With 265 entries, the King’s College Monarch Invitational was a large tournament for one day. It was perhaps too large considering that wrestling took place on just five mats. A late start contributed as well to a long day, with the final matches wrapping up just after midnight. York College took the team title with 117 points, edging out Wilkes and Oneonta with 105.5 and 104 respectively. Team efforts won the day this weekend, as York, Wilkes, and Oneonta each had but two finalists. John Niedrich triumphed over Gettysburg’s Andrew Goldstein at 157 for York, while All-American Kyle Flickinger fell to Centenary’s Ricky Redd at 125. “We were very pleased with the effort and improvement from our match with McDaniel,” said York head coach Tom Kessler in reference to their season opening victory on Thursday. “Our 174 Arze, 184 freshman Criss, and 197 Conklin did a nice job at the Monarch Tournament. We are young with only two seniors in the lineup, but obviously Seniors Neidrich (157) and Panizzi (285) are very tough. Flickinger will bounce back from his loss in the finals, and we hope to continue on a positive note, as many freshman got their first college wins.”
Niedrich used excellent scrambling ability to score at the end of the first period while defending a head outside attack from Goldstein, and he made that takedown stand up in a 3-1 win. York’s other finalist, Kyle Flickinger, fell to Centenary’s Ricky Redd, who had defeated 2006 All-American Felipe Queiroz of Wilkes in the semifinals before taking down Flickinger 3-2 in the final. York also got top four finishes from Brian Alwine (3rd @ 165), Randy Criss (4th @ 184), Hank Conklin (4th @ 197), and Luke Panizzi (3rd @ 285).
The other finals saw 2007 National Champion Dave Morgan win for the home crowd with a solid 7-4 win over national qualifier Gummerson of Centenary at 133. National qualifier Billy Hall of Muhlenberg moved up from 133 last year to win the championship at 141 over James Bloom of Ursinus. Rob Kein, also a Muhlenberg national qualifier, defeated Messiah’s Craig Gin 6-4. Gin’s teammate Trent Zempel rolled to the title at 165, decisioning Frank Heffernan of Wilkes. Josh Wake of Oneonta defeated the other finalist from the host Monarchs, Bob Barrese, at 174. Matt Horn of Muhlenberg made it three champs for the Mules when he pinned Ben Ostner of Centenary in the 184 final. The US Military Academy brought a small squad and got a champ at 197 as Garret Hunter stopped Colin Nagy of Wilkes at 5:40. Finally, #2 ranked Trevor Hiffa of Oneonta cruised to the title 14-8 over Joe Tartar, Muhlenberg’s 4th finalist.