EVANSTON, Ill. - Emmett LiCastri and Philip Robilotto led a contingent of Franklin & Marshall wrestlers at this weekend's prestigious 56th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, hosted by Northwestern.
LiCastri made noise with a 5-2 record in the 157-pound bracket, coming up just one match short of placing, while Robilotto continued his strong start to the 2018-19 season with an impressive 3-2 record at 197 pounds.
Complete results for the Diplomats' wrestlers can be found here.
A third-period escape delivered LiCastri a hard-fought 2-1 decision over Northwestern's Eric Young before dropping down to the consolation bracket. In the wrestle backs, LiCastri answered with a run of four consecutive wins, including a 17-3 major decision over Maryland's Adam Whitesell.
However, LiCastri saw his run end in session three with a tough 8-4 decision loss against the No. 3 seed, John Vanbrill of Rutgers.
Robilotto rattled off two straight championship bracket wins to earn a place in the Round of 16. His signature victory in the tournament came off a first-period fall (2:13) against the No. 12 seed, Brett Perry of Buffalo. Robilotto nearly upset Michigan's Andrew Davidson (No. 5 seed) but fell short in the championship quarterfinal matchup off an escape in the final seconds of an 8-7 loss.
Additional highlights from the weekend are below.
Wil Gil gave the 141-pound bracket's No. 6 seed, Mike Vanbill of Rutgers all he could handle in his opening match of the tournament, but fell short in a narrow 7-5 (SV-1) defeat. Gil came out with an early first period takedown and forced overtime with a third-period reversal.
He followed with a strong 9-6 decision win over Brown's Colin Realbuto in consolations before dropping a tight decision in his next match.
Paddy Quinlan went 2-2 with a pair of consolation wins, including a 12-6 decision over the bracket's No. 15 seed, Clay Carlson of South Dakota State.
Cole Aaron earned a high-scoring 14-11 decision win over Illinois' Mousa Jodeh in the wrestle backs. F&M's grappler stormed out to a 12-0 advantage in the first period and hung on for the victory.
Chris Martorello also garnered a consolation win in the tournament after rolling past Central Michigan's Dresden Simon by an 11-4 score.
Steven Mercadante picked up a pin in his first wrestle-back competition, recording a pair of takedowns before finishing off Wisconsin's Andrew Salemme at the 2:59 mark of the first period.
The Diplomats return to the mat on Friday when F&M faces off against Davidson for the first home dual of the season. Competition at the Mayser Center begins at 3:00 p.m.