Diplomats Head to Binghamton for Bearcat Open

LANCASTER, Pa. – Just a week into the 2015-16 season, Franklin & Marshall's wrestling team already has three dual meets under its belt after its competition last Sunday at the Rutgers Duals. The Diplomats continue action this upcoming Sunday by competing in its first tournament of the season, traveling to Binghamton for the Bearcat Open.

The Week Ahead 

Sunday, Nov. 8 – Beartcat Open (Hosted by Binghamton) – 9:00 AM 

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A Look at the Bearcat Open: F&M will take part in the sixth annual Jonathon Kaloust Bearcat Open, renamed in honor of the former Binghamton student-athlete and Navy SEAL who was killed in a training exercise in May of 2013. 

At last season's tournament, Rick Durso advanced to the 149 championship quarterfinals, falling to eventual first-place finisher Chris Villalonga of Cornell. However, Durso battled back in consolations, earning a 9-0 major before capturing a narrow 2-0 decision against Binghamton's Joe Banaldi for third place. Scott Stevens advanced to the championship quarterfinals at 133, while Rob King (157) raddled off a pair of wins in his championship bracket. 

This year's competition will feature more than 500 wrestlers with numerous All-Americans and NCAA qualifiers among them. The 141-pound bracket appears to stacked, featuring a pair of All-Americans in Durso and Lock Haven's Dan Neff, as well as other wrestlers who made it to the Round of 12 at NCAAs -  Jordan Laster of Princeton, Mark Grey of Cornell, Todd Preston of Harvard and Randy Cruz of Lehigh.

For more information on Sunday's tournament, click here.

Last Week: F&M opened its 2015-16 season on Sunday at the Rutgers Duals, falling to Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) opponent Binghamton by a 33-7 score and No. 18 Rutgers by a 47-0 mark, before capturing a decisive 40-6 win against Division III Centenary to wrap up action on Sunday.

Competition ended on a high note with a 34-point win over Centenary. Edgar Garcia captured the early momentum for the Diplomats at 125, registering a strong 16-1 tech. fall win. Paddy Quinlan followed with a pin just 25 seconds in to push the lead to 11-0, before a Centenary forfeit at 141 made it a 17-0 contest. 

Durso earned his second win of the day, securing a 17-1 tech. fall at 149. Another Centenary forfeit at 157, followed by a Gordon Bolig tech. fall at 165, extended the advantage to 33-3. Reining NCAA Qualifier Josh Sibles needed sudden victory to overcome Colin Gironda at 174 by a 3-1 decision, before Anthony Mancini got the Diplomats back to their winning ways with a 13-5 major decision at 184.

Corey Kerkesner battled in his first collegiate competition, but fell by a narrow 15-10 mark, while Antonio Pelusi ended action with a 6-1 decision.

Durso Nearing Wins Record: With a 2-1 record last week, Durso is just nine wins away from the program's career record. The 141-pound grappler holds a 108-29 mark and trails only Craig Blackman 81, who accumulated a 117-31-2 record.  

Durso also looks to climb the career pins leaders and currently has 18 in his career. Justin Herbert '09 leads the way with 35. 

Where Durso Stacks Up

No. 7 – Wrestlingreport.com 

No. 8 – InterMat Wrestling

No. 9 – FLO Wrestling 

No. 9 – The Open Mat (TOM)

No. 11 – Amateur Wrestling News