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Bewak Named Centennial Conference Wrestler of the Year



LANCASTER PA - Johns Hopkins sophomore 125-pounder Paul Bewak, who is currently ranked second in the nation, has been named the Centennial Conference Wrestler of the Year it was announced today. Bewak was also one of three Johns Hopkins wrestlers named to the All-Centennial First Team, while three other Blue Jays earned honorable mention honors.

Bewak is the first Johns Hopkins wrestler to earn Centennial Wrestler of the Year honors. He won his second straight Centennial Conference title with a 2-1 win over Chris Donaldson of Ursinus in last Saturday's conference tournament final and currently boasts a 31-3 record. He has won a school-record 22 consecutive matches and has not lost a match this season to a Division III opponent.

Joining Bewak on the first team are senior Paul Marcello and freshman Christian Ostrowski, while junior Duncan Crystal, sophomore Christian Salera and freshman Kyle Spangler all grabbed honorable mention honors. Each of the 10 Centennial Conference Champions earns first team honors, while the runners-up in each weight class earn honorable mention status.

Marcello won his fourth straight Centennial Conference title in dominating fashion with pins in his first two matches and a 10-3 win over Elisha Gaylor of Ursinus in the 141-pound title bout. He is the first Johns Hopkins wrestler to win four Centennial Conference titles and just the fifth person in league history to turn the trick. Marcello has won 10 straight matches and will carry a 22-8 record into this week's NCAA East Regional Championships. Among his 22 wins are a team-high eight by major decision.

Ostrowski was the only freshman in the league to win an individual title as he claimed the top spot at 165 pounds. Entering the tournament as the number two seed, he scored a technical fall and decision to advance to the title match, where he jumped out to a 7-0 first-period lead on top-seeded Gnoleba Seri of Ursinus and went on to an 11-0 victory. Ostrowski has won six straight matches and sports a 19-18 overall record. He is tied for the team-lead with four pins.

Crystal rejoined the team at midseason after studying abroad during the first semester. After holding a reserve role after returning, he was added to the lineup for the conference tournament when starter Henry Stauber was unable to wrestle. Seeded third, Crystal worked his way to the 149-title bout with a third-period pin against Tim Gainsborg of McDaniel and then upset second-seeded Bernard Watson of Merchant Marine, 8-5, in the semifinals before falling to Curtis Watkins in the final.

Salera went the same route as Crystal to the conference championship bout as he parlayed the number three seed into a runner-up finish at 157. After opening with a pin in the quarterfinals, he upset second-seeded Logan Yox of McDaniel, 9-4, in the semifinals to advance to the title match. There, he dropped a tough 5-4 decision to top-seeded Richard Jasinski of Ursinus. Salera will carry a 19-16 record into this week's NCAA East Regional Championships and is tied for the team lead with four pins on the year.

Like Crystal and Salera, Spangler worked his way from the number three seed to the title bout at the Centennial Championships before falling to the top seed. He opened with a 10-2 win over Mark Garrity of Stevens and then upset Pat Sheehan of NYU in the semifinals to advance to the title match. There, he dropped a 3-1 decision in overtime to top-seeded Dan Manganaro of Ursinus. Spangler is now 19-17 on the year and is tied for the team lead with 16 wins by decision.

Johns Hopkins finished second at the Centennial Conference Championships with 98 points. The Blue Jays are the only team in the league that has finished in the top two at the Centennial Tournament in each of the last three years.
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