The fifth-ranked Ithaca College wrestling team finished in eighth place at the National Wrestling Coaches’ Association National Duals on Jan. 9 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The college split a pair of matches Jan. 8 against Alma College and fourth-ranked Roger Williams University.
The Bombers, 5–2 on the season at the beginning of the matches, took advantage of an 18–0 start in their second-round bout with Alma, finishing off the Scots 24–18 to move on to the quarterfinal round.
Senior Dan Pak, juniors Jimmy Kaishian and Nick Wahba, and sophomore Bryan Israel led the way for the South Hill squad in its win against Alma.
Pak pinned Jarrett Sadler in 34 seconds in the 149-pound weight class, and Kaishian defeated Victor Sosa-Sevilla 4–0 in the 125-pound contest.
Wahba outlasted Romeo Riley 5–4 in the 141 weight division, while Israel pinned down Anthony Pizzo in 1:09 to salvage the 133-pound victory.
The Blue and Gold did not coast through the next round as easily when they took on fourth-ranked Roger Williams. The Bombers took a 15–10 lead into the final two matchups, but couldn’t close the door, as senior Zack Conner and junior Matt Booth dropped their decisions.
Conner lost to David Welch by major decision 11–3 in the 197-pound division, and Booth was beaten by Kyle Foster 3–1 in the 285 weight class.
Kaishian, Wahba and Israel were victorious once again for the Bombers in their respective weight classes, however the squad could not get over the hump, losing 17–15. The loss left the college in the Jan. 9 consolation ladder, where the team took on no. 9-ranked Cornell College.
The Bombers bounced back against ninth-ranked Cornell College with a 34–9 win to advance to the semifinals of the consolation bracket.
Kaishian kickstarted the 25-point win with a 4–2 decision over Scott Smith. The Bombers finished off the Rams with wins in four of the final five matches.
Sophomores Nick Velez and Jaison White both finished on top in the 165 and 174 weight divisions, respectively. Velez defeated Ben Hewson 13–5 and White won by forfeit.
Junior Carlos Toribio and senior Conner both won by fall in the 184 and 197 weight classes, respectively.
The theme of close losses continued in the Bombers’ final two matches, where they lost to both no. 10-ranked SUNY Cortland and no. 2-ranked Augsburg College by identical scores of 22–21.
Booth won by major decision over Tyler Lilly in a 15–2 triumph. Kaishian and Wahba won by decision and a combined score of 12–2 in the squad’s loss to Cortland.
Pak vanquished Austin Whitney by fall in 0:58, while Velez won by technical fall in a 15–0 victory over Brian Vutianitis.
Kaishian, Wahba and Pak were the bright spots in the team’s loss against Augsburg, topping their opponents by a combined score of 32–7.
Nine of the top 10 teams in the country, as well as 18 of the nation’s top 24 Division III schools, duked it out in the competition.
The Bombers are back in action Jan. 16 for the Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference Championships at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.