Wrestling Wins Messiah College Invitational
By Brody Tennant, Staff Writer
The Gettysburg College wrestling team won the Messiah College Invitational this past weekend and looks to have a promising season this year after months of preparation.
The team won 10 dual meets last year for the second consecutive season en route to their fourth place finish at the Centennial Conference championships, while also placing 11th at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship. The team returns seven conference place-winners and five regional place-winners from last season.
The team will also have seasoned senior leadership, with all five seniors having starting experience and four having placed at regionals.
“The seniors this year will help us have the best team that we have had in a while,” said Head Coach Andy Vogel. “Colin Kowalski and Paul Triandafilou are both among the best in the country at their weights, while Dan Ebert and Noah Malamut are both regional place-winners looking to take the next step. It gives us a strong core that will keep us in every match and make us competitive in tournaments.”
Kowalski won a total of 37 matches last year at the 165 pounds while also seeing his first action in the NCAA Division III Championships.
Triandafilou won 30 matches and won the conference heavyweight championship for the second consecutive year. A late season injury prevented him from seeing action at the national stage for what would have been his third season in a row.
When asked about both of these seniors, Coach Andy Vogel holds high expectations and is excited to see them succeed this season.
“They are both aiming to be on the podium in March at the NCAA Championships,” said Vogel. “If they have the kind of season we are expecting, they will be right in the mix to be our next two All-Americans.”
Over the weekend, the Bullets won the Messiah Invite, which is the team’s first team tournament victory since 1976.
Four wrestlers took individual titles as well. Sophomore Robert Garnett and junior Colin Devlin won at 141 and 149 pounds, respectively. Kowalski earned his third career individual title at 174 pounds, and Triandafilou took home his 8th career individual title at heavyweight, while also becoming the program’s all-time leader in wins for that division.
Garnett wrestled fellow teammate sophomore Sean Thompson in the 141-pound championship, edging him out 3-2.
Devlin was dominant throughout the tournament, earning three pins en route to the championship. His opponent, Messiah’s Stephen Maloney, had outscored his opponents at the tournament 55-6, and had defeated Devlin in all three of their matches last season. This time, however, Devlin pinned him in the second period.
Kowalski was just as dominant as Devlin, earning three pins, including one in the championship, to earn his third career title.
Triandafilou, who was the top seed in his bracket, won all of his matches by 3 points or less, earning his way through the tournament. His championship win was his 91st career victory, which not only made him the all-time heavyweight leader in wins, but also put him at sixth all-time in wins at Gettysburg.
The team will make its home debut at their own tournament this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. inside Bream Gymnasium.