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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

June 23, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Sports

Strong senior class leads nationally ranked wrestling team

Every time the wrestling team takes to the mats for competition this season, there are three seniors who make opposing teams tremble.

Senior co-captains Jules Doliscar and Derek Brenon, along with senior Rick Gomez, have made quick work of many of their opponents this season, helping to carry the Bombers to a No. 13 ranking in the national polls. These three wrestlers have combined to win about 90 percent of their matches.

Most recently, Doliscar defeated opponent Anthony Marino from Oneonta in less than two minutes. Doliscar, who currently holds a record of 26–1 this season, said this is part of a strategy he has used in dual-meet matches during the regular season.

“Coach [Nichols] tells us all the time that we need to get out and attack our opponents early,” he said. “We want to show the other team and even our own guys that we’re here and we’re ready to set the tone.”

Doliscar is in the same place he started before the season began, ranked No. 2 in Division III in the 174-pound weight class. He currently sits right behind Ohio Northern University’s wrestler Kyle Kwiat.

Doliscar said he uses his 2nd-place ranking as motivation for shucking complacency and continuing to improve throughout the season.

“The good thing about being at the No. 2 ranking is that I always have someone to aim for,” he said. “It lets me know that I need to keep getting better, because I want to be the best when the season is all over.”

Gomez, who is ranked 3rd nationally at 125 pounds, has helped the Bombers get a hot start in dual meets, as he is usually the first to step on the mats for the Bombers. Gomez has wrestled to an overall record of 21–2, which includes an Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference championship at 125 pounds.

Rick Gomez said he enjoys leading off the night during dual meets, because it helps him focus earlier by not having to sit around before he competes.

“Leading off has always been nice, because I have the chance to get things going and set the tempo for how we’re going to compete that night,” he said. “It also helps knowing that no matter what the result, you can rely on your other teammates to help you bounce back if I don’t have a good match.”

In the middle of the wrestling lineup is senior co-captain Derek Brenon. Only one of two Bombers on the roster listed at 157 pounds, Brenon has also maintained a near-perfect 2012-13 record of 18–2. With 18 wins so far this season, Brenon matched his season-high set last season. He also won an ECWC championship in his weight class this season.

Last season, Brenon competed in the National Championship bouts, finishing 8th in the 157-pound weight class. He said his experience competing on the national stage has helped him become more goal oriented this season.

“Every year I’ve just wanted to get better and help our team perform well when it matters most,” Brenon said. “We’re a special group of guys, and we all want to go as far as we can individually but also as a team.”