Wesleyan’s wrestling team suffered through a brutal bus ride this past Friday night to compete on the mats with 12 other teams from across the east coast. A dreadful bus ride can either give a team more motivation to come home with a victory or just tire them out before they’ve even met the competition. For our Wesleyan men, an almost six hour bus ride seemed to give them no other choice but to bring back an impressive second place, tied with the University of Scranton at 95.5 points and just below John Carroll University’s first place win at the 50th Annual Rochester Institute of Technology Invitational.
The Argus reached out to the team Friday night, hoping to hear back about how easily they were pinning other wrestlers to the mat. James Matias ’19 offered a quick reply from the bus.
“In the last 3 months I have learned an extensive amount about my team,” he wrote in a message to The Argus. “This is an update from our 6 hour bus ride. Being that I am so incredibly bored I’ll give you some insight into what we are like. Parallels can be drawn between our team and [teammate Chris] Siracusa’s [’16] solid mustache…. In the beginning no one pays attention to individual hairs growing, but as time goes on these ‘hairs’ can come together and form a successful, efficient and visually pleasing mustache. By all this I am obviously referencing my team; we are all hard working individuals with one common goal.”
The question remained: how were these individual hairs going to do on Saturday at RIT? Was the mustache going to bring Wesleyan a W? Obviously, Matias’s inspirational outlook on his teammates sparked a fire under them and got them ready for their matches the next morning.
In the 125 weight class, Zack Murillo ’19 lost in the first round to an opponent that reached the finals of the championship bracket. Murillo won two matches in the consolation bracket.
Dylan Jones ’19 represented Wes in the 133 weight class, winning one match in the championship bracket but losing in the consolation.
In the 141 weight class, Matias lost first round after a bye in the championship bracket. However, Matias fought back in the consolation bracket to earn himself 5th place.
Also representing Wes in the 141 weight class was Jonathan Oh ’19. Oh lost first round after a bye in the championship bracket and put up a good fight, but unfortunately lost in the consolation bracket.
Three Cards battled it out in the 149 weight class. Robert Rosenberg ’17 lost first-round in the championship bracket and again in the consolation bracket to his teammate, Nick Taylor ’19. Taylor then lost in the championship bracket, beat Rosenberg in the consolation, won his next consolation match, and then fell to an opponent who eventually picked up the 5th place spot. Carter Armendarez ’18 swept through his competition to earn himself 3rd place.
For the 157 weight class, Siracusa bulldozed through the championship bracket to come in 2nd, proving himself as solid as his supposed and now infamous mustache.
Keonmin Hwang ’16 battled in the 165 weight class, losing his first round match after two byes in the championship bracket. He won and then lost in the consolation bracket.
The 174 weight class had Taran Carr ’16 as a strong representative for the Cards, as he strolled through the championship bracket to the semifinals. Losing in the semis, Carr fought in the consolation bracket to earn himself 4th place overall.
Dominic Pirraglia ’18 wrestled in the 184 weight class, getting to the semifinals of the championship bracket and then winning in the consolation bracket to get himself 5th place overall.
Last but not least was Isaiah Bellamy ’18, who absolutely destroyed his competition to win the entire 197 weight class bracket. All Bellamy had to say about his remarkable performance at RIT was a request for The Argus to include “something with Matias’s mustache message. That would be amazing and we would love it.” Bellamy is clearly all about the team, and an incredibly modest wrestler.
The last recap of the weekend came from Armendarez, who bullet-pointed some memorable moments in addition to Bellamy’s win and Matias’s quote.
“Highlights of the weekend: Dylan Jones got his mouth super messed up in a match and he has to have a root canal or something,” he said. “The guy that Isaiah beat in the finals started yelling, ran off the mat, and threw a trash can, and we ate at Dibella’s afterwards. Also, at the hotel we were staying at the fire alarm went off at like midnight and they made everyone leave the building for a while.”
RIT offered an eventful and successful weekend for the Cards. With this second place win, the semester is coming to a close, and most of us will be wrestling with twenty-page-long papers and sixty-page-long study guides. Our wrestlers will be grappling with that, plus practice in order to gear up for the continuation of an already impressive season. The team will be competing over winter break in Williamsport, P.A. at a tournament known as the Lycoming Duals on Jan. 8 and 9. As you wish them luck on finals, congratulate them on a kick-ass tournament this weekend and look forward to more from the mustache next semester.