Wood Wins Fifth Individual Title; Mountain Hawks Fourth At EIWAs

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ITHACA, NY – Lehigh senior heavyweight Jordan Wood became the first wrestler to win five individual EIWA titles, leading the Mountain Hawks’ effort at the EIWA Championships, which wrapped up Sunday at Cornell’s Newman Arena. Wood won a 2-0 decision over Cornell’s Lewis Fernandes in the finals, improving his career record in five tournaments to 19-0.

Wood extended Lehigh’s streak of consecutive seasons with at least one individual champion to 23. He also won the Fletcher Trophy for career team points scored at the EIWA Tournament for the second straight year.

In all, Lehigh had eight place winners and qualified five wrestlers for the NCAA Championships. The Mountain Hawks finished in fourth place with 111 points. Cornell won his first title since 2017 with 153 points. Penn finished second with 143, followed by Princeton with 120.5.

“As always, they competed really hard,” Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro said. “We’re a really young team and sometimes that came out in matches where we made some little mistakes. The effort was great. We were hoping to push a few more guys through, which is tough because you don’t want to see anyone’s season come to an end.”

The only scoring in Wood’s finals bout came in the second period, when he scored a reversal with 48 seconds into the frame. He rode out the rest of the period. In the third, Fernandes took neutral but neither wrestler was able to score.

“You’re not going to find a better human being,” Santoro said of Wood. “To be the first to do that is pretty impressive. This tournament is hard to win once, and he did it five times. I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Earlier Sunday, Wood punched his finals ticket and clinched a spot at NCAAs with a 2-1 semifinal win over Penn’s Ben Goldin.

Lehigh had a trio of third place finishers, all of whom qualified for NCAAs. First-year Max Brignola bounced back from a semifinal loss to win two consolations and claim third at 149. He scored a late takedown to been Columbia’s Danny Fongaro 5-4 in the consolation semifinals and then won 5-3 over Princeton’s Marshall Keller for third place.

Junior Josh Humphreys’ bid for a third straight title at 157 was derailed by a surprising defensive fall called against him late in the first period in his semifinal against Navy’s Andrew Cerniglia. Humphreys was up 2-0 at the time of the defensive fall. He bounced back with two wins in the consolations, including a 10-0 major decision over Army’s Markus Hartman in the third place bout.

“Josh did everything right in this tournament,” Santoro said. “He pretty much dominated everybody he wrestled. He was winning that match when the call happened. You can’t control those things. Life isn’t always fair. You have to control what you can control. He put that behind him. He was devastated, obviously. He came back and beat two really good kids and did it in dominant fashion. It was good to see.”

Sophomore AJ Burkhart won three matches in the consolations Sunday to finish third at 184. In the morning he won 6-3 over Binghamton’s Cory Day and then needed a late takedown to beat Penn’s Neil Antrassian 6-5. With an NCAA bid at stake, Burkhart used a second period takedown and third period escape to edge Charles Small of Hofstra 3-2, punching his ticket to Detroit.

“AJ was lights out,” Santoro said. “He made some adjustments. He always wrestles hard but today he was really relaxed and kept his intensity. He was mentally tough and fought through it and I’m so happy for him. He needed to do it the hard way. To come back and take third, that’s not easy to do.”

Lehigh’s fifth automatic qualifier is first-year Connor McGonagle, who took fourth at 141. McGonagle won twice in the morning session, punching his NCAA ticket with a 2-0 win over Binghamton’s Ryan Anderson. He dropped his third place bout 10-5 to Wil Gil of Franklin & Marshall.

Gallery: (3-6-2022) EIWA Championships Day Two, 3/6/22

First-year Jake Logan finished fifth at 174, missing an automatic NCAA berth by one place. He dropped semifinal and consolation semifinal bouts on Sunday and earned a win by medical forfeit for fifth.

The Mountain Hawks also had a pair of sixth place finishers. First-year Sheldon Seymour opened the day for Lehigh with a technical fall at 125 but dropped his consolation semifinal match and medically forfeited in the fifth place match. Classmate JT Davis opened his day with a 2-1 tiebreaker win at 197 to reach the consolation semifinals, but finished sixth after a pair of losses.

Lehigh’s qualifiers will move on to the NCAA Championships, Mar. 17-19 in Detroit. At-large selections will be announced Tuesday, with the seeds and brackets unveiled Wednesday at 6 pm Seymour, Logan and Davis along with sophomore Brian Meyer and first-year Malyke Hines are all eligible for an at-large selection.

