Ryan Hart, of Wyalusing, placed eighth in the 133-pound weight class during the National Collegiate Wrestling Association Championships Saturday in Allen, Texas, and Penn College finished 20th.
A freshman, Hart went 2-0 in matches on Thursday with wins by major decision and decision. In Friday’s quarterfinal round he lost by technical fall, but bounced back with a win by decision to earn a guaranteed spot in the Top 8 and All-American status. That put him into Saturday’s action where he lost by decision in his final match.
“Ryan, being a freshman and coming down here and wrestling tough and reaching the All-American rounds, certainly is big. I think it was a great experience for him and I think he definitely is ready to go to the next level to get even higher on the podium,” coach Schuyler Frey said.
Earlier in the national tournament, Penn College 157-pounder Tyler Myers, of Centre Hall, went 1-1 on Thursday before being eliminated on Friday; 165-pounder Austin Clark, of Elysburg, went 1-2 on Thursday and was ousted; 174-pounder Logan Gresock, of Copley, Ohio, went 1-1 on the first day and 2-1 on the second day before falling by the wayside; 174-pounder Dan Frankenfield, of Wyalusing, went 0-2 on Thursday and was eliminated; 184-pounder Paul Crutchlow, of Morris Plains, N.J., was 2-0 with a pair of pins on Thursday before going 1-1 and being eliminated on Friday; and Alex Muller, of Sparta, N.J., also at 184, went 1-2 on Thursday and was eliminated.
A year ago, Penn College finished 17th in the nation after tying for 42 nd the year before.
“It was sort of disappointing (that the Wildcats didn’t finisher higher as a team), but it wasn’t because the guys weren’t wrestling well. I think a lot of people don’t look at the NCWA as being competitive but each year that we’ve been coming here the competition has gotten so much tougher and, definitely, that was probably a contributing factor in us not getting a couple more guys onto the podium. It’s not because they weren’t wrestling tough or hard, it’s just one or two moves that get you onto that podium,” the coach, in his third year, continued.
Reflection on his team’s season that included marks of 13-8 in all meets, 5-1 in the Penn State University Athletic Conference, where it ended second in the postseason tournament, and a third-place finish in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, Frey said, “We’ve had a lot of ups and downs, a lot of things we had to overcome with injuries, but there are so many positive things that happened for the guys as a team and we witnessed a lot of that this weekend with the camaraderie and memories that they are going to have.
“Everyone worked hard and it was a really good group to work with. The four seniors (Myers, Gresock, Crutchlow and Clark) are going to be missed. They set a solid foundation and have given the underclassmen the direction of what it takes to be successful.”
Full Penn College Results
Penn College got off to a good start during the four-day Ripken Experience Tournament in Myrtle Beach on Monday with wins over County College of Morris, 5-4, and Salem County College, 9-1. Against Morris, Zachary Buterbaugh, of Conestoga, and Josh Longsderff, of Columbia, each had two hits and Jeremy Rall, of Williamsport, had two runs batted in. In the nightcap, pitcher Matt Demillio, of Greensburg, went the seven-inning distance against Salem allowing just three hits and striking out four. Travis Hendershot, of Muncy, had two hits for the Wildcats, including a two-run double, and Nicholas Fazio, of Norristown, hit a two-run homer.
On Tuesday, Penn College gave up eight runs in the first three innings of an 8-4 loss to North Central Missouri College. After a scoreless first inning, Wildcats’ starter Luke Zamiskie, of Latrobe, got into trouble in the second as Missouri scored six runs, all with two outs. Penn College got on the board in the fourth when sophomore Zachary Weil, of Kutztown, hit a two-run double, but despite nine hits it couldn’t overcome the early deficit.
The Wildcats split on Wednesday, losing to Adirondack Community College, 4-3, and beating Albert Magnus College, 8-5. Rall and Cody Buterbaugh each went 2 for 3 at the plate in the first game. Weil went 2 for 3 with a double, triple and RBI against Albert Magnus and Zach Buterbaugh drove in a pair of runs.
Closing out their week, and tournament, on Thursday, Penn College fell, 9-4, to Dean College to drop to 3-5 on the season. Zach Buterbaugh went 2 for 3 with a double and one RBI and Josh Longsderff, of Columbia, was 2 for 4, as the team completed a 3-3 week.
The Wildcats are scheduled to open their home season at noon on Saturday hosting Luzerne County Community College at Logue Field.
The Wildcats opened their season in the Snowbird Softball Tournament at Myrtle Beach with a 13-2, five-inning win over Gordon College in the first of two games on Monday. In that game they pounded out 14 hits with winning pitcher Lacy Lose, of Avis, helping her own cause by going 2 for 3 at the plate with four runs batted in while Katie Kratzer, of Selinsgrove, had three hits, including a triple. In the day’s second game, NCAA Division III Juniata College scored 13 first-inning runs en route to a 14-0, five-inning rout. Penn College managed just two hits.
After being idle on Tuesday, the Wildcats returned to action Wednesday and lost to Albert Magnus College, 4-1, and Daniel Webster College, 9-0. Lose went 2 for 3 with one RBI against Albert Magnus.
On Thursday, Penn College suffered losses to Norwich College, 14-2, and SUNY Institute of Technology, 9-2. Casey Davis, of New Albany, went 2 for 2 in the first game and Samantha Hill, of Montgomery, 2 for 3 in the second.
Penn College closed out its trip with a doubleheader split on Friday, edging Gordon College, 8-7, and falling to SUNY Institute of Technology, 5-4 in a tiebreaker. Against Gordon, Davis went 2 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored, Hill went 2 for 3 with an RBI, Kratzer ripped a two-run homer and Stephanie Koleno, of Moshannon, went 3 for 4 with a double. Lose was the winning pitcher with 10 strikeouts over seven innings. Against SUNY, Kratzer was 2 for 4 and Stephanie Keifrider, of Douglassville, 2 for 3 at the plate. Going to an international tiebreaker after eight innings where a runner starts on second, SUNY IT scored and Penn College didn’t as it finished 2-6 for the week.
The Wildcats are scheduled to open their home season at 2 p.m. Tuesday hosting Elmira, N.Y., College at Elm Park.