EIWA tournament set for this weekend at Hofstra
With the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) tournament looming, it’s time for the annual tournament preview.
The EIWA continues to be a dominant conference in the NCAA. There are 47 spots set aside in Cleveland for EIWA wrestlers, which is the second-most in the NCAA.
The EIWA tournament will take place at the David S. Mack Sports Complex on March 3 and 4.
This weight class is all but locked up for reigning national champion Darian Cruz from Lehigh University. He is the only EIWA wrestler ranked in the top 25 in the NCAA as he is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation.
With the 125-pound weight class only sending its champion to the NCAA tournament, it will take a miracle for anyone but Cruz to move on to Cleveland.
Freshman Austin DeSanto of Drexel University leads the way in the 133-pound weight class with a top-five ranking in the NCAA, but Josh Terao from American University recently gave him a run for his money, ultimately falling to DeSanto in sudden victory. A potential rematch between the two is something to look forward to.
Before Terao takes on DeSanto, he will have to get through Scott Parker from Lehigh. Currently ranked No. 10 in the nation, Parker is a wrestler who can make some noise at the EIWA tournament.
All three have the potential to travel to Cleveland as the 133-pound weight class will send three wrestlers to the NCAA tournament.
The 141-pound weight class, which will send four wrestlers to Cleveland, is led by Yianni Diakomihalis from Cornell University. Diakomihalis is ranked No. 3 in the nation. Tyler Smith from Bucknell University is next in line as he is ranked No. 13.
A potential matchup to look forward to at the EIWA tournament is Luke Karam from Lehigh and Nicholas Gil from Navy. The two wrestlers have met three times this season with Karam winning two of the three. The match Gil won was due to medical default.
The 149-pound weight class is led by Matthew Kolodzik from Princeton University and Cortlandt Schuyler from Lehigh. Kolodzik defeated Schuyler 4-2 earlier in the season.
Even though Kolodzik and Schuyler are the only two wrestlers that are ranked in the top 20, the EIWA will send a total of four wrestlers to Cleveland. Favored to fill those two spots are Jared Prince from Navy and Michael Sprague from American University.
This weight class is tight between Mike D’Angelo from Princeton and Markus Scheidel from Columbia University. D’Angelo defeated Scheidel earlier in the year 2-1 in the first tie breaker period.
Six wrestlers will go to Cleveland from the 157-pound weight class, which leaves plenty of room for guys to sneak into the NCAA tournament.
The final three rankings in the NCAA top-20 are filled by EIWA wrestlers. Jon Jay Chavez of Cornell, Drew Daniels of Navy and Gordon Wolf of Lehigh rank No. 18, No. 19 and No. 20, respectively.
Six wrestlers from the 165-pound weight class will move on to Cleveland.
Jordan Kutler from Lehigh leads this weight class. Kutler currently sits at No. 4 in the national rankings, followed closely by Jadaen Bernstein from Navy who is ranked No. 8.
Ben Harvey from Army just cracked into the top-20 after defeating Bernstein by one point in the teams’ dual meet. The two grapplers have wrestled twice this season, each winning one.
Five wrestlers from the 174-pound weight class will move on to Cleveland.
Ryan Preisch of Lehigh is set to dominate this weight class as he will come into the tournament ranked No. 3 in the nation.
There are three other EIWA wrestlers ranked in the top 20 in the nation. They are Max Dean of Cornell, Steve Schneider of Binghamton University and Michael Coleman of Navy ranked No. 12, No. 13 and No. 18 respectively.
With this weight class sending seven wrestlers to the national tournament, there is room for guys like Christian LaFragola from Brown University to sneak in.
With five wrestlers in the top-20, this weight class is one of the most competitive weight classes in the conference. Ben Darmstadt from Cornell is the front-runner. He is ranked No. 3 in the nation.
He is followed by Jeric Kasunic from American, Frank Mattiace from the University of Pennsylvania, Patrick Brucki from Princeton and Stephen Loiseau from Drexel. Chris Weiler from Lehigh is right behind Loiseau in the rankings.
Mattiace jumped up in the rankings after he defeated Brucki 3-2.
There are six spots available out of this weight class.
Hofstra’s own Michael Hughes leads the way at the 285-pound weight class as the No. 10-ranked wrestler in the nation. Right behind him is Jordan Wood from Lehigh who is ranked No. 12. Garrrett Ryan from Columbia is ranked No. 15 in the nation.
Hughes has defeated Ryan twice this season.