UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - Needing only three wins to become the fifth wrestler in program history to reach 100 career wins, senior Jimmy Hamel wasted no time Sunday at the Penn State Open, winning his first three matches to hit the century mark. Kevin Smith's second-place finish in a deep tournament was another one of the many highlights for the Bulls at the all-day tournament, hosted by the Nittany Lions.
Hamel's first win came against King College's Brandon Tressler, 6-0. In the second round, the Natick, MA native beat out Brad Nielson of Maryland 8-3 before taking down The Citadel's Josh Tuck 10-4 to reach 100 wins, a mark no Buffalo wrestler has achieved since Mark Budd in 2007.
Smith had a terrific outing as well, starting the day with four straight wins before falling in the championship match at 133 pounds. The Mexico, NY native took down wrestlers from Navy, Bloomsburg, Maryland and North Carolina en route to his runner-up finish.
A handful of other Buffalo wrestlers also placed in a tournament that was chock full of top-25 teams and talented wrestler from all over the country. Mark Lewandowski placed seventh at 157 to continue his terrific sophomore campaign. Fellow sophomore Brett Correll also placed, finishing eighth in the heavyweight bracket.
Sophomore Josh Peters continues to build momentum this season with his second-straight tournament placing, a fifth-place finish after taking third at the Body Bar Invite. Peters took down Justin Ortega of Penn State in the fifth-place match, 3-2, and looks to be finding his rhythm on the mat.
John-Martin Cannon claimed the team's second-highest placing of the day, taking fourth at 165 pounds. The Brockport, NY junior won four straight before losing to eventual champion Josh Asper of Maryland.
It was a busy weekend for the entire Buffalo wrestling team, as 10 members also went to wrestle at the Niagara County Community College Open Saturday. Two freshman earned their first career tournament championships as Wally Maziarz (149 pounds) and Zach Ward (174) each were crowned individual champs. The Soria twins were standouts in the 125 pound bracket, with Mike placing second and Max finishing fourth.
At 157 pounds, Matt Dehney placed third after going 4-1 for the tournament. Justin Farmer was injured after cruising through his first two wins and was forced to take a medical forfeit despite dominating his first two matches. Ricky Bronson was a fifth-place finisher at 149 pounds and heavyweight Mitzunobu Aiono finished fourth to round out a terrific effort for the younger members of the team.
After a string of tournaments the team will get a shot to improve on its 1-1 dual meet record as it will take on Drexel, Bloomsburg and East Stroudsburg in an all-day dual meet round robin hosted by Bloomsburg. The quad-meet will kick off next Sunday at 9 am.