Lions take first place and All-America honors

Two wrestlers earned All-America honors as the wrestling team finished 24th at the NCAA Division III Championships March 7-8 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Junior Greg Osgoodby (174 pounds) and freshman Justin Bonitatis (165 pounds) each became first-time All-Americans by finishing in the top eight of their weight class. Osgoodby earned a seventh-place finish, while Bonitatis grabbed eighth. The pair finished the 2007-08 season with matching 36-7 records.

“At the start of the season I made it my goal to become an All-American, and to achieve that goal is amazing,” Osgoodby said.

After dropping his opening match against fifth-seeded Brandon MacWhinnie, a senior at Stevens Institute of Technology, Osgoodby rebounded by pinning Augsburg College senior George Lynaugh and winning an 11-6 decision over Ithaca College freshman David Priest.

After losing his next match, Osgoodby defeated eighth-seeded Jerome Owens, a junior at Johnson & Wales University, to claim seventh place.

“Overall I was pleased with how I wrestled, but at the same time I felt like there were some matches where I could have done better,” Osgoodby said. “From watching the tournament, it showed me that anyone can be beaten and you just have to be willing to take chances to win those matches.”

Last week, Osgoodby was honored yet again as he was named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s Scholar All-America Team.

Bonitatis opened his tournament by pulling out a 5-4 decision over fifth-seeded Shaheim Bradshaw, a four-time All-American senior from SUNY-Brockport. Bonitatis then dropped an 8-7 decision to Maranatha Baptist Bible College’s fourth-seeded junior, Benjamin Hoover.

“I lost a couple very close matches by one point, where I made a mental error and it cost me the match,” Bonitatis said. “I learned valuable things in some of my matches, most importantly never stop wrestling, no matter how big of a lead you have.”

Bonitatis responded to the loss by beating Johns Hopkins University’s freshman Patrick Stanley 10-5 before dropping his final two bouts to finish eighth.

“To be an All-American as a freshman was very rewarding to me,” Bonitatis said. “It has been something I’ve wanted to be since I was a little kid.”

“I put a lot of time and hard work into wrestling and it feels great to get something in return,” he added.

Senior co-captain Ray Sarinelli (133 pounds) made his second trip to the NCAAs, winning a first-round match before dropping a 6-2 decision to Kings College’s junior David Morgan, who finished as national champion for the second straight year.

Sarinelli finished his career at the College with a 90-28 record.

Freshman John Barnett (149 pounds) made his NCAA debut, going 0-2 at the tournament.

The team’s 24th-place finish marked the first time in NCAA’s 34-year wrestling history the College did not finish in the top 20.