To kick off the team’s playoff season, the Jays’ wrestling team made their way to Collegeville, Pa. this past weekend for the Centennial Conference championships.
The day was highlighted by the performance of senior Henry Stauber, who breezed to the title at 141 against a stacked field. Stauber began his day by defeating Nathan Twitto of the United States Merchant Marine Academy and followed that victory with a 94 second pin against Matt Spano of Gettysburg College in the semifinals. Against the second seeded Eli Gaylor of Ursinus College, Stauber allowed just a single point in winning the title match 8-1.
In addition to adding to his own accomplishments, Stauber also added to the Jays’ legacy in the Centennial Conference. With his win at 141, Stauber became the third Hopkins wrestler in a row to take the title, following in the footsteps of back-to-back title winner senior Paul Marcello.
In the 133, senior Raymond Yagloski turned in a second place finish behind title winner Ryan O’Boyle from McDaniel College. On the mat, senior Raymond Yagloski, a captain, has registered 89 wins, putting him on the cusp of becoming the fourth wrestler in Hopkins history to reach 90 wins.
Fellow senior captain Duncan Crystal, competing in the 149, finished in third place after falling in a difficult semifinal match against second seeded Derek Arnold from Ursinus.
“Derek was a tough matchup because he took good shots and finished efficiently, so it was hard to get my stuff working on the feet,” Crystal said.
Perhaps the most exciting match of the day occurred between Hopkins junior Christian Salera and Ursinus’ Richard Jasinski in the 152 title bout. It was the second year in a row the two had met in the title match, and once again, Jasinski got the best of Salera by a single point, winning 4-3.
As a team, the Jays finished the tournament in third place behind Conference Champion Ursinus and runner-up Stevens Institute of Technology. Ursinus had entered the tournament as the top seed with an undefeated 8-0 record in conference while Hopkins had come in just behind the Bears with a 7-1 record.
“As far as our third place finish is concerned, we definitely felt that there was more to be had. A few of us (myself included) did not put together our best work on the mat,” Crystal said.
Despite the understanding disappointment in falling short of expectations, Crystal had high hopes for the team moving forward. “The bright side is that Regionals this weekend is the qualifier for NCAAs, so our conference performance is primarily a warm-up and a time to fine-tune some of our technique. Our goal is to get as many guys to the NCAA tournament as possible.”
Hopkins will continue their run in the playoffs with NCAA East Regional matchups this coming weekend in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.