The Elizabethtown College men’s wrestling team competed in the Ursinus Fall Brawl this past Saturday, Nov. 12. Senior Luke Fernandez, ranked seventh in the country in the 197-pound weight class, dominated his competition on the way to his second career tournament victory.
Fernandez began his run to a title by blanking The College of New Jersey’s Alex Mirabella, 12-0 for a major decision. From there, Fernandez seemed to get stronger, cruising to the finals. He defeated Muhlenberg College’s Scott Schaefer and Delaware Valley College’s Chris Yocum in back-to-back matches by technical falls.
The senior finished runner-up at the Messiah Invitational last weekend. On Saturday, Fernandez disposed of his opponent, Camden Country College’s Dymere Rappa, in the final, 5-0. Fernandez is 7-1 to start this season and has earned his top-10 ranking by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) and D3wrestle.com.
At the Messiah Invitational, the Blue Jays had four place winners. On Saturday, Nov. 5, Etown once again had four wrestlers place. Senior Bryan Pflanz worked his way into the 133-pound final against Naval Academy Prep’s Cody Trybus before dropping the title match, 9-2. To earn his spot in the final, Pflanz defeated Delaware Valley’s Brenden Velez and pinned Camden County’s Joe Talarowski.
Junior Phillip Torresani opened his tournament run with a 20-5 technical fall victory over McDaniel College’s Nicholas Malinowski before pinning Gettysburg College’s Lenny Ogozalek in the second round. In his semifinal match at 125-pounds, Torresani fell to Delaware Valley’s Kordell Rush. Torresani would eventually place fourth in his weight class.
Junior Eric Eckstein also placed fourth at the tournament, his new career-best finish. He won five of his seven matches on Saturday to earn fourth. First-year Colton Rex went 2-2 at 133-pounds, earning one pin. Junior Quinn Ruble earned three straight pins in the 174-pound consolation bracket.
First-year Max Rhoden earned his first career victory with a 12-4 major decision at heavyweight. Rhoden was tasked with facing the defending national champion, Delaware Valley’s Zach Roseberry, in the second round and suffered a defeat. However, Rhoden fought back to the consolation quarterfinals with three more wins in wrestle backs.
Etown competed in its first dual match of the season last night when they hosted 10th-ranked York College.
The Blue Jays will compete in the Lycoming College Quad this weekend. Etown will face Lycoming College, Penn College and Washington & Jefferson College Sunday, Nov. 20.