By Ryan Connelly
The nationally-ranked wrestling team defeated Pennsylvania 19-15, due in large part to a clutch win by junior Ryan Cloud. Rider was only winning 16-15 before Cloud won his match.
Cloud, a heavyweight, was the last match, securing the victory against his opponent, Patrik Garren, 10-4.
The dual meet started off with the 125-pound class. Senior J.R. Wert faced Daniel Planta and won 13-5 in major decision.
The next Bronc win was in the 141-pound weight class, senior Tyson Dippery won by decision, 9-4, against Marc Mastropietro.
The mid-weight classes contain arguably Rider’s best wrestlers, including seniors B.J. Clagon and Chad Walsh. Clagon, at 157 pounds, was in a close match, but was able to come out on top 5-2, over Joseph Velliquette. This wasn’t the first time Clagon and Velliquette met, they matched up against each other at the Keystone Classic last month. Unfortunately for Clagon, he was injured during that match and had to take an injury default, resulting in one of the two losses on his record this season.
Next up at 165 pounds was defending All-American Chad Walsh. Walsh also won by decision against May Bethea, 6-2.
Walsh was awarded EWL Wrestler of the Week for his win against Bethea and for breaking Rider’s pin record, as mentioned in last week’s issue of The Rider News.
Winning that match makes Walsh officially 8-0 on the season.
Walsh stated, “I’m just going to keep building up my accolades this season. The hard work is paying off.”
Including Clagon and Walsh, the Broncs won three matches in a row with the help of junior Dean Sherry. Sherry made it three straight when he bested Khamari Whimper at 174 pounds winning the match by decision, 12-8.
Some key losses that the Broncs suffered were when sophomore Jonathan Tropea was pinned by Giovanni Ghione 34 seconds into the match. Joe Oliva beat sophomore Gary Dinmore by decision early on in the meet to give Penn the advantage.
Head Coach John Hangey said, “Our team effort was good tonight. Any time you’re without one of your starters, it always adds pressure to the rest of the team.”
This was the second year in a row that the Broncs defeated the Quakers. This year was a much closer match than the previous. Last season, Rider beat Penn 32-10 winning seven of ten matches.
The Broncs have a long break coming up. The next match is Dec. 29 and 30 at the South Beach Duals where they’ll take on Missouri, North Dakota, Columbia, and Franklin and Marshall over a span of two days.