Match of the Week: Ithaca Invitational

If they haven’t already, most teams kick off this weekend with some tournament.  the Ithaca Invitational has traditionally been one of the bigger opening weekend invitationals in Division III.  This year, 15 teams will compete on Saturday and Sunday in an event expecting 300 entries.  Ithaca, Cortland, Johnson & Wales, and Roger Williams are ranked teams in attendance, and there could be as many as 14 wrestlers in the preseason top ten along with 12 others from the Contenders list.

Returning All-Americans that may be wrestling include Jon Gregory (125) and Justin Seifried (141) of Ithaca, Paul LeBlanc (149) of Cortland, and Jerome Owens (174) and Bryan Lenhardt (184) of Johnson & Wales.  Nine other returning NCAA qualifiers could take the mat as well in the Ben Light Gymnasium.

Ithaca and Cortland, ranked #10 and #12 by the NWCA look like the teams to beat.  2007 champion TCNJ will not be in attendance this year, so the co-champs of the Empire Conference will go at it again for the top spot here.  141 and 174 look to be the most hotly contested weights.  141 has numbers 7, 9, and 10 along with a contender from the d3wrestle rankings.  Baum (RIT), Smith (Oswego), and Seifried (Ithaca) have all been to the NCAA tournament, and Widrick (Cortland) will be right on their heels.  174 features numbers 4, 7, and 10 in Owens (JWU), Priest (Ithaca), and Czarneski (RWU) along with NCAA qualifier DeCristo (Hunter).  Both Czarneski and DeCristo have already taken losses this year with DeCristo’s loss to Shuminov of NYU who could also be at this weight.

Possible Top Seeds:
125 – Gregory – Ithaca
133 – Colagiovanni – Cortland
141 – Baum – RIT
149 – LeBlanc – Cortland
157 – Horwath – Ithaca
165 – Morin – Southern Maine
174 – Owens – JWU
184 – Lenhardt – JWU
197 – Woods – Roger Williams
285 – Christopher – Gettysburg or Weinrich – RWU