GRANTHAM, Pa. -- Jake Bucha won the 133-pound bracket at the Messiah Open on Saturday. He was one of four Franklin & Marshall placewinners at the tournament. Matt Fullowan took second place at 174-pounds, while Anthony Bongarzone placed third at 165. Heavyweight Dan Canfield finished in fifth place. Through four tournaments this season, Franklin & Marshall has produced a dozen placewinners.
Bucha used a pair of major decisions, a medical forfeit and a pin to win the draw. He defeated American University’s Jake Henson 14-3 in the finals. He toppled AU’s Glenn Donatelli 9-0in the second round before pinning Wartburg’s Josh Klimko in the quarterfinals. He advanced into the finals via medical forfeit. The senior moved to 22-3 on the season and 69-22 in his career, bumping him up to 10th in career victories at F&M.
In winning the Messiah Open, Bucha captured his second tournament this season. He won the 133-pound bracket in November’s Navy Classic. It is the fourth time in as many tournaments this season that Bucha has been a placewinner. The senior has now placed in seven tournaments in his career.
Fullowan (16-11) earned his third silver medal of the season and placed for the fourth time in his career. Maryland’s Alex Pagnotta handed him a 5-2 setback in the finals. Fullowan worked his way into the finals with a pair of major decisions and a 2-0 semifinal win over The College of New Jersey’s Mike Kiley. His majors included a 9-1 win over Delaware Valley’s Juan Vega and an 11-1 win over Wilkes’ Michael Bowersox.
Bongarzone (9-13) topped Liberty’s Jon Perkins in the second round before bumping the top seed, Kevin Hartnett (Bloomsburg) from the main draw with a 10-6 decision. The junior’s run towards the final was halted by Drexel’s Alex Rinaldi who managed a 4-2 decision. Bongarzone pinned Drexel’s Nick Grinnups in the first period to complete a 4-1 afternoon. After a tough start to the season, Bongarzone has gone 8-2 over his last ten bouts. He picked up his 40th career win during today’s tournament.
Canfield (8-13) was bounced from the main draw in the opening round by a 3-1 loss to Wilkes’ Michael Shannon, but picked up four wins to work his way into the consolation semis where he fell to the fourth seed, Delaware Valley’s Zeke Pyle. Canfield topped the third seed, Maryland’s Owen Duffy 5-2, in the fifth-place bout.
For Bongarzone and Canfield, it is the second time they have placed in their careers. Bongarzone placed sixth at the 2007 Navy Classic while Canfield placed sixth at the 2009 Navy Classic.
The Diplomats return to action next Saturday with an EIWA dual meet at Columbia. F&M will also face Rider at Columbia.