MILLERSVILLE, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall placed three wrestlers at Millersville's Shorty Hitchcock Open on Sunday. Colin Ely finished in second place in the 197-pound bracket, while Jake Bucha and Matt Fullowan finished in fourth at 133 and 174 pounds, respectively.
Ely employed a pair of late-first period pins to work into the semifinals. He pinned Army's Aaron Mills in 2:53 in the first round before pinning Shippensburg's Keith Dahlheimer in 2:54 in the quarterfinals. A 3-1 decision of Dan Seidenberg (Rutgers-unattached) propelled Ely into the finals where Maryland's Christian Boley halted his run with an 8-0 decision.
It is the second time in as many tournaments that Ely has been on the medal stand. He took third at the Wilkes Open just prior to the New Year. The junior had not placed at a tournament during his career prior to Wilkes. The three wins push Ely's record to 13-3, establishing a new personal best for wins in a season. Ely won 11 matches as a freshman.
Bucha (18-3) jumped from 17th in career wins at Franklin & Marshall up to 12th on the strength of a 5-2 Sunday. He is now 65-22 in his career and three wins away from breaking into the top ten in wins at F&M. Bucha wrestled his way to fourth place after being bumped out of the main draw in the first round by eventual champion, John Trumbetti of Lock Haven, in a 5-4 decision. After Bucha piled up five wins to get to the consolation match, Virginia Tech's Erik Spjut eked out a 4-3 win in the second tiebreaker.
Fullowan (13-10) used back-to-back 8-0 wins over Robb Wannenburg (Virginia Tech-unattached) and Aaron Norris (Maryland-Unattached) to get into the semis. The win over Wannenburg was the 30th victory of Fullowan's career. He was bumped from the main draw in the semis by eventual champion, Greg Zanetti (Rutgers), who pulled out the 5-4 victory by a riding point.
The effort was a marked improvement for Fullowan. Zanetti had pasted a major decision on the Diplomat in the semifinals at the Wilkes Open on the way to that tournament's championship. Fullowan earned his place in the consolation finals with an 8-2 decision over Stephen McPeek (Bucknell-unattached). Millersville's Shane Smith topped him in the consolation final, 7-1.
Kenny Knapp worked to the 141-pound semifinals before withdrawing with an injury. Knapp posted a 9-2 decision over Simon Rice (Shippensburg) and a 10-8 decision of Binghamton's Nick Meinsen.
Anthony Bongarzone (5-12) went 4-2 on the afternoon, wrestling to the consolation semifinals with four decisions. Freshman Chris Barksdale (3-6) picked up his first career win and pin, decking Gloucester's Ben Sweezy in 2:08. He earned two wins in the 149-pound wrestleback. Matt Latessa (1-12) and Dan Canfield (3-11) each went 1-2 at 197 and 285-pounds, respectively. Aaron Velasquez (2-7) went 1-2 with a 26 second pin of Bucknell's Nick Gurol.
The Diplomats return to action on Saturday at the Messiah Open.