The No. 5 ranked Ithaca College wrestling team competed in its home opener on Dec. 9 when they hosted Oswego State and Jamestown Community College for the Ithaca Tri-Meet in Ben Light Gymnasium.
First for the Bombers was Oswego State, who was coming off an eighth place finish out of eleven teams at the RIT invitational on Dec. 2. The Bombers had also last competed on Dec 2., finishing second of seventeen teams at the Spartan Invitational. The Lakers did not have a good showing as they fell to the Bombers by a final score of 45–4.
Oswego was only able to win one bout, in the 174 weight division Bombers’ freshman Alec Corrao went against Oswego State’s junior Troy Seymour. Seymour won by major decision 14–2. Notable finishes for the Blue and Gold included a 4–0 victory by junior heavyweight Jake O’Brien and sophomore Sammy Schneider who won his bout in the 157 weight division by technical fall 24–9.
Schneider was ranked No. 2 in the country by National Wrestling Coaches Association’s individual rankings at 157 and ranked No. 1 in the 149 weight division in the beginning of the season.
“I️ don’t like wrestling 157 and I will be at 149 for the majority of the remainder of the season,” Schneider said. “I️ don’t really care what I’m ranked right now. I️ know I️ am the best wrestler in the country and those rankings won’t mean anything when we all square up at nationals.”
After the first results came in, head coach Marty Nichols, ‘90, put the win in perspective.
“Oswego was missing a couple of their better guys, but you beat the guys that show up,” Nichols, now in his 21st season at the helm, said. “We just focus on our game plan, our fundamentals, just keep working on those things during the match.”
The game plan was certainly not an issue for the Blue and Gold as they made short work of their next opponent. Jamestown Community College came in with a 1–3 record and only sent two wrestlers up against the Bombers. This resulted in seven forfeits and a 52–6 victory for the South Hill squad. In the 125 weight division, the match lasted two periods. Junior Ferdinand Mase, who was an impressive 9–2 coming in, defeated Jayhawk freshman Caleb Wiggins by a score of 17–1. In the 149 weight division, senior Chris Wymer dominated with a 15–0 shutout over Jayhawk freshman Michael Zito.
With the winter break coming soon, Nichols is aware of the impact on his squad.
“You’ve got to make sure you’re getting your lifts in, getting your conditioning in, keeping your weight relatively close over the break,” Nichols said. “It’s just about staying sharp and staying in pretty good shape, making sure you’re getting a couple of workouts while we’re gone.”
The Bombers will return to the mats for the NWCA National Duals at 9 a.m. on Jan. 4 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.