LEXINGTON, Va. – Washington and Lee University will be hosting the 2018 Centennial Conference Wrestling Championship starting tomorrow morning in the Warner Center.
Action gets underway with the preliminary rounds starting at 10:00 am, with the finals beginning likely in late afternoon. Admission to the event is $5 for adults and $3 for youth ages 13-18. Children under 12 and students from participating schools will be admitted for free. Students will need to show a valid student ID.
Washington and Lee finished fourth at the 2017 Centennial Conference Championship and enters the weekend with a 9-5 overall record, the program's most wins since the 1986-87 campaign.
Stevens has won three straight titles and enters the championship ranked 17th in Division III. Below is a preview of the tournament by weight class courtesy of the Centennial Conference.
125: Ursinus senior Chris Tan (18-2) is the defending champion and has a 7-0 mark in CC dual matches this season. He was named the Conference's Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2017 as well. Stevens junior Joey Borai (26-5) was 6-1 in CC duals with his lone loss coming to Tan by a 5-2 count. Johns Hopkins senior Christian Vallis (12-11) and Gettysburg senior Lenny Ogozalek (26-12) will also factor in the medal chase.
133: Stevens sophomore Troy Stanich (27-0) is the top-ranked wrestler at 133 in the country and returns to defend his Centennial title. Johns Hopkins junior Ricky Cavallo (23-6) and Muhlenberg sophomore Austin Sherman (23-12) posted 5-2 CC dual-meet marks, while Merchant Marine junior Tyler Craig (11-8) could also make noise in the weight class.
141: Washington and Lee junior Zach Bylykbashi (22-7) was a runner-up at 133 a year ago and will challenge for the gold against a pair of first-years, Stevens' Brett Kaliner (25-2) and Gettysburg's Sean Thompson (26-9). Kaliner defeated Bylykbashi, 7-1, last weekend and is ranked fourth nationally. No rookie has captured this weight class since 2008.
149: Gettysburg sophomore Colin Devlin (17-7) moves up one class after finishing second at 141 a year ago and was 6-1 in CC duals. Stevens sophomore Dylan Van Sickell (26-11) was undefeated in CC duals (6-0) and defeated Devlin, 13-5, on January 20. W&L first-year Bryce Crew (12-4) and Johns Hopkins senior Connor Joyce (20-15) will also contend for the medal stand.
157: Stevens senior Zach Wilhelm (32-2) is the favorite in this weight class, after rolling through seven CC opponents this season. He was runner-up at 149 a year ago and is ranked fourth nationally. W&L sophomore Shane Conners (13-4) was 5-1 in duals, while Hopkins' first-year Dominick Reyes (20-12) and USMMA first-year Kieran Duggan (23-14) were both 5-2. Ursinus first-year Jake Folk (16-11) and Muhlenberg sophomore Michael Dougan (14-13) could also sneak into a medal.
165: Gettysburg junior Colin Kowalski (30-4) is the favorite after recording an unblemished 7-0 mark in CC duals. No Bullet has won this weight class since Chris Clifford in 1996. Keep an eye on Stevens sophomore Thomas Poklikuha (13-1) who was second at 157 last winter, as well as Muhlenberg sophomore Dylan Schwartz (28-10).
174: Merchant Marine sophomore Joshua Glantzman (16-5) posted a 7-0 CC dual-meet mark to most likely earn the top seed. He looks to become the first Mariner to capture the 174 crown. W&L senior Brandon Lefore (23-5) suffered just one CC loss at the hands of Glantzman, while Stevens senior Josh Smith (11-12) could also reach the final.
184: Johns Hopkins junior Isaac Morales (29-9) is the favorite at 184 after registering a 7-0 mark in CC duals. Ursinus first-year Ben Maack (19-7) was 5-2 in duals, while USMMA sophomore Kurtis Hahn (Winfield, Mo., 7-5) and W&L sophomore Rexx Hallyburton (4-0) could also factor.
197: USMMA junior Blake Bunce (19-4) was runner-up in this weight class last year and was 7-0 in CC duals in his quest to move up to the top step of the podium in 2018. Muhlenberg junior Gennaro Cerminara (26-9) is his main competition, while Gettysburg senior Anthony Puca (10-6) could reach the medal stand as well.
285: It could be a rematch of the 2017 final between Gettysburg junior Paul Triandafilou (27-5) and Washington and Lee senior Matt Kaminer (23-10). Both finished with 6-1 CC dual marks, with Triandafilou coming up on top on the regular-season match by a 4-1 decision. McDaniel junior Brendan Woody and Ursinus junior Billy McGinley (12-6) will also contend.