Freshman throws down third-place finish at Keystone Classic

Junior Michael Fagg-Daves placed fourth at the Keystone Classic
Junior Michael Fagg-Daves placed fourth at the Keystone Classic

By Carlos Toro

The wrestling team competed at the 22nd Keystone Classic on Nov. 20, with a couple of Bronc wrestlers having top 3 finishes in the prestigious tournament.

The Broncs participated in a stacked field in this year’s tournament, with teams such as No. 2 Penn State competing.

Freshman Evan Fidelibus and junior Chad Walsh each finished third in the 141 and 165-pound weight classes, respectively. It was another strong performance for Walsh, who opened the season winning the Southeast Open at Virginia Tech at 165 pounds.

The Broncs competed without the services of junior B.J. Clagon and senior Ryan Wolfe, who were injured and could not participate in the tournament. Despite the injuries to key wrestlers, Rider finished sixth in the tournament hosted by Penn.

Associate Head Coach John Hangey said the team’s finish was a solid one, considering the high level of competition that was present throughout the tournament.

“We had a slow start in the first round of a very tough tournament,” Hangey said. “There were teams,  such as Penn State, that really tested us early. After that start, we had a couple of guys come out with big days and, overall, we wrestled hard.”

In the third place match, Fidelibus pinned Robert Lee of Pittsburgh in 2:58. Earlier in the tournament, he also picked up wins against Penn State’s Dom Giannangeli by a score of 7-5 in overtime. He pinned Northwestern’s Alec McKenna in 1:34, defeated Harvard’s A.J. Jaffe, 13-5, pinned Virginia Military Institute’s Steve Midkiff in 30 seconds and defeated Drexel’s David Pearce, 9-4. It was the second straight top-5 finish in a tournament. Fidelibus placed fifth in the Journeymen Collegiate Classic’s 141-pound Pool B on November 13.

Hangey recognized Fidelibus’ performance early in his college career and said he is going to be an important member of the Broncs moving forward.

“Fidelibus had a good performance,” Hangey said. “He lost against the number one seeded wrestler in the field, which is a very tough draw out the gate. After that, he wrestled very well throughout the rest of the day. He’s one of the guys that will be key to our success this year.”

Walsh received a forfeit from Drexel’s Austin Rose to claim third place in his weight class. Earlier in the tournament, Walsh won over Franklin & Marshall’s Rob King, Penn State’s Joseph Velliquette and Harvard’s Peter Bearse.

Junior Michael Fagg-Daves finished fourth at 184 pounds, while redshirt junior Wayne Stinson took fifth in the 174-pound division. Stinson won his final match to place fifth because of a forfeit from Northwestern’s Johnny Sebastian. Earlier in the day, Stinson defeated Drexel’s Owen Brooks, 7-2, with riding time and Franklin & Marshall’s James Stillerman, 16-6.

Fagg-Daves battled Drexel’s Alex DeCiantis into overtime in the third-place match before falling, 5-3. He also defeated Franklin & Marshall’s Anthony Mancini, 3-2, pinned Appalachian State’s David Peters-Logue in 2:15 and defeated Sacred Heart’s Elliot Antler, 4-3.

In the 149-pound divsion, sophomore Gino Fluri and junior Jesse Rodgers won two bouts each. Fluri beat Franklin & Marshall’s Sam Butler by a score of 3-1 and then defeated Sacred Heart’s Alex Harnsberger, 11-6. Rodgers got a 8-2 victory over Appalachian State’s Miller Clark and battled to a 4-3 win in overtime over Pittsburgh’s Alex Murray.

Also at the Keystone Classic, sophomore Anthony Cefolo had a win at 133 pounds. Cefolo defeated Eastern Michigan’s Sa’Derian Perry, 6-5.

Redshirt junior Mauro Correnti also had a win at 285 pounds. Correnti defeated Sacred Heart’s John Hartnett 10-2.    

Rider will compete against Lock Haven on Dec. 3 in the first dual meet and conference meet of the season. Rider defeated Lock Haven last year 27-6 for the Broncs’ first conference win last season. The Broncs are the current EWL conference champions. Rider’s first home dual-meet will be against Penn on Dec. 10.

Hangey said the team’s chances of winning the EWL again depends on how the younger wrestlers perform throughout the season and a win against Lock Haven is key to the Broncs’ season as a win will help the team “get the ball rolling on early.”

The next time Rider competes in a non-dual meet will be on Dec. 29-30 at the Midlands Championships.

“We have a lot of good, young wrestlers this year,” Hangey said. “Once some of our big guns start to get in a rhythm, we’ll be looking at the young wrestlers to keep improving and they will be a much different group come February. I think we absolutely have a shot at winning the EWL this year. Hopefully, we stay healthy and we bring several guys to NCAAs and even get some guys in the podium.”

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