LEXINGTON, Va. – The Washington and Lee wrestling team claimed three runner-up finishes and one third-place finish en route to placing fourth out of eight teams at the Centennial Conference Championships held at Stevens Institute of Technology on Saturday.
The fourth-place finish was the Generals' highest-ever team placing since joining the Centennial Conference in 1998. Stevens Tech won the team title with 96.5 points, while Ursinus was second with 79.5 points. Gettysburg followed in third with 61.5 points and W&L tallied 57.0 points to place fourth. The Merchant Marine Academy (46.0), McDaniel (30.5), Johns Hopkins (27.0) and Muhlenberg (15.0) completed the team standings.
Leading the way for W&L were sophomore Zach Bylykbashi (Southington, Conn. / Southington), first-year Joe Scott (Efland, N.C. / Orange) and junior Matt Kaminer (Hewlett, N.Y. / George W. Hewlett). All three finished as the runner-up in their respective weight classes. Junior Brandon Lefore (Morgan Hill, Calif. / Ann Sobrato) also got on the podium, finishing third in the 174-pound weight class.
Bylykbashi earned his way to the championship match of the 133-pound bracket with a 7-5 overtime win over Austin Sherman of Muhlenberg and a 6-4 victory over Tyler Craig of the Merchant Marines. In the title match, he lost by tech fall (21-2) to top-seeded Troy Stanich of Stevens Tech, the top ranked wrestler in the country. For Bylykbashi, it is his second straight runner-up finish in the conference.
Scott posted a win by fall (2:26) over McDaniel's Cole Nagle in his first match, and then he registered a 3-1 overtime win over Joshua Glantzman of the Merchant Marines in the semifinals. In the championship match, he was defeated by top-seeded Colin Navickas of Stevens Tech by a score of 8-4, his first loss of the calendar year.
Kaminer opened his day with a pin of McDaniel's William Emerson (3:17) and a 4-2 decision over top-seeded Matan Peleg of Ursinus. In the championship match, Gettysburg's Paul Triandafilou took an 8-3 decision.
Lefore began his championship with a 3-1 upset victory over second-seeded Josh Smith of Stevens Tech. He fell 12-4 in the semifinals to Daniel Ebert of Gettysburg, but then notched a 17-0 tech fall win over McDaniel's Ronald Wuest to advance to the third-place match. In that match, he downed Corey Markovitch of Ursinus by a score of 5-0.
The Generals had three others advance to the third-place match only to fall. Sophomore 125-pounder Ethan Hartman (River Edge, N.J. / River Dell Regional) went 1-2 overall, falling to Lenny Ogozalek of Gettysburg in the third-place match in 21 seconds. Junior Zachary Papin (Carrollton, Texas / St. Mark's) went 2-2 and dropped his third-place match to Tommy Grifa of Johns Hopkins, 9-3 at 149 pounds. First-year Shane Conners (Mount Airy, Md. / South Carroll) finished 2-2 and dropped a 7-2 decision to Erik Beshada of the Merchant Marines in the third-place match at 157 pounds.
Washington and Lee will return to action on February 25-26 when it participates in the NCAA East Regional.
Zachary Papin (W&L) d. Jake Bracken (GC); Fall 1:34
Alex Kramer (UC) d. Zachary Papin (W&L); TF, 17-1
Zachary Papin (W&L) d. Ben Peck (Muhl); TF, 15-0
Tommy Grifa (JHU) d. Zachary Papin (W&L); 9-3 [Third-Place Match]
Erik Beshada (USMMA) d. Shane Conners (W&L); 13-4
Shane Conners (W&L) d. Wade Bishop (McD); 8-5
Shane Conners (W&L) d. Colin Kowalski (GC); 6-4 (2 OT)
Erika Beshada (USMMA) d. Shane Conners (W&L); 7-2 [Third-Place Match]
Brandon Lefore (W&L) d. Josh Smith (ST); 3-1
Daniel Ebert (GC) d. Brandon Lefore (W&L); 12-4
Brandon Lefore (W&L) d. Ronald Wuest (McD); TF, 17-0
Brandon Lefore (W&L) d. Corey Markovitch (UC); 5-0 [Third-Place Match]