The Princeton wrestling team sent several of its younger competitors to East Stroudsburg Sunday to compete in the one-day ESU Open, and that group gained experience head coach Chris Ayres believes will serve it well moving forward.
Freshman Ray O'Donnell, a Top 50 recruit last season after winning a Pennsylvania state championship, topped the roster with a fourth-place finish at 197 pounds, while sophomores Nick Maselli (149) and Judd Ziegler (165) joined freshman Troy Murtha (184) as sixth-place finishers.
"This was a good day overall for our program, but it would have been nice to get a few more wins at the end," Ayres said. "You always try to build from a day like today, and I think we learned some things that will make us better. But we wrestled hard and represented Princeton well."
O'Donnell reached the semifinal at 197 after a wild 12-10 overtime win in the quarterfinal round, while the remaining trio had a bit more work to do in wrestlebacks. Classmate Murtha ran off four straight wins in the consolation round to reach the fifth-place match, while Maselli won three straight and added a pair of injury defaults.
Ziegler, who started at 165 last season and represented Princeton at the EIWA Championships, won twice in the championship bracket and added another win in consolations to assure a spot on the podium.
Princeton will return to the mats next weekend when it heads to Annapolis, Md., for the Navy Invitational. Ayres is hoping to have close to a full squad at the event, topping the number of wrestlers he had for the Binghamton Open last weekend.