On Saturday, February 14th, 2015 nationally ranked junior Randy Cruz, '16 challenges junior Sahid Kargbo from George Mason at Grace Hall in preparation for nationals. Lehigh's overall record is 13-4 . (Toni Isreal/B&W photo)

Wrestling snags fourth place in National Duals

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As one of eight programs participating in the National Duals, Lehigh wrestling had a chance to take its program to a very high level.

The team went 1-2 in its matches this past weekend in Iowa City, Iowa, finishing in fourth place overall.

The team won its first match, which was a close bout against No. 3 ranked The Ohio State University 21-18. The Mountain Hawks then lost to the No. 2 ranked Missouri University Tigers 23-9. The Hawks lost their final bout against No. 5 Cornell University 22-15 on Sunday. Junior Mason Beckman was the only Mountain Hawk to go 3-0 all weekend.

The Hawks only lost four matches to the Buckeyes overall, two in decisions, one in a pin and one in technical fall. While the Buckeyes had four wins, the Mountain Hawks accumulated six wins, five by decision and one by pin fall.

Junior Nate Brown of Lehigh gave the Mountain Hawks their pin fall win against Kenny Courts of Ohio State in just over three minutes. Beckman won his first match against Ohio State’s Johnni DiJulius 1-0.

After the upset win over the Buckeyes, the Mountain Hawks went on to lose to Missouri, its second match on Saturday. The three Hawks who won against the Tigers had back-to-back wins on Saturday. Those wrestlers were Beckman in the 133-pound weight class, sophomore Mitch Minotti in the 157-pound weight class and Brown in the 184-pound class. The three wins all came by decision.

The matches ended 9-4, 2-0 and 7-3, respectively. Beckman’s second win was against Missouri’s Zach Synon 9-4. Missouri built an advantage over the Lehigh after two major decision rulings in a row over Lehigh’s sophomore Randy Cruz and freshman Drew Longo. After this, the advantage was 11-3. These two major decisions helped cement Missouri’s lead over Lehigh.

Sunday’s bout was against Cornell, which also ended in defeat, though it was a closer match than the Hawks had against Missouri. Beckman completed his undefeated weekend with a fall by decision against Cornell’s Mark Grey, winning 6-2.

Lehigh had to forfeit the first match, but caught up with the next two weight classes. After the third match, Lehigh was tied 6-6 with Cornell. After several hard bouts and a forfeit by Cornell, Lehigh came up just short of defeating the Big Red.

Sophomore Doug Vollaro had a 2-1 weekend, winning his first match by decision and third match by forfeit, and losing his second match by decision. Other wrestlers to go 2-1 were Minotti, Brown and senior Santiago Martinez.

Senior Marshall Peppelman was one of two wrestlers who were 0-3 on the weekend for Lehigh.. In his first two matches, freshman Scott Parker lost against Ohio State and Missouri. Lehigh then forfeited his weight division against Cornell.

After this weekend, the wrestling team will look forward to the EIWA Championships, which will be held at Lehigh’s Stabler Arena from March 6-7.

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