Junior Ryan Callahan will take on fourth-seeded Ian Korb of Penn Saturday for an automatic berth in the NCAA Championships. Callahan recorded his second win over a seeded opponent Friday night and will be one of three placewinners for Princeton at the 109th EIWA Championships.
While senior Zach Bintliff and freshman Scott Gibbons will both earn a spot on the podium, both lost their final match of the evening and will fall short of the automatic bids at their weight class. Freshmen Max Rogers and Judd Ziegler, as well as junior Dan Santoro, both lost their first matches of the evening session and were eliminated from the tournament.
The story for Princeton is Callahan, who won seven of his final 10 matches of the regular season and carried that momentum into the EIWA Championships. After his morning upset of third-seeded Greg Zannetti of Rutgers, Callahan dropped a one-point match in the quarterfinals. He didn't allow that loss to affect his focus in the second session, which began with a first-period pin of Sacred Heart's Sam Sheppard.
That set up a rematch with seventh-seeded Cameron Croy of Harvard; Callahan defeated Croy 7-3 during the regular season, which had been Callahan's biggest win of the season prior to the Zannetti match. Callahan proved that win wasn't a fluke, as he defeated Croy 5-3 in his final match Friday.
That sets up a showdown with Korb in the consolation round; while it won't be Callahan's final match of the day, it will be the most important one. The NCAA is taking four wrestlers at the 174-pound weight class, and the winner of the Callahan-Korb match will go to the third/fourth-place final. Both competitors in that match will advance to NCAAs, while the fifth-place winner will not.
Callahan dropped a 10-4 decision to Korb during the final weekend of the regular season, but he had also been beaten by Zannetti during the regular season as well.
Both Bintliff and Gibbons will wrestle for seventh place. Bintliff scored a 3-0 decision over Brown's Zachary Tanenbaum to open the evening session, but he fell 3-1 to Rutgers' Ken Theobold in the next round. Gibbons pinned Paul Alessandrini of F&M, but he lost 4-1 to Brown's Ophir Bernstein in the next round. Gibbons and Bernstein have wrestled four times this season, and they split against each other.
In the first round of matches Friday night, Rogers lost 12-3 to Columbia's Penn Gottfried, while Ziegler was pinned by second-seeded Corey Lear of Bucknell. Santoro lost an 8-0 decision to Dan Seidenberg of Rutgers.