GRANTHAM, Pa. – (Feb. 10, 2014) – Nine of the 12 Rutgers wrestlers that competed in the Messiah Open on Saturday, Feb. 8 finished in the top-eight of their brackets, with freshman 125-pounder Josh Patrick (Ligonier Valley, Pa.) leading the way with a first place finish.
Redshirt freshman 133-pounderJalen Ramos (Bayville, N.J.), redshirt freshman 174-pounder Anthony Pafumi (West Orange, N.J.) and freshman 184 pounder Anthony Messner (Somerset, N.J.) each earned third-place finishes at the open, as five other Scarlet Knights also placed.
Sophomore Tyler Hunt (South Plainfield, N.J.) finished fourth and freshman Michael Underwood (Cary, Ill.) finished seventh at 149 pounds, sophomore Mikey Simmons (Middletown, Pa.) finished eighth at 165 pounds and freshman Garrett Conner (Kettering, Ohio) and sophomore Padric Lynch (Haddon Heights, N.J.) ended the tournament sixth and eighth, respectively, at 197 pounds.
Patrick posted a 3-0 clip at 125 pounds en route to winning his first open title, using a tech fall and two pins to take the crown. His eight wins by fall lead all Scarlet Knights this season.
After losing his second bout, 8-3, to Maryland’s Geoffrey Alexander, Ramos bounced back, winning his next six bouts to take third at 133 pounds. It was Ramos’s first time placing at a collegiate open, as he recorded two decisions, three major decisions, a tech fall and a fall for a 7-1 day. He defeated Jhared Simmons of Maryland, 12-2, in the finals to seal his third-place finish.
Messner placed at his first collegiate open by posting a 4-1 record at 197 pounds, finishing third. After losing, 2-1, to Nicholas Zak of York, Messner rolled through wrestle backs to claim a spot in the top-three.
The fourth Scarlet Knight to finish in the top-three was Pafumi, who went 4-1 on the afternoon to earn third place at 174 pounds. The St. Peter’s Prep (N.J.) product was narrowly edged, 2-1, in tiebreakers in his third bout, but responded by winning his next two matchups by major decision, including a 12-0 victory over Wilkes’ Nicholas Lynch in the third-place bout.
It was Pafumi’s third consecutive third-place finish at an open tournament this season.
Hunt, who recently transferred to the Scarlet Knights, placed for the first time in a Rutgers singlet. He went 3-1 on the afternoon to finish fourth, suffering a medical forfeit in the third-place bout. Underwood also placed at 149 pounds, compiling a 3-2 mark to earn the first collegiate placewinner of his career.
Simmons went 3-2 in the 165-pound bracket for and eighth place finish, while RU sent two to the podium at 197 pounds. Conner earned a sixth place finish by going 3-2, while Lynch went 1-2 to earn the eighth-place slot.
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