November 8, 2008

Four Spartans Capture Titles as York Wins Kings College Monarch Invitational

WILKES-BARRE, PA-The York College wrestling squad won the traditionally challenging Kings College Monarch Classic on Saturday in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The Spartans accumulated 148 points to easily out distance nationally ranked Wilkes as the Colonels finished second with 123 points. Oneonta finished third with 104 points, edging USMA as they finished fourth with 103 points.

The Spartans had four wrestlers capture individual championships. Jerrid Hartman (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion) at 125 pounds, Eric Rush (Hershey, Pa./Milton Hershey) at 157 pounds, John Niedrich (Freehold, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) at 165 pounds, and George Saliba (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central) at 197 pounds, each won their respective weight classes. 

Hartman began his day with a 7-2 win over Oneonta’s Zach Cogen in the opening round. Next, he edged Kings’ Mike Tabasco 3-2 to advance to the semifinals. Hartman then rolled to a 10-4 victory over teammate Matt McCollum (Gardners, Pa./Carlisle). Hartman then defeated top-seeded Shaun Farnham, 3-2, to capture the title.

Rush, who entered the tournament as the top seed at 157, made that seeding stand up as he began the day with a 19-7 major decision over Oneonta’s T.J. Brownell. He advanced to the championship with a 6-1 win over Oneonta’s Eric Simmons. Rush then captured the title with a 9-7 win over Army’s Russell Bettancourt.

Niedrich, who was the number one seed at 165 pounds, recorded an 18-2 technical fall over Oneonta’s Jimmy Neal to open his day. Niedrich moved into the finals with a 7-2 win over Kings’ Jerry Robbins. In the championship tilt, Niedrich edged Oneonta’s Geoff Rosa 4-3.

Saliba began his tournament run with an 8-1 win over Eric Steitzer from Kings. Saliba next edged Oneonta’s Mike Diorio 3-2 to advance to semifinals of the weight class. Saliba moved into the finals courtesy of a medical default against Wilke’s Zach Pizarro, who was the top seed in the weight class. Saliba defeated teammate James Laughlin (Hanover, Pa./South Western) 3-2 in the championship bout. Laughlin advanced to the championship match courtesy of a 7-6 win over Muhlenberg’s Matt Horn in the first round, a 5-2 win over Oneonta’s Chris Corandini in the quarterfinals, and a 6-4 win over teammate Kyle Minoque (Miller Place, N.Y./Miller Place) in the semifinals.

In addition to Laughlin’s runner up finish, senior Kyle Flickinger (New Oxford, Pa./Bermudian Springs) and Chris Elliott (Crofton, Md./South River) also earned second place finishes.  Flickinger, the Spartans’ two-time national qualifier, cruised into the finals at 133 pounds as he posted a pin in the quarterfinals and an 11-5 win in the semifinals before being edged by Wilkes’ Josh Pauling, 7-6, in the championship bout. Elliott, who was seeded second, posted a 5-2 win in the quarters and a 5-1 victory in the semifinals before falling to Kings’ Zach Wilkinson in the championship match.

The Spartans had four third place finishers for the day as Taylor Ulm (Great Meadows, N.J./Hackettstown) at 141 pounds, Matt Heisey (Harrisburg, Pa./Cedar Crest) at 165 pounds, Brian Thomason (Wernersville, Pa./Schuylkill Valley) at 174 pounds, and Shane Cooley (Wrightsville, Pa./Eastern York) at heavyweight each won the consolation championship. Spartan Gary Heckler (Laurel Springs, N.J./Highland Regional) rounded out the Spartans’ top four finishers as he placed fourth at 125 pounds.

The Spartans return to action on Wednesday, November 12 when they host Shippensburg University in the 2008 Spartan home opener. The match is slated to start at 7:00 pm at Charles Wolf Gymnasium.

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