Thomas Takes Third at EIWAs

PRINCETON, N.J. – Lorenzo Thomas has spent most of the past two seasons lurking at number three in the pecking order of 184-pound wrestlers in the EIWA, behind defending national champion Gabe Dean of Cornell and last year’s runner-up Nate Brown of Lehigh.

On Day Two of the EIWA Championships, Thomas met up with both and split the matches en route to a third place finish and an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships.

The Quakers started Day Two with four semifinalists – but ran up against the No. 1 seed in all four bouts.

No. 4 Lorenzo Thomas once again came up just short against No. 1 Gabe Dean of Cornell in a 5-3 loss. Dean had two takedowns in the bout – one in the first period and one in the third to close out the bout. The loss is the eighth in eight career matches against Dean for Thomas – six have been by a takedown – with one more chance possibly looming at NCAAs in two weeks.

Thomas rallied after his loss in the semis with a pin of Army’s Samson Imonode in the consolation semifinals. Thomas dominated in the match, leading 8-2 when he secured the fall at 3:36.

Lehigh’s Nate Brown had been another nemesis for Thomas this season – Thomas had dropped a pair of two-point decisions within an eight-day span in January – but a third-period reversal for Thomas was enough for a win when it mattered most to secure third place with the win over the nation’s No. 3 overall 184 pounder.

For Thomas, the third place finish is his fourth placement at the EIWA Championships. In addition to this year’s third place run, he took bronze last year to go with a runner-up result in 2014 and a seventh-place finish in 2012. Thomas is the first Quaker to place all four times he entered EIWAs since Micah Burak who was second three times and champion in 2013.

No. 5 Frank Mattiace was one point short against homestanding No. 1 Brett Harner of Princeton at 197 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Mattiace escaped in the second to notch the first point. Midway through the second period, a scramble was initially awarded to be a takedown for Mattiace, but after a video challenge from the Princeton coaches was determined to be in favor of Harner. That was the difference in a 3-2 decision.

No. 5 May Bethea gave the No. 1 seed, Dylan Palacio of Cornell, everything he could handle in a 5-4 loss at 157 pounds. Bethea had the only two takedowns of the bout, but Palacio worked a reversal each time – including one with less than 20 seconds to go for the final scoring.

At 133 pounds, No. 5 seed Caleb Richardson ran into a determined No. 1 Nahshon Garrett who did what he has been doing all season en route to an 18-2 technical fall.

Richardson would bounce back with a win over No. 3 Angelo Amenta of Columbia in the consolation semifinals, 2-1 in second sudden victory. Richardson was unable to score a takedown in the match, but his efforts were rewarded with a second stalling call on Amenta in the 10th minute of wrestling for the deciding point.

In the third place match, Richardson could not get through the length of No. 6 Zach Davis of Navy in a 1-0 defeat. After a scoreless first period, Richardson chose neutral in the second and was unable to score. In the third, Davis escaped and that was the difference.

Bethea also suffered a 1-0 defeat in his medal match, falling to No. 3 seed Justin Staudenmayer of Brown. Bethea had two good opportunities to score a takedown, twice having Staudenmayer in the air off a double leg attempt, but he could not finish the attempt. In the third, Staudenmayer elected to take bottom and Bethea cut him loose – that was the decisive point.

Bethea was defeated by Army West Point’s Russell Parsons, 6-1, in the consolation semifinals. Mattiace, who was injured late in the bout with Harner, medically forfeited to sixth place.

May Bethea and Lorenzo Thomas have secured automatic bids to the 2016 NCAA Championships at Madison Square Garden March 17-19. Casey Kent and Frank Mattiace will await word on an at-large selection this coming Wednesday when the full weight class fields are announced.

125 – Jeremy Schwartz
First Round: def. #7 Nolan Hellickson (Harvard), 9-8 (TB)
Quarterfinals: lost to #2 Darian Cruz (Lehigh), FALL 2:13
Consolation Second Round: lost to #8 Steven Bulzomi (Binghamton), 4-2

133 - #5 Caleb Richardson – Fourth Place
First Round: def. Tim Johnson (Sacred Heart), FALL 4:27
Quarterfinals: def #4 David Pearce (Drexel), 4-1
Semifinals: lost to #1 Nahshon Garrett (Cornell), 18-2 (3:53)
Consolation Semifinals: def. #3 Angelo Amenta (Columbia), 2-1 (SV2)
Third Place Match: lost to #6 Zach Davis (Navy), 1-0

141 – Marc Mastropietro
First Round: def. #7 Nic Gill (Navy), 7-4
Quarterfinals: lost to #2 Todd Preston (Harvard), 13-4
Consolation Second Round: lost to Tyler Scotton (American), 12-4

157 - #5 May Bethea – Sixth Place
First Round: def. Ryan O’Connor (Drexel), 14-4
Quarterfinals: def. #4 Markus Scheidel (Columbia), 6-5
Semifinals: lost to #1 Dylan Palacio (Cornell), 5-4
Consolation Semifinals: lost to #7 Russell Parsons (Army West Point), 6-1
Fifth Place Match: lost to #3 Justin Staudenmayer (Brown), 1-0

165 - #8 Ray Bethea
First Round: def. Bobby Fehr (Hofstra), 7-2
Quarterfinals: lost to #1 Duke Pickett (Cornell), 3-0
Consolation Second Round: lost to Michael Coleman (Navy), 8-2

174 - #2 Casey Kent
First Round: def. Gordon Wolf (Lehigh), 5-1
Quarterfinals: lost to #7 Rustin Barrick (Bucknell), FALL 1:23
Consolation Second Round: lost to Josef Johnson (Harvard), 4-2 (SV)

184 - #4 Lorenzo Thomas – Third Place
First Round: def. Samson Imonode (Army West Point), 16-1 (6:15)
Quarterfinals: def. #5 Steven Schneider (Binghamton), 7-0
Semifinals: lost to #1 Gabe Dean (Cornell), 5-3
Consolation Semifinals: def Samson Imonode (Army West Point), FALL 3:36
Third Place Match: def. #2 Nate Brown (Lehigh), 2-1

197 - #5 Frank Mattiace – Sixth Place
First Round: def. Sasha Oliinyk (Sacred Heart), 6-1
Quarterfinals: def. #4 Owen Scott (Cornell), 3-2
Semifinals: lost to #1 Brett Harner (Princeton), 3-2
Consolation Semifinals: medically forfeited

285: Patrik Garren
First Round: lost to #2 Max Wessell (Lehigh), 10-2
Consolation First Round: Advances via medical forfeit
Consolation Second Round: lost to #8 Joey Goodhart (Drexel), 2-1