Pennsylvania Wrestlers Dominate ESU Open

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Darian Cruz, Jason Nolf, and Lorenzo Thomas.

Darian Cruz, Jason Nolf, and Lorenzo Thomas.

Six of ten Champions at the 2014 East Stroudsburg Open were Pennsylvania wrestlers in a dominating day for Keystone State natives.

Final brackets can be found here.

At 125 lbs. returning NCAA All-American Darian Cruz of Lehigh won a tight (3-2) decision over true freshman Sean Russell of Edinboro in the finals. Cruz, a 2x PIAA State Champion, advanced into the finals with a (2-1) decision over Drexel’s Zack Fuentes (Norristown Area). The former PIAA State runner-up Fuentes ended up finishing in third/fourth in a no-contest match against Drexel teammate Tanner Shoap (Chambersburg Area).

At 141 lbs. Rutgers sophomore Tyson Dippery (Central Dauphin) earned fourth straight victories to advance into the semifinals where he received back-to-back forfeits to capture the Championship title. Two Pennsylvania wrestlers met in the finals at 149 lbs. as Lehigh’s returning NCAA Tournament qualifier Laike Gardner (Biglerville) downed Drexel’s Matt Cimato (LaSalle College) by a score of (5-2).  Gardner is a junior who is redshirting this season while Cimato is a sophomore who will be starting at 149 lbs. this season.

At 157 lbs. true freshman Jason Nolf of Penn State showed head coach Cael Sanderson why the future looks bright. Nolf, a 3x PIAA State Champion from Kittanning, cruised into the finals at 157 lbs. with two falls, two technical-falls, and a regular decision. In the finals Jason met fellow Keystone Wrestling native Justin Staudenmayer of Brown who had an impressive day defeating Penn State’s starting 157 lbs. wrestler Cody Law (Forest Hills) in the semifinals (6-0). The former PIAA State Medalist from Plymouth-Whitemarsh wrestler was unable to take down Nolf falling (6-2) in the finals. Also finishing in the top four was Princeton’s true freshman Francessco Fabozzi (Central Bucks East) who finished in fourth place at 157 lbs.

At 165 lbs. Penn State wrestler and 2x PIAA State Champion Garret Hammond (Chambersburg Area) continued his impressive results in his first season of starting for the Nitanny Lions. Hammond advanced into the finals with two falls, a technical-fall, a major decision, and regular decision. In the finals Hammond took on Lehigh’s true freshman Ryan Preisch (Milton Area). The 2014 PIAA State Champion had an impressive Tournament picking up two major decisions and three regular decisions to advance into the finals. Hammond was able to outlast the rookie with a (3-2) decision in the finals.

Returning All-American Lorenzo Thomas (UPenn) was able to outlast several talented wrestlers at 184 lbs. to capture the Championship. Thomas (Central Catholic) got by Drexel’s Alex DeCiantis (North Allegheny) with a (3-0) decision before defeating Penn State’s redshirt freshman Matt McCutcheon (Kiski Area) in a competitive semifinals match (4-2). McCutcheon, a PIAA State Champion who is in his first season of varsity action, rebounded to finish in third place. In the finals Thomas cruised to a (15-1) major decision to capture the Championship.

Moving up to 197 lbs. Pennsylvania featured yet another finalist as Lehigh’s John Bolich (Upper Moreland) earned two victories over fellow Pennsylvania wrestlers en route to the finals. Bolich, a senior who has split time starting for Lehigh this season at 197 lbs., downed Delaware Valley’s Aaron Karns (Berwick) score (4-1) and defeated Bucknell’s Tyler Greene (Easton Area) by major decision (9-1). In the finals Bolich was unable to get past talented UPenn sophomore Frank Mattiace falling (4-2).

Wrapping up at heavyweight Buffalo true freshman Jake Gunning (Bethlehem Liberty) earned several decisions and two medical forfeits to finish in third place.


125 lbs.:

Darian Cruz – Lehigh (Bethlehem Catholic) – Champion

Zack Fuentes – Drexel (Norristown Area) – 3rd/4th

Tanner Shoap – Drexel (Chambersburg Area) – 3rd/4th


141 lbs.:

Tyson Dippery – Rutgers (Central Dauphin) – Champion


149 lbs.:

Laike Gardner – Lehigh (Biglerville) – Champion

Matt Cimato – Drexel (LaSalle College) – Runner-up


157 lbs.:

Jason Nolf – Penn State (Kittanning) – Champion

Justin Staudenmeyer – Brown (Plymouth-Whitemarsh) – Runner-up

Francessco Fabozzi – Princeton (Central Bucks East) – Fourth Place


165 lbs.:

Garett Hammond – Penn State (Chambersburg Area) – Champion

Ryan Preisch – Lehigh (Milton Area) – Runner-up


184 lbs.:

Lorenzo Thomas – UPenn (Central Catholic) – Champion

Matt McCutcheon – Penn State (Kiski Area) – Third Place


197 lbs.:

John Bolich – Lehigh (Upper Moreland) – Runner-up


285 lbs.:

Jake Gunning – Buffalo (Bethlehem Liberty) – Third Place


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