The 2021-22 Lehigh wrestling season is presented by the Historic Hotel Bethlehem.

125 – Sheldon Seymour – 6th place
First round: case no. 16 Nick Curley (Binghamton) 3:27
Round of 16: L by dec. No. 1Patrick Glory (Princeton) 8-2
Second round consolation: major dec. No. 9 Antonio Mininno (Drexel) 14-4
Third round consolation: dec. No. 6 Jacob Allen (Navy) 5-4
Consolation quarterfinal: tech fall no. 12 Reese Fry (Brown) 18-3, 6:21
Consolation semifinal: L by dec. No. 5 Joe Manchio (Columbia) 3-2
Fifth place match: Medical forfeit to No. 8 Beau Bayless (Harvard)

141 – no. 5 Connor McGonagle – 4th place
Round of 16: dec. No. 12 Michael Jaffe (Harvard) 11-9, sv
Quarterfinals: L by dec. No. 4 Darren Miller (Bucknell) 5-2
Third round consolation: dec. No. 10 Timothy Levine (Brown) 3-2
Consolation quarter final: major dec. No. 14 Justin Hoyle (Hofstra) 14-0
Consolation semifinal: dec. No. 3 Ryan Anderson (Binghamton) 2-0
Third place match: L by dec. No. 7 Wil Gil (F&M) 10-5

149-No. 3 Max Brignola – 3rd place
Round of 16: dec. No. 14 Drew Witham (LIU) 7-2
Quarterfinals: dec. No. 6 Luke Nietzer (Drexel) 11-7
Semifinal: L by dec. No. 2 Anthony Artalona (Penn) 7-4
Consolation semifinal: dec. No. 5 Danny Fongaro (Columbia) 5-4
Third place match: dec. No. 16 Marshall Keller (Princeton) 5-3

157-No. 1 Josh Humphreys – 3rd place
Round of 16: Fall Jack Nies (American) 2:27
Quarterfinals: Tech fall no. 9 Trevor Tarsi (Harvard) 16-0, 3:45
Semifinal: L by fall no. 4 Andrew Cerniglia (Navy) 2:52
Consolation semifinal: dec. No. 6Hunter Richard (Cornell) 7-4
Third place match: major dec. No. 5 Markus Hartman (Army) 10-0

174-No. 5 Jake Logan – 5th place
Round of 16: dec. No. 12 Ryan Ferro (LIU) 6-4
Quarterfinals: dec. No. 4 Nick Fine (Columbia) 4-2, sv
Semifinal: L by dec. No. 1 Mickey O’Malley (Drexel) 8-4
Consolation semifinal: L by dec. No. 6 Ben Pasiuk (Army) 7-5, sv
Fifth place match: W by medical forfeit No. 2 Chris Foca (Cornell)

184-No. 7 AJ Burkhart – 3rd place
Round of 16: dec. No. 10 Bryan McLaughlin (Drexel) 9-7
Quarterfinals: L by major dec. No. 2 Travis Stefanik (Princeton) 12-3
Third round consolation: dec. No. 13 James Araneo (Brown) 7-1
Consolation quarter final: dec. No. 9 Cory Day (Binghamton) 6-3
Consolation semifinal: dec. No. 5 Neil Antrassian (Penn) 6-5
Third place match: dec .No. 3 Charles Small (Hofstra) 3-2

197-No. 9 JT Davis – 6th place
Round of 16: L by dec. No. 8 Cole Urbas (Penn) 3-2
Second round consolation: case no. 16 Robert Heatherman (Sacred Heart) 2:24
Third round consolation: dec. No. 7 Trey Rogers (Hofstra) 5-5, tb1, rt
Consolation quarter final: dec. No. 12 Sam Wustefeld (Columbia) 2-1, tb1
Consolation semifinal: L by major dec. No. 4 Jacob Koser (Navy) 11-0
Fifth place match: L by dec. No. 2 Jacob Cardenas (Cornell) 4-1

285-No. 1 Jordan Wood – 1st place
Round of 16: case no. 16Jeffrey Crooks (Harvard) 1:55
Quarterfinals: major dec. No. 9 Cenzo Pelusi (F&M) 8-0
Semi final: dec. No. 4 Ben Goldin (Penn) 2-1
Final: dec. No. 2 Lewis Fernandes (Cornell) 2-0

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