-match winning streak, providing plenty of momentum heading into the postseason. Last weekend, the Lions made a statement by completely dominating their three opponents, SUNY-Oswego, the University of Scranton and Wilkes University.
Their most impressive win of the weekend came against Oswego on Saturday. They posted a 42-0 shutout with the College winning every bout.
At 165 pounds, senior Sean Flynn pulled out the win after three overtime periods. In the third overtime, it was a test of brute strength between Flynn and his opponent, senior Frank Petrucci. Flynn had to stand up and free himself from the grasp of Petrucci to earn himself a point and the win. His victory gave the team a 25-0 lead.
For Flynn, it was a big personal win. “The first time I wrestled him, he had a better game plan,” Flynn said. “I knew in order to beat him, I just had to wrestle smart.”
The only pins of the match came from junior heavyweight Keith Bjorhus and sophomore Antonio Crespo. Bjorhus got the pin in 1:40, while Crespo pinned his opponent in 1:54.
Head coach David Icenhower hopes the convincing victory will carry over in the future. “Even the referee said that’s the best we’ve wrestled all season,” Icenhower said. “Hopefully this is a sign for things to come.”
The College was certainly able to ride their momentum into Sunday’s two matches, which they were once again able to win very easily. In their first match, they beat Scranton 44-6. Junior Brian Dempsey, freshman Jeff Harrington, senior Nick Vinciguerra and Bjorhus all racked up pins.
On Sunday, the Lions defeated Wilkes 39-3. Once again, Bjorhus and Harrington pinned their opponents and Dempsey was able to win by technical fall against his opponent, senior Jeremy Mayer, by a score of 21-4.
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the weekend was the performance of Harrington, the substitute for junior Paul Vaccaro, who is out due to personal reasons. Harrington was 3-0, including two pins, leading Icenhower to recognize his recent strong performances.
“All season we have asked Jeff to step in for spot duty, and he has done a great job,” Icenhower said.
Flynn, is also excited about the way that Harrington has been wrestling. “We needed a guy to step up, and Harrington has done a great job,” he said. “We expect big things from him in the future.”
Harrington is excited that he was able to get a chance and hopes that he will be able to help the Lions throughout the postseason.
“Getting those two pins really helped my confidence, especially going into conferences,” Harrington said
Now that the regular season is over, the Lions have two weeks to rest and gear up for the postseason.
On Feb. 20 the Lions will host the Metropolitan Conference Championships (MCCs). If any of the wrestlers win their weight class at the MCCs, they will move on to wrestle at the NCAA Division III Championships in Northfield, Minn. on March 4.