Lions drop three meets as Denver shines

The College’s wrestlers dropped three straight dual meets this week, excelling in the 157-pound and 184-pound weight classes but ultimately coming up short against nationally-ranked competition.

The team dropped three meets to some tough competition. (Ashley Long / Photo Editor)

The 30th-ranked Lions (11-8) closed out their home season against No. 19 Wilkes University on Friday with a 27-10 defeat before suffering back-to-back setbacks to No. 21 Elizabethtown, 22-24, and No. 15 York College, 13-30, on Saturday afternoon.

Despite the losses, a few Lions had bright weeks. Freshman Michael Larcamp (285) picked up his first collegiate pin against York College.

“I was real excited (Larcamp) got a win, especially a pin,” head coach Joe Galante said. “I think if he stays committed to the program (he’ll do well).”

Senior Mike Denver (184) remains ranked as the No. 1 wrestler in Division III’s 184-pound weight class after methodically working his way to three wins last week — two by major decision and one pin-down — to extend his winning streak to 28.

A matchup with the No. 2 wrestler in the 184-pound weight class, York College’s Alex Martocello, was avoided when Martocello wrestled in the 197-pound weight class against the Lions. Martocello’s only blemish on the season has been a pin-down defeat to Denver in December.

Junior John Darling (157) won all three of his bouts by decision, including an absurd last-gasp win that threw the Lions a lifeline against Wilkes. After going behind 5-6 in the third period, Darling clawed his way out of a bad position and earned a takedown in the dying seconds of regulation to win, 7-6.

Senior Brian Bollette (141) had his own last-minute heroics with a late win against Wilkes, and later won his bout against Elizabethtown by major decision. P.J. Schmidt (133) also picked up points for the Lions with a win by decision against Elizabethtown.

The Lions next hope to tackle No. 22 Centenary College on Friday in their last dual meet of the Spring season.

“It’d be nice to close out the dual meet season with a win and get ready for conference tournaments,” Galante said. “We’re still in the middle of the season. We’ve still got things to accomplish.”