Broncs have two second-place finishers at Princeton Open

By Logan VanDine

IN its first match of the season at the Princeton Open on Nov. 5, Rider wrestling had an impressive showing with two of its wrestlers finishing top two in their weight classes.

Overall, the Broncs saw six of their own on the podium in the event with juniors Colton Washleski and 30th-ranked David Szuba, graduate students Michael Wilson, Jake Silverstein and 27th-ranked Richie Koehler, along with senior Azeem Bell, who competed in Jadwin Gym.

Head Coach John Hangey said, “Our guys wrestled hard today. We did not win all the matches we hoped to but it wasn’t for lack of effort. There is always room for improvement which is why we always start the season with a tournament. I know our guys will get into the room this week to make the necessary adjustments moving forward.”

However, the bigger story of the tournament was Washleski and Koehler both finishing second in the Princeton Open for their respective weight classes.

“Richie is a very poised veteran for us being in his sixth year. It’s important that he hits the ground running… because he was sick in the beginning of the year, but this was a much better start for him,” Hangey said. 

“For Colton, it was a good performance for him because he was a little bit sporadic from last year and he was really dialed in and focused and he wrestled really well.”

Washleski, who weighed in at 149 pounds, had notable wins in his first three matches of the day with a 19-4 win over Princeton’s Zander Silva along with back-to-back major winning decisions over Will Morrow of Bloomsburg by a score of 11-2 and a win against Connor Eck of Lock Haven, 11-0.

“Overall, I’m proud of my performance. I think I wrestled very well and definitely improved from last year. I would like to have done better in the finals, but it was a tight turnaround and the day definitely took a toll on my body,” Washleski said.

For Koehler, who was listed at 133 pounds, the 27th-ranked wrestler won his first three bouts of the tournament taking down Daniel Uhorchuck by a score of 8-6 and Connor Collins by a score of 9-7 both from Army. The other win came against Max Hermes of Rutgers by a score of 6-2 before reaching a first-place match with Ryan Crookham of Lehigh to fall to him in a major decision, 14-4.

Koehler said,“Overall, it was an alright first outing. Being down to weight for the first time this year, competing in a tournament setting and getting used to the process again was nice to have. Proud of my effort, but not the result I wanted. Lots to work on and fix as the year goes on.” The Broncs next matchup will be against Indiana University, a formidable Big Ten opponent, on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. Hangey said, “It’s important that you got to finish takedowns, you got to stop letting kids in our legs so much… .If we can keep people from getting into our legs, I think it will increase our chances of having success against a team like Indiana.” 

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