The National Collegiate Open began in 2009 at Clarion University, with 179 wrestlers. The tournament is essentially an NCAA's for all the wrestlers who aren't on their teams starting lineups. Penn State crowned two champions in 2010 (David Taylor and Quentin Wright); another in 2011 (Dylan Alton); and one more last season (Jon Gingrich). A handful of wrestlers made their way south to the one-day event to compete on Sunday. You can check out the full brackets at this link.
True Freshman Jimmy Gulibon (Derry) finished fourth. He racked up two tech falls over wrestlers from Rutgers and Bloomsburg, plus an 8-5 decision over Zane Richards from Illinois to make the semi-finals. There, he dropped a 6-10 decision to redshirting All-American Ryan Mango of Stanford. In the consolation semis he received a forfeit, and then faced off against nemesis Mason Beckman (Reynolds) of Lehigh. Beckman came out on top again, with a fall at the 1:04 mark. Jimmy finishes his redshirt season 23-7, with 8 majors, 7 tech falls and one pin.
True Freshman Zack Beitz (Juniata) finished fourth. Zack began with a 10-3 win over Derek Goodwin of Bloomsburg, and then dropped an 0-4 decision to eventual champ Tyler Small of Kent State. Into the consolation bracket, Zack picked up where he started and rattled off five consecutive wins (two by major) to reach the consolation final, which he lost 4-9 to Sam Hanau of Central Michigan. Zack finishes his redshirt season 23-11, with 6 majors and 1 tech fall.
Redshirt freshman Luke Frey (Montoursville) finished second. Luke stayed in the championship bracket with a 14-0 major over Austin Sams of Chattanooga; a 5-0 decision over Cole Moseley (American); a 3-1 win over Nick Heilman (North Carolina); and dropped a 1-3 decision in the final to Mitch Minotti (Easton) of Lehigh. Luke wrapped up 2012-2013 with a 13-4 record, 5 majors, 1 tech fall, and a 4th place finish at the Southern Scuffle.
Redshirt freshman Rex Lutz (Pen Argyl) did not place, finishing 1-2 at the NCO. Rex finished the season 10-13 overall while working on his Biology/Pre-Med major.
Sophomore Brandon Phillips (Timonium, MD) got off to a rough start, losing a 4-9 decision to Brooks Morrison of Virginia Tech (elite). Brandon won his next 3 bouts in the consolation bracket before dropping a second decision to Morrison, 1-5, one win shy of placing in the top 6 (the NCO doesn't wrestle off for 7th/8th).
True freshman Wes Phipps (Grove City) opened his NCO with a 14-3 major over Robert Fitzgerald (Maryland), and then dropped a 2-6 decision to Jack Dechow (Old Dominion). Wes advanced once in the consolations, and did not place, finishing his first year at 10-9.
Redshirt freshman Scott Syrek (Owen J. Roberts) nearly pulled off a John Lange. Scott dropped his first match, 1-7, to Hayden Hrymack (Rutgers), and then rattled off four straight wins in the wrestle backs, including a 1:32 pin, before he dropped his consolation semi-final bout to Paul Rands (Navy). Wrestling for 5th, he injury defaulted and finished 6th. But that was still a heck of a run. Syrek finishes the year 7-11.
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