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Wrestling men do it again

by Shelby Toth
Tue, Feb 13th 2018 09:00 pm
With regionals right around the corner, the men will be in training mode to stay in the best shape they can.  The competition is in two weeks on February 24, in Ithaca. Last year, the lone regional winner was senior Jonathan Haas, with junior Triston Engle taking  second place.
With regionals right around the corner, the men will be in training mode to stay in the best shape they can. The competition is in two weeks on February 24, in Ithaca. Last year, the lone regional winner was senior Jonathan Haas, with junior Triston Engle taking second place.

The men of the College at Brockport wrestling team faced tough competition on Sunday, Feb. 11, during the Wesleyan College Duals. While the Golden Eagles were able to best two of the teams in attendance, they lost to the host school, Wesleyan.

Senior Jonathan Haas continued to dominate any and all competition in his path, winning all three matches of the day and setting his record for fastest pin of the season with a 0:15 second fall over Norwich’s Cole Nickerson. This moves Haas to finish his regular season with a record of 31-1, the only tarnish on his otherwise spotless record from a 4-3 decision loss against a wrestler from Southern Maine. 

Junior Triston Engle also outshined everyone in his weight class, wrestling another undefeated day. Engle pinned his first two opponents before winning his third match by a 3-2 decision.

Other highlights from the duals included junior Jackson Bell earning the only other undefeated streak for the competition. Senior Dylan Stowell, freshman Zach Barker, sophomore Corey Farrell and freshman Thaddus Jeffries all earned two wins during the tournament, and freshman Zack Brown, freshman Tim Collins and junior Austin Dean all earned one win each.

The Golden Eagles are now in preparation mode for the NCAA Regional competition in Ithaca. Last season, the 2016-17 season, the team earned fifth at regionals, with two wrestlers qualifying for the NCAA National competition: Engle and Haas.

With the season both the wrestlers had, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we see them moving on to the national level of competition again. This is especially true for Haas, as he’s managed to maintain a first place national ranking on InterMat for a majority of the season. 

As of February 6, though, his ranking fell to third, just underneath Peter Del Gallo, the Southern Maine sophomore to hand Haas his lone defeat. Currently ranked first is Central College senior C.J. Pestano. While Pestano and Haas have not faced off this season, Haas bested Pestano at Nationals last year. 

Despite the drop in ranking, Haas is still one of the top wrestlers in the nation for Division III. He doesn’t let that rise to his head, though.

“Being ranked doesn’t mean anything,” Haas said. “The country is full of good wrestlers who train hard, so I can’t get caught up in my rankings or my wins and losses. I just keep focus on getting better every day.”

This kind of attitude is important for senior members of a team to have, as it establishes men like Haas as leaders. Junior Jackson Bell spoke about this aspect of the team.

“We have a couple of good leaders… who set great mental and confident attitudes for the rest of the team,” Bell said.

Last year at nationals, the team placed eighth. This is the highest it has placed since 2005, after an unusual dry spell for coach Donald Murray. With multiple wrestlers ranking in the top ten of their weight classes (Haas, Engle and senior Sean Peacock), hopefully the team can work back up to placing in the top five.

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