News Lakers Impressively Defend The Lake - Garrett College
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Campus News

November 14th, 2023

Lakers impressively 'Defend the Lake'

Host Garrett College wins five titles, nets nine top-two finishes

defend the lake

Garrett College's Jacob Keating, top, won the 285-pound weight class at the Defend the Laker Open on Saturday. Keating pinned Shane Sauldier of Sussex County (NJ) Community College, bottom, in a quarterfinal match in 5:29.

The host Lakers took the name of the "Defend the Lake Open" quite literally.

Garrett College wrestlers won five weight classes and had four runner-up finishes in the four-team open tournament. Three of the nine weight classes featured Laker sweeps of the top two positions.

"This was a really important weekend," said Lakers head coach David Wingate, noting all three visiting teams – Sussex County (NJ) Community College, Rowan (NJ) College, and Thaddeus Stevens (PA) College of Technology – are Gulf Atlantic District rivals. "This meet will have a big impact on seeding for the tournament at the end of the year."

Lakers Matt Lombardo (133 pounds), Cole Stuchal (165), Tyberious Clayton (184), Drayk Bunn (197), and Jacob Keating (285) each won their respective weight classes. GC's EJ Guy (141), Thanyal Miller (149), Linden Amtoung (165), and Conner Hughes (184) all claimed second-place finishes.

Landon Rhodes (149) and Jacob Beeman (285) had third-place finishes for GC. Lakers Brody Byrd (149), Caleb Neer (165), and Raynard Kanu (285) each finished fourth in their respective weight classes.

Laker James Bounds finished sixth in the 125-pound weight class.

Lombardo's title at 133 – one of two weight classes featuring a round-robin format – included an impressive second-period pin against Derek Renninger (Thaddeus Stevens).

"Matt had a really good showing against a tough district opponent," said Wingate, noting Renninger was a returning national qualifier.

Guy faced an 8-0 deficit after two periods in the 141-pound finals. He staged a furious comeback that fell just short in a 9-7 loss to Rowan College's Kyle Simpson.

"EJ started the third period in the neutral position, got a takedown, put him [Simpson] on his back, but just couldn't finish out the pin," said Wingate.

Ryan Findlay (Thaddeus Stevens) pinned Miller in the 149-pound final. After Tanner McCracken (Thaddeus Stevens) won the 157-pound title, Laker Stuchal pinned teammate Amtoung in 2:57 with GC's Neer fourth in the 165-pound division.

"All three of those guys were real hammers at 165 pounds," said Wingate.

Wingate noted that Hughes "pinned his way to the finals" at 184 pounds, but it was Clayton who got the championship-round pin in 2:22.

"Ty had a tough first match and then a great finals," said Wingate.

Bunn had two pins and a 4-2 victory over Noah Ripley (Sussex County) to claim the 197-pound round-robin.

"Drayk found ways to win matches," said Wingate. "I'm super-proud of him."

Keating defeated Peyton Wentzel (Thaddeus Stevens), 8-4, in the 285-pound final, while Beeman pinned Kanu in 1:28 in the all-Laker, third-place match.

"Keating just knows how to stay in great positions and get points when he needs them," said Wingate. "There's one national wild-card in that bracket – when you're facing guys from the district, it's important to have a good showing."

While very pleased with his team's performance, Wingate is already looking ahead to this weekend.

"We just have to get right back to work," said Wingate, whose squad wrestles Sunday afternoon in the Fairmont State University Duals Tournament. "We'll be battling two [NCAA] Division II teams in Fairmont State and Seton Hill [University]."