Last weekend, the Stony Brook wrestling club had the chance to compete against some of the nation’s best teams in the National Wrestling Collegiate Association National Duals event in Dalton, Georgia. The No. 21 Seawolves picked up wins in two out of their six matchups, and finished 15th out of 24 teams in the tournament.
“It was a tremendous experience being that it was our first national pool and appearance,” head coach Shaun Lally said.
The Seawolves started out the weekend with an impressive 42-15 win over Tennessee Temple. The team then fell in a pair of matchups to two of the best teams in the country, No. 4 Apprentice and No. 5 U.C.F.
Stony Brook was able to bounce back against their next opponent, M.I.T., and nearly defeated the team, ranked No. 15 by the NCWA. The two squads finished with a 30-30 tie, but M.I.T. was given the tiebreaker victory, due to the fact that they had a higher number of bouts won (6-5).
After the heartbreaking loss, SBU would drop another matchup against No. 16 F.G.C.U. But, the Seawolves would finish the weekend strong, defeating No. 23 ranked East Tennessee State, by the score of 32-28.
The team faced some of the nation’s best teams during their time in Georgia, and more than held their own. Lally was pleased with what he saw from his players on the trip.
“The team really bonded down there,” Lally said. “Really a great experience for our younger players.”
Stony Brook is now ranked 21st in the nation, according to the most recent NCWA poll. The team, which was virtually non-existent a few years ago, is now starting to make a name for itself.
The Seawolves have already wrestled at New York State Intercollegiates at Cornell and at Madison Square Garden’s “Grapple at the Garden” event this season.
A major reason for the team’s success this year, has been its contributions from its younger players. Freshman Michael LaNasa leads the team with 58.45 points this season, and has a record of 9-3 in matches this year.
Fellow freshman Jonathan Campanelli leads Stony Brook with eight pins on the season, and also has a record of 10-7. Freshman Jonathan Crespo also has eight wins and seven pins for the Seawolves this year.
This Sunday the squad will compete in the Groundhog Tournament up in Amherst, Massachusetts. The team will also have a meet later on in the month at nearby Ward Melville High School, where they will take on Cortland in a NCWA Conference match.