2018 Championship Preview

2018 Championship Preview

 

The 25th annual Centennial Conference wrestling championship takes place on Saturday in Lexington, Va., on the campus of Washington and Lee University. Stevens, ranked 17th nationally, has won three straight titles and looks to become just the third program to "four-peat" joining Ursinus (2003-04-05-06-07) and Merchant Marine (2008-09-10-11).

Gettysburg and Johns Hopkins may have the best chance to dethrone the Ducks. The Bullets have finished third the past two seasons and look for their first-ever Centennial title. The Blue Jays took home the 2012 crown and are looking to make a run at the trophy after placing seventh a year ago.

Three defending champions are back in the field, including Ursinus 125 Chris Tan, Stevens 133 Troy Stanich, and Gettysburg 285 Paul Triandafilou.

Action begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday. You can watch the finals on your desktop, laptop, tablet or phone at CentennialConference.TV or on your big screen on our OTT channels (Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV).

[Centennial Conference championship page]

 

Here is a preview by weight class.

125: Ursinus senior Chris Tan (Robbinsville, N.J., 18-2) is the defending champion and has a 7-0 mark in CC dual matches this season. He was named the Conference's Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2017 as well. Stevens junior Joey Borai (Toms River, N.J., 26-5) was 6-1 in CC duals with his lone loss coming to Tan by a 5-2 count. Johns Hopkins senior Christian Vallis (Boxford, Mass., 12-11) and Gettysburg senior Lenny Ogozalek (Summit Hill, Pa., 26-12) will also factor in the medal chase.

133: Stevens sophomore Troy Stanich (Roxbury, N.J., 27-0) is the top-ranked wrestler at 133 in the country and returns to defend his Centennial title. Johns Hopkins junior Ricky Cavallo (Greensburg, Pa., 23-6) and Muhlenberg sophomore Austin Sherman (Fairfield, Conn., 23-12) posted 5-2 CC dual-meet marks, while Merchant Marine junior Tyler Craig (Snowhegan, Maine, 11-9) could also make noise in the weight class.

141: Washington and Lee junior Zach Bylykbashi (Southington, Conn., 22-7) was a runnerup at 133 a year ago and will challenge for the gold against a pair of freshmen - Stevens' Brett Kaliner (West Chester, Pa., 25-2) and Gettysburg's Sean Thompson (Plainsboro, N.J., 26-9). Kaliner defeated Bylykbashi, 7-1, last weekend and is ranked fourth nationally. No rookie has captured this weight class since 2008.

149: Gettysburg sophomore Colin Devlin (Dresher, Pa., 17-7) moves up one class after finishing second at 141 a year ago and was 6-1 in CC duals. Stevens sophomore Dylan Van Sickell (Little Silver, N.J., 26-11) was undefeated in CC duals (6-0) and defeated Devlin, 13-5, on January 20. W&L freshman Bryce Crew (St. Mary's, Ga., 12-4) and Johns Hopkins senior Connor Joyce (Annapolis, Md., 20-15) will also contend for the medal stand.

157: Stevens senior Zach Wilhelm (Tuckerton, N.J., 32-2) is the favorite in this weight class, after rolling through seven CC opponents this season. He was runnerup at 149 a year ago and is ranked fourth nationally. W&L soph Shane Conners (Mount Airy, Md., 13-4) was 5-1 in duals, while Hopkins' freshman Dominick Reyes (Cockeysville, Md., 20-12) and USMMA freshman Kieran Duggan (Woodbury, Conn., 24-14) were both 5-2. Ursinus freshman Jake Folk (East Greenville, Pa., 16-11) and Muhlenberg soph Michael Dougan (Cedar Grove, N.J., 14-13) could also sneak into a medal.

165: Gettysburg junior Colin Kowalski (Derwood, Md., 30-4) is the favorite after recording an unblemished 7-0 mark in CC duals. No Bullet has won this weight class since Chris Clifford in 1996. Keep an eye on Stevens soph Thomas Poklikuha (West Creek, N.J., 13-1) who was second at 157 last winter, as well as Muhlenberg soph Dylan Schwartz (Richboro, Pa., 28-10). 

174: Merchant Marine sophomore Joshua Glantzman (Allenwood, N.J., 17-5) posted a 7-0 CC dual-meet mark to most likely earn the top seed. He looks to become the first Mariner to capture the 174 crown. W&L senior Brandon Lefore (Morgan Hill, Calif., 23-5) suffered just one CC loss at the hands of Glantzman, while Stevens senior Josh Smith (Bear, Del., 11-12) could also reach the final.

184: Johns Hopkins junior Isaac Morales (Gilbert, Ariz., 29-9) is the favorite at 184 after registering a 7-0 mark in CC duals. Ursinus freshman Ben Maack (Reading, Pa., 19-7) was 5-2 in duals, while USMMA soph Kurtis Hahn (Winfield, Mo., 7-6) and W&L soph Rexx Hallyburton (Bishop, Ga., 4-0) could also factor.

197: USMMA junior Blake Bunce (Trophy Club, Texas, 20-4) was runnerup in this weight class last year and was 7-0 in CC duals in his quest to move up to the top step of the podium in 2018. Muhlenberg junior Gennaro Cerminara (Hummelstown, Pa., 26-9) is his main competition, while Gettysburg senior Anthony Puca (Huntington, N.Y., 10-6) could reach the medal stand as well.

285: It could be a rematch of the 2017 final between Gettysburg junior Paul Triandafilou (Derwood, Md., 27-5) and Washington and Lee senior Matt Kaminer (Hewlett, N.Y., 23-10). Both finished with 6-1 CC dual marks with Triandafilou coming up on top on the regular-season match by a 4-1 decision. McDaniel junior Brendan Woody (Crofton, Md.) and Ursinus junior Billy McGinley (Glenmoore, Pa., 12-6) will also contend.