For the third consecutive year, The College of New Jersey brought home the title at the Ithaca Invitational. Paced by three champs and six total finalists, the Lions outpaced second place Ithaca by 30 points to win first place. Ray Sarinelli (133), Tyler Branham (149), and Shawn VanWingerden (197) each placed first, with Sarinelli winning a loaded weight class to also achieve Outstanding Wrestler honors. 2007 NCAA qualifiers Anthony Gummerson (Centenary), Justin Seifreid (Ithaca), Stephen Valastro (USM), and Sarinelli were all in the 133 pound bracket, and Sarinelli came out on top.
Tyler Branham also won a tough weight class featuring the 7th, 8th, and 9th ranked wrestlers at 149. #9 Matt Shank (Gettysburg) stopped #8 Steve Hult (NYU) in the semifinals before falling in sudden victory to 2007 All-American Branham. “Sarinelli did an excellent job, and Branham handled the jump in weight pretty well,” commented Head Coach Dave Icenhower, adding, “We hope to use this as a starting block.”
Also winning for TCNJ was Shawn VanWingerden. “I was pleased that VanWingerden, who was 1-2 at Ithaca in ’06, had such improvement,” said Icenhower. “I was pleased with the overall performance of the team. We seem to have a pretty good balance, and freshmen (John) Barnett and (Kyle) Kinchen did a good job in their first college competition.”
In the other weights, at 125 RIT’s #8 Mike McInally dominated the field at 125, winning handily over #9 Anthony Nicolicchia (RWU) 5-0. Top seed Willie Horwath (Ithaca) cruised to the finals at 141 where he stopped Joey Widrick (Cortland) 6-3. 2007 NCAA Qualfier Andrew Goldstein (Gettysburg) outclassed the competition on his feet and was not seriously challenged at 157 until defeating Dan DeNicolo (TCNJ) 7-5. Cortland’s Zach Bogardus, who lost in the All-America round last year, defeated unseeded Al Wonesh (TCNJ) 6-1 at 165. At 174, Hunter’s Andre DeCristo stopped freshman David Priest of Ithaca who had earlier defeated 9th ranked Corey Barber (Cortland) and 8th ranked Greg Osgoody (TCNJ). 184 saw Hunter teammates Peter Madden and Joey Scott compete in the finals, with Scott taking the victory. All-American Anthony Coleman (NYU) placed 3rd. At 285, 4th ranked Jake Taylor pinned all five of his opponents with only Gettysburg freshman Bobby Christopher surviving the first period. Taylor won the Most Falls Award for the third consecutive year.