By Trey Wright
Coming off of its first win of 2021 over Northern Illinois, the Rider Wrestling team was eager to turn some heads in the Keystone Classic on Nov. 21 and did so by tying with Drexel for 4th overall in the tournament with 99 points.
Nine Broncs were able to reach the podium in their respective weight classes, with redshirt senior George Walton winning his second straight 184 pound title at the classic.
Walton began with a decision over Penn’s Ethan Hernandez, then routing Appalachian State’s Barrett Blakely in the quarterfinals and Drexel’s Bryan McLaughlin in the semifinals. Walton secured the 184 title in a four-minute tech fall over Neil Antrassian of Penn.
Head Coach John Hagney said, “He needed today, he needed to get into the fight more. We had a heart-to-heart talk and he responded.”
“He figured out how to spike his intensity … If he can go that hard for seven minutes, he’ll beat a lot of good kids,” said Hagney.
Redshirt junior Richie Koehler and freshman David Szuba each finished in third place in their respective weight classes, while fellow redshirt junior Jake Silverstein placed sixth at 165. All three made the semifinals in their weight classes and each was bested when they got there.
Sophomore Tyler Klinsky, coming off of a dominating, momentum-setting bout in the previous home match against Northern Illinois, earned a fourth-place finish at 125.
Junior Michael Wilson finished sixth at 165. Junior Bryan Miraglia, sophomore Shane Reitsma and graduate student Matt Correnti all finished eighth in their classes.
“Our team needs matches today,” said Hagney, “We had some good performances, especially from George Walton.”
“ Klinsky, Szuba and Richie also wrestled well but we all have things to improve on,” said Hagney.
Starters Quinn Kinner and Joe Casey were held out of the tournament with minor injuries, per NJ.com.
“We needed today bad, we have a very young team,” said Hagney. “Coming out of here, everybody learned something.”
The Broncs begin a three-meet road trip starting with a dual meet at Central Michigan on Dec. 3 giving a banged-up Rider team some breathing room.