Eph grapplers open season at invitationals

On Friday, wrestling traveled to Iowa to compete in the Simpson Invitation. The men defeated host Simpson and lost to Wartburg in two head-to-head matches en route to a sixth-place finish in the invitational. Grand View won the tournament handily with 223.5 points, besting Wartburg and Coe, who tallied 158.5 and 142.5 points, respectively. Before Thanksgiving break, on Nov. 17, the men came out with a strong performance in the Doug Parker Invitational at Springfield. Coming in 10th out of 16 teams with 48.5 points, Williams finished behind first-place Centenary, who topped the scoreboard with 166 points, as well as second-place Roger Williams and third-place Springfield.

In their opening match against Simpson last weekend, the men prevailed 30-12. Rookie Anthony Brooks ’16 led the way for the Ephs, winning his match 5-3 against his Simpson opponent. Captain Ces Antista ’13 hit the mats next, winning his match in a tiebreak over Jeff Sand at 141 lbs. Tim Garripoli ’16 also notched a tiebreak win for the Ephs, downing his opponent 3-1 after an eight-minute 1-1 tie.

The Wartburg match was less successful, however. Antista, ranked No. 4 in his weight class, fell to No. 6 Thomas Mirocha. The men suffered defeats across all classes, but Tom Foote ’13 fought the closest contest, eventually losing 11-7 in the heavyweight category.

Before Thanksgiving on Nov. 17, the Ephs traveled to Springfield, finishing sixth in the Doug Parker Invitational. Entering the tournament, the Ephs encountered several challenges. Compared with the fact that the invitational was Springfield’s third tournament of the season, this was only the first time Williams had taken the mats this season. In addition, Antista did not compete in the tournament because of a prior injury. Foote, who finished second in New England in the heavyweight class in 2012, was also unable to participate, having just completed his football season.

The rookies fared particularly well. Jorge Lopez ’16 finished in second place at 149 lbs., and Garripoli posted a sixth-place effort at 157 lbs.

Despite these hurdles, the Ephs still pulled out impressive performances. “I was super excited to see how well our student athletes competed in their first event under the new coaching staff,” Interim Head Coach Scott Honecker said. “All of our guys fought and fought hard every second of every match.”

The men will again hit the mats on Dec. 8 in their final meet before winter break, when they travel to Johnson & Wales to take on JWU, WPI and Oneota at noon.