With four placewinners and some impressive debut
performances from its freshman class, the 2012-13 Princeton wrestling season
got off to a solid start Sunday at the 2012 Binghamton Open.
Senior co-captain Zach Bintliff (149) joined the freshman trio of Abram Ayala (165), Judd Ziegler (165) and Scott Gibbons (184) on the podium Sunday. For Bintliff, it was a second straight year placing at this talent-heavy tournament, while his youngest teammates each made an impressive start to their Princeton careers.
"The tournament did exactly what we needed it to do," head coach Chris Ayres said. "It showed us where we need more work, where we need to improve. There were a lot of good things; I thought our conditioning was the best it's been at this tournament. Overall, it focuses us a little bit more on the areas we need greater improvement."
Bintliff, a two-time placewinner at EIWAs, opened his day
with a 10-1 major decision and a 16-1 technical fall against opponents from
both Rutgers and Hofstra. Eventual finalist Mac Maldarelli knocked Bintliff out
in the quarterfinals 8-4, but Bintliff followed with two wins in the
consolation draw to earn a spot on the podium. He pinned Jordan Rich of Lock Haven
in 4:29 to earn fifth in the tournament.
Both Ayala and Ziegler made Princeton's deepest runs in the
main draw, winning three matches apiece in their collegiate debuts before
falling in the semifinals.
Ayala opened with an 8-2 win over Army's Kenneth Skillman,
and followed with an 8-4 win over Aaron McKinney of Lock Haven. A 5-3 win over
Binghamton's Adam Lepkowsky assured Ayala a spot on the podium, though he was
forced to go through consolations after a 4-0 loss in the semifinal. He would
share fifth place with Ziegler, his classmate.
Ziegler opened his collegiate career with a 7-2 win over
Hofstra's Dan Spurgeon, and he followed with a 9-1 major decision over Eric
Deslauriers of Boston University. He moved into the semifinals with a 7-4
decision over Jack Mckeever (Binghamton), and he nearly topped eventual
165-pound champion Ramon Santiago before suffering a 6-5 loss. Ziegler lost by
one point in the consolation semifinal as well, and ended the day sharing fifth
Gibbons had to take the long route to the podium, but he did
so nonetheless. After a tough 4-3 loss to open his main draw, Gibbons caught
fire in the consolation draw. After an 11-0 major and a first-period pin,
Gibbons scored a 3-2 win over Binghamton's Cody Reed and a 7-3 victory over
Lehigh's Brandon Griffin to reach the podium.
He finally fell 3-2 to Rider's Clint Morrison, and he
ultimately finished sixth after a 4-3 loss to Harvard's Cameron Croy, a
placewinner at last year's EIWA championships. Throughout his day, he went 5-3,
and each of his three losses came by one point apiece.
Sophomore Ryan Cash, who earned varsity experience last
season while replacing the injured Garrett Frey, won a pair of matches in the
championship draw. After a 12-5 win in the opener, he scored a 14-5 major
decisions in the second round. He was defeated by eventual champion Nashon Garrett
of Cornell, but it was a strong start for Cash.
Freshman teammate Max Rogers also scored a win at 125, as he
pinned Joe Harris of Sacred Heart in the second period. Rogers would lose in
the consolation draw to Binghamton's David White, who eventually knocked Cash
out of the draw as well.
Senior Garrett Frey is a Top 20 preseason pick nationally at
133 pounds, and he opened his season with a fall over Tom Burke of Sacred Heart
in 39 seconds. He drew James Gulibon of two-time reigning NCAA champion Penn State
in the second round and lost 10-2. Gulibon went on to place third at the weight
class, and fifth-place finisher Jimmy Morris knocked Frey out of the
Classmate Andrew Hirai was very competitive in both of his
matches, but he lost two matches by two points apiece.
Freshman Nick Maselli had a strong debut at 141, winning a
pair of matches in the championship bracket. After an 8-4 victory over Penn's
Eric Devos, he scored a 7-3 win over Tyler Pendergast of the host Binghamton
squad. He would ultimately fall in two matches to a pair of placewinners, while
classmate Kevin Moylan won one consolation match during his debut performance.
Princeton sent out a trio of competitors at 157, and each
won at least one match. The only Tiger to not win in the main draw was Kyle
Roddy, but he more than made up for that in the wrestlebacks. Starting with a
tech fall in his first consolation match, Roddy went on a run of five straight
wins before falling one match short of the podium.
Both Steven Leshinger and Seth Hazleton won once in the main
draw. Leshinger scored an 8-4 win over Harvard's Joe Marino, while Hazleton
topped Joe Chamish of Binghamton 8-6. Hazleton added a pin in the consolation
draw before eventually falling to Penn State's James Vollrath, who wrestled
back to third.
Sophomore Grayson Shepperd competed at 165, but he
dropped a pair of close matches, including a 5-3 decision in the consolation
At 285, Charles Fox dropped a pair of decisions, including a
3-0 match in the wrestlebacks.
Princeton returns to competition next Sunday when it
competes in Philadelphia at the Keystone Open.