The 26th annual Centennial Conference wrestling championship is set for Saturday in Kings Point, N.Y. on the campus of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Four-time defending champion Stevens will aim to become just the second program in Centennial history to accomplish a five-year reign atop the conference. Ursinus (2003-04-05-06-07) is the only Centennial team to accomplish that feat.
Stevens recently completed its fourth consecutive unbeaten conference dual regular season, posting a 7-0 mark against Centennial foes this winter. Washington & Lee (4-1 CC) and Merchant Marine (4-2) also registered winning dual marks. Several duals were cancelled due to inclement weather in January.
Eight individual champions return to this year's championship event, headlined by two-time champions Troy Stanich of Stevens and Paul Triandafilou of Gettysburg. Stanich is the two-time 133 champion and top-ranked wrestler in the nation at 141 this season, while Triandafilou has earned back-to-back titles at 285.
Other returning gold medalists include the Stevens' trio of Joey Borai (2018 125 champion, competing at 133), Brett Kaliner (2018 141 champion, competing at 149), and Dylan Van Sickell (2018 149 champion, competing at 157), along with Merchant Marine's Josh Glantzmann (2018 174 champion, competing at 184), Johns Hopkins' Isaac Morales (2018 184 champion), and Muhlenberg's Gennaro Cerminara (2018 197 champion).
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).
Here is a preview by weight class.
125: Defending champion Joey Borai, a senior at Stevens, has moved up to 133, leaving room for a new champion in 2019. Ursinus freshman Collin Wickramaratna (22-5) posted a 4-0 mark in CC duals while Washington & Lee senior Ethan Hartman (13-13, 5-0 CC) also registered an unbeaten CC dual record. The two did not meet due to inclement weather cancelling the matchup between the Bears and the Generals during the regular season. Stevens freshman Akhil Vega (11-14, 5-2 CC) could also make noise in this weight class.
133: Johns Hopkins senior and ninth-ranked nationally Ricky Cavallo (23-12, 5-0 CC), who fell to Stevens' Troy Stanich by a 6-2 decision in last year's final, will aim for gold this season after posting a 5-0 mark in CC duals. Among those five victories were a 7-5 decision over Stevens senior Joey Borai (19-5, 6-1 CC), the 2018 champion at 125. McDaniel junior Ryker Eckenberger (25-4, 5-2 CC) also figures to play a role in the medal chase, with his only two conference defeats coming to Cavallo and Borai.
141: Stevens junior Troy Stanich (34-1, 7-0 CC) enters as the top-ranked wrestler in the nation and the clear-cut favorite to three-peat as champion. After winning the 133 title in each of his first two seasons, Stanich ran through the competition in CC duals with a 7-0 mark that included five pins and two tech. falls. Gettysburg sophomore Sean Thompson (19-10, 5-2 CC), Washington & Lee senior Zach Bylykbashi (7-4, 3-2 CC), and McDaniel freshman Isaiah Edmond (20-11, 4-3 CC) enter the championship with winning CC dual records. Bylykbashi was the runner-up last season.
149: Stevens sophomore Brett Kaliner, the 2018 champion at 141, reigning Rookie of the Year and No. 6-ranked 149 in the country, boasts a 31-5 overall record and 7-0 mark in CC duals that included four pins, two tech. falls and one major decision. Looking to challenge Kaliner for positions on the medal stand will be Gettysburg junior Colin Devlin (20-5, 4-2 CC) and W&L sophomore Bryce Crew (23-9, 3-2 CC).
157: Stevens junior Dylan Van Sickell and Johns Hopkins sophomore Dominick Reyes enter as the favorites at 157. Van Sickell (23-8, 6-0 CC) won the title at 149 last winter and rolled to a 6-0 CC dual mark this season, while Reyes (16-3, 5-0 CC) also finished the CC dual season unblemished. Merchant Marine sophomore Kieran Duggan (10-6, 4-2 CC), the 2018 runner-up, and Muhlenberg junior Brian Jamison (15-8, 3-0 CC) also figure to be in the mix after strong regular seasons.
165: Merchant Marine freshman Billy Sims (21-8, 6-0 CC) ran through conference competition with a perfect 6-0 record in CC duals. Other challengers include W&L junior Shane Conners (10-3, 4-1 CC), whose only loss came to Sims by a 4-0 decision, along with Muhlenberg junior Dylan Schwartz (22-7, 3-0 CC).
174: Gettysburg senior Colin Kowalski (30-2, 7-0 CC), the 2018 runner-up at 165, enters the weekend as the clear-cut favorite at 174. Ranked No. 10 nationally, Kowalski cruised to convincing victories en route to a 7-0 CC dual record. His biggest challenger for gold may be W&L junior Alec Horne (21-9, 4-1 CC), who fell to Kowalski by a 7-0 decision on Jan. 26.
184: A defending champion will be denied a repeat title in this weight class as Merchant Marine junior Josh Glantzman (2018 174 champion) and Johns Hopkins senior Isaac Morales (2018 184 champion) will each look to earn back-to-back gold medals. Glantzman (12-2, 6-0 CC), who is ranked No. 9 in the nation, and Morales (21-11, 3-0 CC) both posted unblemished CC dual records. A number of wrestlers enter the championship with impressive 2018-19 marks, including Gettysburg senior Dan Ebert (20-7, 4-2 CC), Stevens freshman Michael Dooley (16-6), 2018 runner-up W&L junior Rexx Hallyburton, and Ursinus senior Anthony Cutrufello (14-8).
197: Muhlenberg senior Gennaro Cerminara (20-6, 5-0 CC) is the defending champion in this weight class and is the favorite after a perfect 5-0 CC dual season. W&L freshman Brad Basham (12-6, 3-2 CC) may prove to be Cerminara's biggest competition.
285: A pair of nationally-ranked foes could end up reliving a dramatic Jan. 19 bout as Gettysburg senior Paul Triandafilou (26-3, 6-1 CC) and Merchant Marine senior Blake Bunce (26-3, 6-0 CC) enter as the two favorites. Bunce, No. 7 in the latest national rankings, pinned eighth-ranked Triandafilou in their regular season meeting. Triandafilou is a two-time defending Centennial champion, while Bunce was the runner-up at 197 last season. Ursinus senior William McGinley (17-12) placed third last season while Muhlenberg junior Scott Schaeffer (16-13, 3-1 CC) is another name to watch as a potential contender.