WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (Dec. 29, 2013) – The Rutgers wrestling team competed in the 81st Annual Wilkes Open on Sunday, Dec. 28, as freshman Taylor Jackson (Lady Lake, Fla.) posted a 5-0 clip to take first place at 174 pounds. Jackson defeated Zack Zupan in his opening bout by a 17-3 margin before winning three of his next four bouts by fall, including his championship bout with Rider’s David Fenton.
Jackson’s win gives RU two open champions in 2013-14, as freshman 141-pounder Tyson Dippery (Harrisburg, Pa.) won the East Stroudsburg Open on Nov. 17.
Four other Scarlet Knights went on to place in the top-three of the tournament, with two earning second place by losing in the finals. Sophomore 149-pounder Ken Theobold (Toms River, N.J.) and redshirt junior 165-pounder Nick Visicaro (Long Branch, N.J.) each finished in second place by posting 4-1 and 3-1 marks, respectively.
Theobold took his first three bouts by a combined score of 30-3 before winning by fall against Wilkes University’s Mark Hartenstine. That pins advanced Theobold to the finals, were he fell, 15-2, to Quinton Murphey of Clarion.
Visicaro won his first bout by a 16-8 major decision over Drexel’s Jason Fugiel before pinning in his next matches. He fell in a tight match to Brown’s Giuseppi Lanzi by a 9-7 margin in the 165-pound finals.
Redshirt freshmen Sean McCabe (Connetquot, N.Y.) and Anthony Pafumi (West Orange, N.J.) each took third in their respective weight classes. McCabe fell in his second bout, 5-4, by tiebreaker to move into wrestle backs, where he went 4-0 to take third. A medical decision gave McCabe the win over Wilkes’ Guesseppe Rea in the 125-pound third place bout. He went 5-1 overall on the day.
Pafumi suffered a 3-0 loss to Eric Fajardo of Columbia in his first bout of the tournament at 174 pounds. Pafumi bounced back by winning his next six bouts, three of which were by major decision. He topped Zachary Moran 10-3 in the third place bout.
RU will compete in its next dual match on Friday, Jan. 3 against Columbia, when the team will celebrate “Alumni Night.” The match begins at 7 p.m., as all RU wrestling alumni that attend will receive a foam finger and t-shirt, while the first 500 fans to arrive at the College Ave Gym will receive a foam finger. There will also be a designated area on the floor for alumni. If interested in attending, email director of operations Billy Ashnault at firstname.lastname@example.org
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