By Kim Leder
It was a bittersweet weekend for Rider’s wrestling team when it clinched a win over Franklin and Marshall prior to losing to Columbia, a match head coach Gary Taylor thought his team let slip away.
“We would have liked to have won both of them,” Taylor said. “That’s what we went there to try do. I thought the Columbia match was within our grasps but we let it get away.”
For their match against Franklin and Marshall, the Broncs won four of the contested matches and added three forfeited wins.
Junior Aaron Nestor, in the 141-pound weight class, won 13-0, while freshman Ramon Santiago, the 157-pound representative, had an 18-2 tech fall at just 4:59.
“Both of them are starting to get more consistency right now and that’s helping their performance,” said Taylor. “Ramon is starting to understand the process of getting more stingy with points and Aaron is in his third year and this is probably the most consistent year he’s put together. I was pleased with both of them.”
At the same time, sophomore Jim Resnick registered a 15-0 tech fall win in 2:49 in the 165 weight class. Another freshman, James Brundage won a 12-3 decision at 184-pounds.
The team seemed to be on fire, but it cooled down against Columbia.
Against the Lions, each team won five bouts with the 133-pound junior, Jimmy Kirchner, winning 5-4, while Nestor picked up his second win of the day with a 6-0 decision while wrestling at the 141-pound division.
“It’s always frustrating when you’re that close and you have the opportunity to win it, and you don’t,” said Taylor. “To their credit, their kids did a good job and they got the bonus points.”
Santiago also posted his second win at the 157-pound weight class with a 3-2 decision. Sophomore Zac Cibula weighed in at 149, and won 2-0, giving Rider a 12-3 lead. It wasn’t until after the 174-pound representative, Rob Morrison, won 6-5 for the Broncs. This gave Rider a stronger lead at 15-6 that the Lions crept back to win the last three bouts.
“It was a rough one, in short,” said Morrison. “This season has been a rodeo for us and this past weekend we got bucked off again. We just need to get back on the horse and find a way to finish this next month and a half on top.”
The Broncs travel to Clarion for a noon faceoff on Sunday.
“Clarion and Rider are similar teams and we’ve had close rematches the last few years,” said Taylor. “This particular year, we’ve had to make some adjustments with certain weight classes not being here so we’ve got a couple kids wrestling out of their weight class. This is not going to be as great a year as we’ve had in the past so we’re working hard to solve that problem going into next year.”