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Big Turnout For Lehigh Wrestling Trials



The largest Lehigh Wrestle-Off crowd in over a decade (approximately 1,000) witnessed the unofficial debut of the new wrestling season Tuesday night in Grace Hall. Leading the 16 participants in nine weights officially wrestled were All-American Tri-Captains Dave Esposito, Ryan Bernholz and Rob Rohn. Former PIAA and National H.S. Champ, Jon Trenge, went unchallenged since he's the only one certified at 197. The highlights of the evening were dampened by a knee injury suffered by Mario Stuart in the 3rd period of his bout with Terrance Clendenin at 125 lbs. Mario appeared in control with a takedown in each of the first two periods, escaping to start the third, for a 5-2 lead. With about 2:00 left, Clendenin made his bid with an impressive double leg shot and body lift, bringing Stuart to the mat with a decisive but clean maneuver for the nearfall and 6-5 lead. When it was apparent that Mario was in great pain, the bout was stopped for an injury default at 5:14, as the crowd went silent with concern. Another Engineer was felled just hours before the Trials, as Matt Goldstein suffered a mouth cut that required stitches while working out in Taylor Gym's Gerald Leeman Wrestling Room. Matt is expected back in action within a few days. In his place, Troy Minarovic challenged Tom Rohn at 141 lbs, with Tommy delighted his area followers with a 17-7 win, scoring five TDs, escape, reversal, 3-pt nearfall & 1:39 riding advantage. This was the 1st of nine official bouts for the evening. At 133, the last bout of the Trials, soph. Tristan Boyd scored a counter spin TD in the middle of the 2nd period and made it stick, in a tight 3-2 win over freshman Mark Hangsleben. Mark had two escapes to one for Boyd. At 149, Dave Esposito scored his 1st TD with 14 sec. left in the first period, then added two in the final minute, for a 9-2 victory that included an escape, riding time (1:13) and point for stalling against freshman Mike Pirozzola. Mike did a fine job against a 5th-yr senior ranked #2 nationally, who is known for piling up bonus decisions throughout the year. Ryan Bernholz showed he's back with a vengeance, rolling up a 7-2 lead before cranking Nate Cote over with a half nelson, scoring a fall in 6:44 at 157lbs. This was followed by an All-Lehigh Valley battle at 165, with Chris Vitale scoring the only two takedowns enroute to a 6-3 win over Brad Dillon. Brad had two escapes plus a point for the second double warning for stalling against each man. The most action-filled bout of the night started out with a TD and escape by sophomore Ted Dufresne in the first 8 seconds at 174 vs. Bill Brine. Continuing to take the action to the Kansas state champion, the larger Brine countered with his own takedown, and led 4-2 after escaping to start the 2nd period. With Teddy underneath, he was caught in a 3-pt nearfall, before escaping, then Brine added a TD and another 3-pt nearfall late in the bout, plus riding time (2:18) for a 13-3 major decision. Rob Rohn was leading 7-2 on the strength of three TDs and an escape, before Jim Moore defaulted due to injury, at 4:13 of the 2nd period. At Hwt, Shawn Laughlin was cruising 7-2 with three TDs through two periods, before Joe Sahl rallied with an escape & diving takedown of his own, to narrow the score to 7-5. Shawn regained control with an escape and TD in the last minute, plus 2:15 riding time Some wrestlers who lose in wrestle-off finals will be eligible to move up a weight, to challenge the Tues. night finalists, for the right to starting berths for the Lock Haven dual, Nov. 17.
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