BROCKPORT, NY - The Buffalo wrestling team competed at the Oklahoma Gold Classic Saturday, hosted by SUNY Brockport. Select members of the team wrestled against grapplers from Oklahoma, Maryland, American, Army, and Brockport. The team finished fifth in the overall competition, with a number of individuals placing in the top four.
Andrew Schutt had the team's best finish of the day, placing second at 141 pounds. His only loss came in the finals, to Kendric Maple of Oklahoma - a wrestler many consider to be a contender for the national championship. He won a 3-1 match to Brockport's Eliah Golding in the first round before defeating third-seeded Connor Hanafee of Army 8-5 in the semifinal round. Maple earned the title and also was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Wally Maziarz finished third in the tournament at 157 pounds after racking up four straight wins in the consolation bracket. He won his opening round match before losing the next. In the consolation bracket, he picked up a pair of decisive wins over Maryland wrestlers Brady Massaro and Anthony Guidice, by scores of 10-0 and 17-2, respectively. That and a 5-4 win over Pat Marchetti earned him a bout for third place against teammate Clay Reeb, who had won two straight consolation matches to make the consy final. Maziarz would win third place thanks to a 6-0 shutout of Reeb.
Another third place finish for the team would come from Angelo Malvestuto, who nearly pulled off the upset of the day for UB but ultimately would finish 3-1 at 197 pounds. After earning an second-period tech fall in the first round, Malvestuto duked it out with Christian Boley of Maryland, a top-10 ranked wrestler in the weight class. He would lose 12-8 in the match, but come back to beat fellow Terrapin Matt Snook and then Oklahoma's Brad Johnson in the consolation final by a commanding 18-7 score.
A bright spot for the team would come from Justin Heiserman, who finished third in a deep heavyweight division. He pinned Frank Schaafsma of Maryland in the first period of the first round before losing to eventual champion Blake Herrin of American in the next round. He would rally in the consolation bracket, beating Carl Bucholz of Maryland 2-1 and then Stephen Snyder of Army 4-0 in the consolation final.
The other Bull finishing in the top four besides Reeb was Max Soria, who went 2-2 at 125 pounds.
The team will now train for the New York State Collegiate Championships, to be held next Saturday in Ithaca. Buffalo finished fourth at last season's tournament, earning a pair of individual titles along the way.