WILKES-BARRE, PA – The nationally ranked York College wrestling squad opened their 2011-12 season with a very strong showing at the Kings College Monarch Invitational on Saturday in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The Spartans finished the day second of 13 teams as they accumulated 117 points for the tournament. Wilkes University won the event with a team score of 146.5 while SUNY-Cortland finished third followed by Oneonta State and Roger Williams. The Spartans are ranked 10th in the nation according to the Brute-Adidas National Wrestling Coaches Association Poll.
York senior Alex Martocello picked up the Spartans' only individual championship as he won the 184-pound bracket. The Spartans had a pair of runner up finishes as Jimmy Ciampi placed second at 133 while T.J. Demetrio placed second at 157. York also had a pair of third place finishers, as Matt Heisey won the consolation championship at 175 and teammate George Saliba was third at 285.
Martocello picked up right where he left off last season as he ended his junior campaign as a national All-American. He opened his season with a 10-2 win over Wilkes' Eric Bach. Martocello followed that with a 10-4 win to earn a spot in the semifinals. He punched his ticket to the championship bout with a 13-6 win over Gettysburg's Michael Sheehan. Martocello earned the title with an 11-9 win over Kings' Michael Reilly. Martocello entered the season ranked second in the nation at 184 pounds and justified that ranking with his dominating performance on Saturday.
Ciampi made his first collegiate tournament a memorable one with his runner-up finish at 133. He recorded a pin in his first match as he put Oneonta's Frank Cabibbo on his back at the 4:37 mark, earning his first York College win. He followed that with a second pin, this time he matted Wilkes' Mark Uliano 5:30 into the match. Ciampi then squared off with third-seeded Zach Cecchetti and the Spartan freshman earned a 12-7 win to advance to the 133 semifinals. Ciampi then had to face the second-seeded Benjamin Mikac of Oneonta State. Again, the Spartan newcomer was victorious as he posted a 5-3 win. In the championship match, Ciampi fell to Western New England's Robert Ferrante as he earned valuable second-place points. Sophomore Chuck Glatz also placed for the Spartans at 133 as he finished fourth.
Demetrio also made his collegiate debut a successful one with his second place finish at 157 pounds. The freshman opened his season with a quick win via fall as he pinned Roger Williams' Sam Grace in a mere 2:10. Demetrio then earned a spot in the quarterfinals with a 10-8 win over Gettysburg's Max Sataloff. Demetrio earned a spot in the semifinals with a 12-5 win over second-seeded Shane Everett of Wilkes. The Spartan freshman then had to square off with teammate Chris Gugliotti in the semifinals. Demetrio edged his junior teammate 6-4 to earn his spot in the championship match. Top-seeded Tommy Desir from Kings ended Demetrio's run with a 9-5 in the title bout. Gugliotti finished fifth in the weight class for the Spartans.
Heisey entered the tournament as the two-seed at 174 pounds. He opened his day with a tech fall over Oneonta's Anthony Paratore. He then advanced to the semifinals with an 8-2 win over Wilkes' Chase Martino. Heisey then dropped a hard-to-swallow 4-2 overtime decision to Kings' Shane Stark. Heisey, the defending tournament champion at 174, fell to the consolation bracket. The Spartan senior earned a 6-4 win over Hunter's Andre McHugh and then earned a 5-3 win over Wilkes' Dustin Stough in the consolation championship match.
Saliba entered the tournament as the number one seed at 285. He earned a 3-1 overtime win over Wilkes' William Fletcher in his opening bout. He then posted a pin fall win over RIT's Eddie McBride at the 2:52 mark. Saliba then dropped a decision to SUNY-Cortland's Joe Giaramita in the semifinals. Saliba bounced back with a pin fall win over Wilkes' Jonathan Slack in a mere 1:40 to earn a spot in the consolation final. Saliba then finished his day with a 7-3 win over W&J's Taylor Potts as he placed third to open his season.
The Spartans return to action next Saturday when they travel to Harrisburg to participate in the Wrestle for a Cure at the Farm Show Arena. The Spartans face American International at 11:00 am followed by a match up against #30 Johns Hopkins at 3:00 pm. The Green and White close out the day with a contest against Division II Shippensburg at 5:00 pm.