The Hofstra Pride wrestling team opened the season at the Jonathan Kaloust Bearcat Open last Sunday at Binghamton University.
Hofstra started the season with a strong showing, led by Michael Hughes as he took the gold in the 285 lbs. weight class.
Overall, the Pride had a very successful day. Hofstra finished in eighth place in the team standings, with Sage Heller and Hughes both placing in their brackets.
After a first-round bye in the 174 lbs. weight class, Heller lost to Penn State’s Mark Hall, who went on to win the bracket. After his loss, Heller won five matches in a row, before losing to Ohio University’s Dontae McGee in the consolation semifinal match. In Heller’s next match, he pinned Maryland’s Sam Rowell to earn fifth place in the bracket.
Heller had a rough start with his first loss, but had a strong comeback by winning his next five matches, finishing the day with a 6-2 record and earning fifth place in the tournament.
The second Pride member to place in this bracket was Hughes. He defended last year’s championship with another first-place finish in this year’s tournament.
Hughes dominated throughout the day, going 5-0 while only allowing one point to be scored against him.
Hughes started the day with a technical fall over Army’s Zach Maxwell, winning 17-0. He then won by major decision over Jordan Wood from Lehigh. In the quarterfinal match, Hughes pinned Brock Cvijanovich from Binghamton University and in the semifinal match he beat Harvard’s Nicholas Gajdzik 3-1 to advance to the final.
In the final match, Hughes won by technical fall over Jeramy Sweany from Cornell. The score was 15-0 in favor of Hughes, which gave him the 285 lbs. title for the second year in a row.
Another Hofstra wrestler who stood out in Sunday’s tournament was Kyle Krasavage at 141 lbs. Although Krasavage lost his first match, he turned his game strategy around by winning his next four matches. Unfortunately, he lost in the consolation bracket before the quarterfinals, which eliminated him from the tournament.
Hofstra’s next match will be on Nov. 20 at the New York State Collegiate Championship in Ithaca, New York.