NEW YORK – The Columbia wrestling season gets under way this weekend, as the Lions travel to the Binghamton Open for the first tournament of the season.
Season two for the Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling Zach Tanelli should furnish some excitement, as the Columbia Wrestling team returns a pair of NCAA qualifiers among a deep senior class of nine wrestlers.
Senior heavyweight Garrett Ryan comes into the season ranked as high as No. 15 depending on what publication you put stock into. The Scottsdale, Arizona, native along with his classmate and fellow graduate of Wyoming Seminary, Tyrel White, both have a chance to do something special this season.
Ryan and White, who is making the bump from 165 to 174, enter the season with 72 and 73 wins, respectively. Although it will be quite a challenge for the pair to get to 100, the goal is certainly within reach, and would give the duo bragging rights within the deep Columbia wrestling history books. The two most recent All-Americans, 2013 grad Steve Santos, who is the current John Huemer Assistant Coach, finished his career at Columbia with a 91-37 record, while two-time All-American Matt Palmer ‘07CC concluded his career at 87-26.
The career-best win total for Ryan came last year, aided by a EIWA Championship in the heavyweight division, and another victory at the NCAA Championships when he went 27-9. For White, a 27-11 mark his sophomore season was his best tally, as he has joined his prep and college teammate at the NCAA Championships all three seasons thus far.
Aside from Ryan and White, Jacob Macalolooy put together his best season as a junior last year, finding his spot at the podium during the EIWA Championships in the 141-pound bracket. The Union City, California, native is also making a bump to 149 this year, providing experience in the middle of many tests during the dual season. Also in the senior class the three Tyler’s, Oberg, Ponte, & Zimmer, should compete for time at 157, while seniors Grant Fetchet (165), Andrew Psomas (174/184), and Matt Doggett (197) also provide the room with a great deal of senior leadership.
The lower weights will produce at least one first-year starter, with a great deal of talent returning.
At 125 pounds, rookies Hunter Dusold and Spencer Good both enter the room with impressive pedigrees. A local product from Long Island, Dusold became the all-time winningest wrestler in the history of Locust Valley High School with 196 victories, as he was a four-time all-state performer. Good, who hails from Michigan, was the state runner-up last year at 119 pounds, and also holds a state title at 112 pounds from his junior season.
The Lions return a starter at 133 pounds in Alec Kelly, who boasted some impressive performances during his rookie campaign of 2016-17 by posting 10 victories including four pins. A deep group of returners will battle for other spots between 133 and 149, including JP Ascolese, Christian Briody, Will Kui, Val Miele, Tom Miers.
Columbia fans will be delighted to see seven home dates on the schedule this year, including five against EIWA foes. The 2017-18 slate kicks off with the Binghamton Open (Nov. 12), followed by the Navy Classic (Nov. 18), and the return to the Cliff Keen Invitational (Dec. 1-2). Just four days after Christmas, the Lions travel to the South Beach Duals, joining Rider, Minnesota, Kent State, and North Dakota State in what should provide an exciting tournament.
The home season gets under way on Saturday, Jan. 6, when Buffalo visits the Blue Gym in Dodge Fitness Center for a 7 p.m. dual. Those interested in checking out that match, or any of the other home duals, can get in for free, while all seven home contests and various road matches can be seen on the Ivy League Network.
Columbia Lineup at Binghamton Open
125 - Spencer Good
133 - Hunter Dusold, Alec Kelly, Chris Scorese
141 - JP Ascolese, Christian Briody
149 - Will Kui, Jacob Macalolooy
157 - Tyler Zimmer
165 - Grant Fetchet, Laurence Kosoy, AJ Meyers
174 - Tyrel White
184 - Brian Bonino, Anthony Piscopo, Andrew Psomas
197 - Michael Bulkin, Matt Doggett
HWT - Daniel Herman, Garrett Ryan