Elizabethtown College’s wrestling team opened up its season on Nov. 3 when they headed to Messiah College for the Messiah Invitational.
Senior Kyle McNulty had the most success for the Blue Jays, advancing all the way to the 125-pound championship match, eventually losing to Messiah’s Lucas Malmberg in the final.
To reach the championship bout, McNulty defeated a pair of wrestlers from Heidelberg University in his initial two matches to reach the final. In the quarterfinals, McNulty defeated Joe Brodman 13-8 and then in the semifinals defeated Matt Price by pinning him at 4:07 to advance.
McNulty was not the only Blue Jay to have success in the 125-pound group. Sophomores Tim Miranda and John Archangelo were both able to reach the consolation semifinals in the bracket. While the two teammates both reached the same distance, they got there in different fashions.
Miranda won the competition’s first round match over Wheaton College’s Tom Foy. The sophomore won by a close margin, 7-5, and later won two additional matches during the wrestle back portion of the invitational.
Archanagelo fell to Heidelberg’s Derek Thomas only 1:32 into his first match. He then bounced back in a later match, pinning Miranda’s first opponent, Foy, 4:21 into the wrestle back. Archanagelo later won a 14-5 major decision over fellow Blue Jay, first-year Aston White, in the consolation quarterfinals.
In the 141-pound category, first-year Brandon Virgilio won both of his matches by pin. He first defeated McDaniel College’s Liam St. John in 5:23 of their second round match. The first-year later fell in the quarterfinals to the eventual weight class winner, Messiah’s Kaleb Loht. After the defeat, Virgilio bounced back to pin Wheaton’s Gage Burt in 5:51 in the third round of wrestle backs.
Along with Virgilio, sophomore Mike Lammer wrestled well in the 141-pound weight class. He was able to pin Messiah’s Jacob Younger to reach the consolation quarterfinals of the Invitational.
Also wrestling in his first college tournament was first-year Luke Fernandez, at 174-pounds. After winning his debut match by technical fall, the first-year was defeated by Messiah’s Ben Kramer.
Fernandez bounced back in his next two matches, pinning two Ursinus College wrestlers, Gabe Gordon and Nate Marsh, in a combined 1:34. It took Fernandez just 30 seconds to take down Marsh.
The next weekend, the Blue Jays sent 12 wrestlers to the Ursinus Fall Brawl. Etown was lead by strong performances by McNulty and junior Jared Weaver. Each wrestler had an Etown-best fourth place finish at Ursinus. Weaver’s fourth place finish marked his first time placing in a tournament over the course of his career.
After losing in the first round to King College’s Ryan Longenberger, Weaver bounced back to defeat Rochester Institute of Technology’s Tim Thurnau in a 4-2 decision in his first wrestle back match.
Weaver then defeated a pair of College of New Jersey teammates, Sigala Foasm and Ricky Cordero, to set up a rematch against Longenberger in a consolation quarterfinal.
Weaver got his revenge, pinning Longenberger just 90 seconds into the bout. He then continued his dominance, beating Franklin & Marshall College’s Isiah Cromwell in the consolation semifinals, 8-3. Weaver’s five-match winning streak finally came to an end in the third-place match when Ursinus’ Matthew Roberts took Weaver down on a quick fall.
Etown will now enter its dual season when they travel to Gettysburg College on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.