Wrestlers roll to seventh straight win

Bobby Scott, Sports Editor

Pitt-Johnstown’s wrestling team is riding high as they are in the midst of a seven-match winning streak and are ranked 13th nationally.

The team defeated conference foe Seton Hill University 36-10, last Wednesday.

The Mountain Cats jumped out to a 9-0 lead to start the match thanks to a forfeit in the 125-pound weight class, and 9-2 decision favoring Pitt-Johnstown’s redshirt freshman Luke Palamides in the 133-pound weight class.

Pitt-Johnstown won the meet’s last five bouts with redshirt freshman John Blankenship and sophomore Nikos Garafola recording decisions in the 165 and 174-pound weight class.

The Mountain Cats ended the Griffins’ night with three straight falls scored by nationally second-ranked, junior Travis McKillop in the 184-pound weight class.

Injuries to key starters sophomore Evan Link and Senior Dave Cawley for Pitt-Johnstown have proven to be only minor roadblocks for the team as younger wrestlers have stepped up.

“It was a solid win,” McKillop said.  “We have some starters that are out dealing with injuries so (Sophomore Craig Dawson, freshaman Cole Landowski and Blakenship) stepped in and filled the role very well.”

The other two Pitt-Johnstown wrestlers to score falls were junior University of North Carolina transfer Zac Bennett at 197 pounds and sophomore Josh Duplin at 285 pounds.

“It was a good win and everything went as planned,” Duplin said.  “It was nice getting pins in the last three matches.”

The Mountain Cats continued their dominant ways Saturday by soundly defeating Millersville, 40-4.

The only Pitt-Johnstown loss came from the 141-pound weight class,  in which sophomore Craig Dawson was defeated in a major decision.

The team also recorded falls also from Dave Fogle and Central Michigan University transfer Sam Hanau.

The team is now in second place in the conference with a 3-1 record (9-1 overall).

Two non-conference opponents are next on the schedule this week traveling to Lake Erie College (Ohio) Tuesday and Wheeling Jesuit  University (W. Va.) Friday night at the Sports Center.