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Pitt wins Matmen Open team title; Amine tops Hall; Wisconsin, Illinois and Rutgers each get two champions

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers), the Matmen Open champion at 141 pounds. Photo by Sam Janicki.

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – After two days of high-level wrestling, the first Matmen Open concluded with its medal-round finals on Thursday night.

In a very close team race. Pitt won the title with 121.5 points, followed by Penn with 118 points and Wisconsin with 117 points. Illinois was fourth with 105 points, followed by Rutgers in fifth with 94 points.

Pitt was led by one individual champion #28 Elijah Cleary (157), who had a big win in the finals that affected the team race, edging Penn’s #20 Doug Zapf, 9-8.Pitt had eight wrestlers who placed in the tournament, including runners-up Micky Philippi (133) and Nino Bonaccorsi (197) plus third place finishers Cole Matthews (141) and Jake Wentzel (165).

Penn did not have a single champion, but had 11 placewinners, including runners-up Ryan Miller (125), CJ Composto (141) and Doug Zapf (157).

Three teams came home with two individual champions, Wisconsin, Illinois and Rutgers.

Wisconsin’s champions were #17 Dean Hamiti (165) and #5 Trent Hilger (285). Hamiti dominated #14 Philip Conigliaro of Harvard, in a 20-6 major decision in the finals. Hilger defeated unattached Ethan Laird of Rider, 2-0.

Illinois swept the first two weight classes, with victories from #29 Justin Cardani (125) and #7 Lucas Byrd (133). Cardani edged #33 Ryan Miller of Penn, while Byrd stopped #6 Micky Philippi of Pitt.

Rutgers’ champions were #4 Sebastian Rivera (141) and #12 Greg Bulsak (197). Rivera dismantled unranked CJ Composto of Penn in the finals in an 18-3 technical fall. Bulsak upset No. 2 ranked Nino Bonaccorsi of Pitt, 3-2.

In a highly-anticipated final, Myles Amine of Michigan stopped Mark Hall of the Pennsylvania RTC in the 184 pound finals. Amine, a 2020 Olympic bronze medalist for San Marino, is currently ranked #2 on the college scene. Hall, a past NCAA champion and graduate of Penn State, is a U.S. Senior Nationals champion training full-time in freestyle.

The 149-pound finals went into overtime, where #10 Josh Heil of Campbell beat #11 Austin Gomez of Wisconsin, 3-1 in sudden victory one.

At 174 pounds, unattached Edmond Ruth edged #30 Mason Kauffman of Northern Illinois, 3-2, in overtime. Ruth is not currently wrestling in college. He also recently won the Clarion Open.

The event was created and produced by wrestling leaders, including Willie Saylor, Izzy Martinez, Illinois Matmen and Frank Popolizio who stepped up after the Midlands Championships was cancelled on December 22.

Matmen Open

At Hoffman Estates, Ill.

125 pounds

1st - #29 Justin Cardani (Illinois) dec. #33 Ryan Miller (Penn), 4-3

3rd – Antonio Lorenzo (Cal Poly) dec. Sheldon Seymour (Lehigh), 13-5

5th – Dylan Shawver (Rutgers) maj. dec. Blair Orr (Penn), 12-3

7th – Gage Curry (Pitt) dec. Lucian Brink (Northern Illinois), 4-2

133 pounds

1st - #7 Lucas Byrd (Illinois) dec. #6 Micky Philippi (Pitt), 5-4

3rd - Drew Mattin (Michigan) maj. dec. Julian Farber (unattached-UNI), 11-4

5th – Joey Olivieri (unattached-Rutgers) maj. dec. Carter Bailey (Lehigh), 16-3

7th – Jack Wagner (Northern Iowa) dec. Kurt Phipps (Bucknell), 8-4

141 pounds

1st - #4 Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers) tech. fall unranked CJ Composto (Penn), 18-3, 5:33

