With a young lineup in 2014-15, Franklin & Marshall's wrestling team showed the type of promise and talent fans of the program can look forward to in the future. The Diplomats closed out the season with a 3-8 dual-meet record, including a 1-5 mark in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA).
To watch a highlight video of the 2014-15 wrestling team, click here.
Before the season even began, the Diplomats received news that would change the program forever. In September, a $5 million gift from prominent geologist David Lehman, a 1968 alumnus, ensured that the program would be endowed for generations of student-athletes to come.
The gift establishing the "David H. Lehman Endowed Wrestling Program Fund" fully endows wrestling program operations, including funding for existing personnel, equipment, competitions, and ongoing recruitment of student-athletes.
In the third annual, and newly-minted, David H. Lehman F&M Open in January, Robert Ruiz '15 captured third at 141, while Patrick Quinlan '18 (133) and Rob King '16 (157) each registered a fourth-place showing.
The regular season came to a close in February against Millersville, when the Diplomats took down the Marauders by a 24-12 score for their fifth straight victory in the battle for the Rupp Cup.
At the EIWA Championships, F&M received solid performances from Quinlan, King and Charles Kerkesner '16, who all earned wins at the tournament. King led the Diplomats in victories during the season with a 21-14 record, followed by Quinlan (16-12) and Kerkesner (15-14). With 14 victories during his senior campaign, Ruiz moved up to 14th on the program's all-time wins list and exits Lancaster with a 67-64 record.
Other highlights on the year include Richard Durso's '16 fifth-place showing at the 52nd annual historic Midlands Championship in December, marking the second consecutive year he finished in the top-five at the event. Durso had a successful redshirt season, in which the 2014 All-American competed in various open tournaments. He claimed the title at 149 at the Nittany Lion Open, as well as second in the Binghamton Open.