The first period of the Wesleyan Wrestling team's season has come to a close with the 50th annual RIT Invitational. The Cardinals had a strong finish as a team placing 3rd of 12-teams with 6 tournament placers.
Sophomore Isaiah Bellamy led the charge with his 1st place finish of 20 competitors. Isaiah dominated with 2 pins, an 8-2 decision, followed by an injury default win in the finals. In the finals, Isaiah hit a beautiful feet to back takedown and was going for the pin of his Oswego opponent, but he was hurt in the act of the takedown. The end result was win by injury default while up 7-0. This was a solid win for Isaiah as the Oswego competitor, Dan Smith, is a Division I transfer out of Buffalo who had just placed 4th in the NY State Collegiate Tournament consisting of all the D1, D3, and NJCAA schools in the state of NY.
Wesleyan's other finalist in the tournament was senior captain, Chris Siracusa at 157. Chris went 4-1 on the day finishing 2nd in his 24 man weight class.
Carter Armendarez went 5-1 here with a 3rd place finish in his 22-man bracket.
Senior captain, Taran Carr is having an outstanding year with his 3rd consecutive placing in 3 tournaments. 174 was the toughest weight class in the tournament. The Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament was Sonnieboy Blanco of Washington & Jefferson College. Taran went 4-2 on the day for his 4th place finish of 23 competitors. Taran led the team with 3 pins in this competition. Taran's two losses came in the semi-finals to senior Shaun Gillen of Oneonta 5-2. Shaun was a win away from going to NCAA's last year, but was defeated by teammate Ryan Sblendorio for 3rd place and his birth to the NCAA Championships last year. For the 3rd place medal, Taran wrestled a tough NC State transfer in his Oswego opponent, Troy Seymour. Troy placed 6th at the NYS Collegiate Wrestling tournament. Taran lost a hard fought 7-4 decision.
At 184, Dominic Pirraglia is building on his solid freshman year with back to back placing in tournaments. Dominic went 3-2 finishing 5th in the 17-man field. Dominic was in a mad scramble with an Oswego opponent and came out on top with a pin as he has done a number of times here in the early going of the season.
The last Wesleyan competitor to place was at 141. James wrestled well and showed what he is capable of when his weight, conditioning, and mind are all in sync. James went 4-2 on the day for 5th place with two technical falls and a pin.
At 125, Zack Murillo came away with two wins.
Freshman Dylan Jones up was bumped up to 133. Dylan came firing out of the gates with a pin, then was winning 5-1 when his opponent starting clubbing and getting frustrated which led to almost a tooth being knocked out and a nice split of the lip. Wesleyan injury defaulted out. Dylan will be at 125 for the start of dual season on January 8th.
Senior captain, Keonmin Hwang had another solid tournament going 2-2. Keonmin is still working through a good ankle sprain sustained in the Springfield tournament, but all of his extra work is paying off. Keonmin is 8-5 on the young season, his best start as a Cardinal.
Wesleyan returns to action on January 8th and 9th at the Lycoming Duals.