With its regular season drawing near, the Princeton wrestling team got a solid showing from its underclassmen at the annual Central Jersey Open, held Sunday at The College of New Jersey. The Tigers won four titles, including one by reigning EIWA finalist Garrett Frey.
The full Princeton roster will make its 2010-11 debut this Sunday at the Binghamton Open, but several members of the program competed locally at the Division III wrestling powerhouse. Frey, who last year became Princeton's first EIWA finalist since 2003 and earned its first NCAA win since 2005, picked up right where he left off last season. After a first period pin of TCNJ's Steve Godine, Frey defeated Columbia's Penn Gottfried 10-4 in the championship match.
Another winning Tiger sophomore was Zach Bintliff, who was challenged mostly by his own teammates in the 141-pound weight class. After a 42-second pin of Merchant Marine underclassman Alexander Snyder, Bintliff topped fellow Princeton sophomore Luis Ramos 3-1 to reach the final. He met Princeton freshman Robert Shepherd, a former Ohio state champion, and claimed a 7-4 victory.
Princeton did have two freshmen winning their respective weight classes. At 133 pounds, three-time Maryland state champion Adam Krop began his college career with a trio of wins. He pinned TCNJ's Sean Brand in the quarterfinal, then earned a 5-1 decision over Columbia's Matt Bystol in the semifinal. Like the 141 final, two Princeton wrestlers would meet for the title, as Krop took on fellow freshman Joe DeQuinzio, who outscored his opponents 24-3 en route to the final. Krop won a low-scoring 2-0 final to take the weight class.
At 174 pounds, freshman Ryan Callahan did the same thing he did all of last season — win matches in the state. The 2010 undefeated New Jersey state champion topped Gloucester County College's Colin Walsh 19-3 in the semifinal, and then shut out Benjamin Villaret of St. Benedict's 5-0 in the final.
Freshman Brandon Rolnick won three matches to reach the final at 149 pounds, including an 11-0 shutout of Columbia's Thomas DiVantonio in the semifinal. After outscoring his first three opponents 29-6, Rolnick lost a tight 3-1 decision to TCNJ's John Darling in the final.
Princeton didn't have an underclassman at 157, 165 or 184 pounds, but Charles Fox placed third at the 197-pound weight class. After a third-period pin in his first match, he fell 5-3 to Christian Psomas (Merchant Marines) in the semifinal. Fox won his two consolation matches 23-7 to take third.
Sophomore Robert Grogan was an overtime takedown away from winning the heavyweight division. With four participants in the weight class, they each competed in a round robin. Grogan had a first-period pin and a 3-2 decision in his favor, but he dropped a 3-1 overtime decision to Gloucester County's Alexander Green.
Check back with GoPrincetonTigers.com later this week for a full season preview, including a video with coach and player interviews.