3rd – Cole Matthews (Pitt) pin Joseph Zargo (Wisconsin), 4:14

5th - Parker Filius (Purdue) dec. McKenzie Bell (unattached Rutgers), 3-1

7th – We Rachal (Illinois) pin Carmen Ferrante (Penn), 2:56

149 pounds

1st - #10 Josh Heil (Campbell) dec. #11 Austin Gomez (Wisconsin), 3-1, SV1

3rd – Anthony Artalona (Penn) dec. Anthony White (Unattached-Rutgers), 3-1

5th – Max Brignola (Lehigh) dec. Lukus Stricker (Harvard), 8-5

7th – Al Desantis (Rutgers) by forfeit over Christian Kanzler (Illinois)

157 pounds

1st - #28 Elijah Cleary (Pitt) dec. #20 Doug Zapf (Penn), 9-8

3rd - Jake Keating (unattached-Virginia) dec. Alex Carida (Bloomsburg), 5-3

5th – Brawley Lamer (Cal Poly) by forfeit over Kendall Coleman (Purdue)

7th - Grant Zamin (unattached) dec. Garrett Model (Wisconsin), 4-3

165 pounds

1st - #17 Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin) maj. dec. #14 Philip Conigliaro (Harvard), 20-6

3rd - Jake Wentzel (Pitt) dec. Izzak Olejnik (Northern Illinois), 3-0

5th - Zach Hartman (Bucknell) dec. Lucas Revano (Penn), 7-0

7th - Holden Heller (Unattached-Hofstra) dec. Dan Braunagel (Illinois), 6-5

174 pounds

1st - Edmond Ruth (unattached) dec. #30 Mason Kauffman (Northern Illinois), 3-2, ot

3rd - Manuel Rojas (unattached) dec. Reece Heller (unattached-Hofstra), 8-4

5th - Gerrit Nijenhuis (Purdue) maj. dec. Connor O’Neill (Rutgers), 14-3

7th - Nick Incontrera (Penn) maj. dec. Josh Kim (Harvard), 8-0

184 pounds

1st - #2 Myles Amine (Michigan) dec. Mark Hall (Pennsylvania RTC), 4-2

3rd – Bernie Truax (Cal Poly) pin Zach Braunagel (Illinois), 0:46

5th –Trey Munoz (Oregon State) dec. Brit Wilson (Northern Illinois), 12-7

7th – Gregg Harvey (Pitt) dec. Neil Antrassian (Penn), 8-3

197 pounds

1st - #12 Greg Bulsak (Rutgers) dec. #2 Nino Bonaccorsi (Pitt), 3-2

3rd – Braxton Amos (Wisconsin) dec. Cody Baldridge (North Central), 3-1

5th – Cole Urbas (Penn) forfeit over Ryan Reyes (Oregon State)

7th – Chris Kober (Campbell) dec. Levi Hopkins (Campbell), 6-1

285 pounds

1st - #5 Trent Hilger (Wisconsin) dec. Ethan Laird (unattached-Rider), 2-0

3rd – Luke Luffman (Illinois) dec. Nathan Taylor (Lehigh), 6-1

5th – Michael Woulfe (Purdue) dec. Jake Slinger (Pitt), 8-4

7th – Ben Goldin (Penn) dec. Boone McDermott (Rutgers), 6-4

Finalist rankings by InterMat.

Team Standings

1. Pittsburgh, 121.5

2. Penn, 118.0

3. Wisconsin, 117.0

4. Illinois, 105.0

5. Rutgers, 94.0

6. Northern Illinois, 61.0

7. Cal Poly, 57.0

8. Lehigh, 50.5

9. Purdue, 49.0

10. Michigan, 47.5

11. Harvard, 44.0

12. Campbell, 37.5

13. Bucknell, 35.0

14. Oregon State, 19.5

15. Pennsylvania RTC, 18.0

16. Bloomsburg, 17.5

16. Brown, 17.5

18. Princeton, 17.0

19. North Central, 14.5

20. Northern Iowa, 13.0

21. Franklin & Marshall, 6.5