This past weekend, the wrestling team took first place at the Ithaca College Invitational for the third straight year, beating out 15 other teams. The Lions finished with 166.5 points, well ahead of Ithaca (133) and Hunter College (96).
The College entered the tournament ranked eighth in the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III preseason poll.
Three Lion wrestlers took home championships in their respective weight classes.
“We have a lot of talent on this team, but beating the competition that badly was a little surprising,” senior Ray Sarinelli (133 pounds) said.
Sarinelli, who entered the tournament ranked eighth nationally in his weight class, went 5-0. Sarinelli won the championship by decision 8-6 over Steve Valastro from the University of Southern Maine.
“We have been preparing for this for a long time,” Sarinelli said. “We have been wrestling hard for four weeks straight and have been working hard at getting in shape for this tournament.”
Senior Shawn Vanwingerden (197 pounds) entered the tournament as the second seed in his weight class and went 4-0. The only one of the three first-place finishers to win by pin fall, he pinned freshman Nick Cambi from Roger Williams University in 2:44.
Returning All-American sophomore Tyler Branham (149 pounds) took first place as well, finishing 5-0. Branham entered the tournament ranked sixth nationally in his weight class.
Branham won the championship in one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the weekend. He squared off against nationally ranked wrestler senior Matt Shrank of Gettysburg College. Branham won by decision 4-2, scoring the winning two points in overtime.
Three more Lions took home second-place honors: sophomore Dan DiColo (157 pounds), junior Al Wonesh (165 pounds) and senior Steve Carbone at heavyweight. Other key finishes from the Lions came from freshmen John Barnett (141 pounds) and Justin Bonitatis (165 pounds), both taking home a third-place finish.
Freshman Kyle Kinchen (125 pounds) placed fourth while sophomore Dan Suozzo (141 pounds) and junior Jon Biango (157 pounds) both took fifth in their respective weight classes.
Taking home sixth-place honors were sophomore Dave Kiley (165 pounds), junior Greg Osgoodby (174 pounds) and senior Jim Tomczuk (184 pounds).
The Lions return to action on Friday for their first dual meet of the season as they go head-to-head with No. 30 New York University at Packer Hall. The matchup has a 7 p.m. start.