WILKES-BARRE, PA - In his first match of the season following an offseason injury, senior co-captain Greg Austin (Seaville, NJ) showed little signs of rust, winning five matches to capture third place in the 149-pound weight class at the Wilkes Open on Monday. Austin, the class’ second seed, rebounded from a quarterfinal loss to win his next four bouts, capping off his day with a 9-3 victory over fourth-seeded John Henry-Zarzycki of Maryland in the consolations finals.
Austin was one of three Scarlet Knights to finish in the top three of their weight class on Monday, joining junior 197-pounder John Foscolo (South Plainfield, NJ) and senior 285-pounder John Fleming (South Orange, NJ), who took second-place honors in the tournament.
Foscolo, the fourth seed, cruised to the finals with three victories, including a pin of top-seeded Chris Weidman of Nassau in 5:49. In the finals, third-seeded Howard Bell of UP-J, pinned Foscolo in 58 seconds.
Fleming, the sixth seed, won three bouts, pinning Montclair’s Frank DiPano in 4:25 on his way to the weight bracket’s final round. In the championship match, Fleming dropped a close, 4-2, decision to Pavam Zarrinpour of Sacred Heart. Also at 285 pounds, senior Ryan Contaldi (North Brunswick, NJ) rebounded from an opening match loss with three wins in wrestlebacks before falling in the consolation quarters.
A pair of Scarlet Knights earned fourth-place finishes in the tournament. After being eliminated in the championship bracket’s semifinals, senior 125-pounder Dare Ajibade (Bloomfield, NJ), seeded seventh, beat teammate Dan Hilt (Manalapan, NJ), 1-0, before losing a close match to Middlesex’s JW Bykowsky in the third-place bout. Hilt lost a 3-2 decision to Columbia’s Matt Delorenzo to place sixth in the event. Freshman Jamie Lijo (Hopatcong, NJ) took fourth at 141 pounds. He earned a technical fall of Middlesex’s Tom Johnson in 2:11 before pinning Vinnie Russo of NYU in 2:50 to reach the quarterfinals. Following a loss, Lijo recorded three consecutive victories to advance to the third-place bout where LeShaunne Lewis of Nassau earned a 9-4 decision over the Scarlet Knight grappler. Also at 141 pounds, freshman Steve Adamcsik (Chester, NJ) posted a 3-2 record in the two-day event.
At 165 pounds, freshman Joe Sacco (Johnson City, NY) rebounded from a first round defeat in the championship bracket to capture fifth place with four victories in wrestlebacks.
Freshman Ramel Meekins (Westwood, NJ), a defensive lineman for the Rutgers football team, excelled in his first competition since joining the Scarlet Knights’ wrestling program a little more than a week ago. He won two matches before losing in the quarterfinals of the 285-pound weight bracket. Meekins won his third match of the tournament in wrestlebacks, before being eliminated in the consolation quarters by top-seeded and eventual consolation bracket champion Tom Curl of Lehigh by a close, 3-2, decision.
For complete results of the Wilkes Open wrestling tournament, log on to http://www.keystonegames.com/2003%20Wilkes.html.