GRANTHAM, Pa. – Four Ursinus College wrestlers are still alive after the first day of Messiah College's Petrofes Invitational.
Senior Chris Tan (125), junior Zebulin Pfeiffer (197), and freshmen Jake Folk (157) and Charlie Wildermuth (197) all survived to see the second day of the prestigious annual tournament hosted by the 6th-ranked Falcons. The Bears accrued 46.5 team points on Friday, placing them 8th in a 15-team field.
Tan overcame a first-round setback to win three consolation bouts, while the others all advanced to their respective quarterfinals. Junior Zachary Goranson at 165 and freshman Daniel Bliss at 141 were also quarterfinalists.
A class-by-class breakdown of Friday's action:
Tan, who came in ranked 13th in the nation by d3wrestle.com, suffered an 11-8 upset at the hands of Messiah's Sean Redington in the first round, but tore through the consolation bracket to remain firmly in the field. The senior scored a 16-1 technical fall over Alderson Broaddus' Colton Bethel, pulled out a 2-0 decision opposite Greensboro's Dylan Cook, and made it three in a row following a 17-6 major over Stefhen Caple of Thaddeus Stevens.
Tan will begin Day 2 against Greensboro's Matthew Insogna.
Sophomore Max Liggett pinned Penn State-Mont Alto's Dan Bertram in just 91 seconds to reach the second round, where he dropped an 8-3 final to Insogna. Greensboro's Dylan Cook pinned Liggett in his first consolation bout.
Gulotta reached the second round with a pin of Penn College's Christian Fox, but was dealt a 15-5 defeat by Gettysburg's Louie Carusillo with a spot in the quarters on the line.
The junior, however, bounced back by eking out a 4-3 thriller against Springfield's Joel Zambrano and notching an 11-4 victory against Mount Union's Dakota McCloskey. Gulotta bowed out with a 6-4 setback to Nolan Wochna of Mount Union, but not before picking up three victories for the second consecutive tournament.
Freshman Ray Calderaio pinned Zambrano late in the third period to gain the second round, where he lost a 19-11 final to Mount Union's Seth Hayes. Calderaio pulled out of the rest of the event with a medical forfeit.
Bliss became the first Bear into the quarterfinals for the afternoon with a pair of impressive results in his first two bouts. He pinned Springfield's Patrick Ferzoco in the first period of his first-round match and came back with a 4-0 blanking of Gettysburg's Nolan Smith. The rookie was denied a spot in the semifinals by Nick Nunez of Messiah, who moved on with a 16-5 major, and fell 15-0 to Gettysburg's Sean Thompson.
Junior Patrick Rowe lasted the longest of the Bears' four entrants in the 149-pound class, recovering from a first-round pin to score back-to-back decisions over Gettysburg's Patrick Briody (7-2) and Waynesburg's Robert Hall (6-2). Rowe was on the short end of a 7-4 decision opposite Muskingum's Toby Warrington in the fourth round of consolations.
Senior Donte McCarthy registered his first win of the season in his debut, pinning Bridgewater's Logan Larsen just before the final horn. Sophomore Alfred Corradetti tallied an 11-2 major over Springfield's Max Valera in the first round but was forced to withdraw due to a medical forfeit after a loss to Gettysburg's Traken Sutton.
Folk pinned Muhlenberg's Brian Jamison late in the second period, then followed with a 14-4 rout of Mount Union's Jacob Taylor to set up a showdown with nationally ranked Kevin Edwards of Messiah.
Edwards, ranked 24th in the nation, bested Folk by a 15-0 count, but the Bears' rookie rallied to blank Bridgwater's Eric Kerr, 5-0, to make it to Saturday.
Goranson earned a quarterfinal berth by pinning Bridgewater's Chris Roppolo in the second round. Following a pin at the hands of Gettysburg's Quinn Merrigan, he was eliminated after a 2-1 sudden victory decision against Mount Union's Conner Homan.
Junior Jarret DiGiantomasso won a pair of matches in his season debut. He slipped Springfield's Nick Almonte, 4-3, in the first round, and pinned Muhlenberg's Logan Laughlin in his first consolation bout.
Senior Patrick Rafferty and junior Anthony Cutrufello each won a match for the Bears at 174. Rafferty downed Penn State-Mont Alto's Grant Shughart in the consolations, while Cutrufello pinned Waynesburg's Landon Lohr in the first round.
Ursinus saw its best results in this bracket, with Pfeiffer and Wildermuth each advancing to the quarterfinals and remaining in consolation contention through the end of the evening.
Pfeiffer defeated Mount Union's Nick Corvo, 15-9, in the second round before running into Waynesburg's Ken Burrs, the 22nd-ranked grappler in Division III. Burrs got the best of that matchup with a pin, but Pfeiffer knocked off Bridgewater's Jake Genereaux, 8-4, in the fourth consolation round. He will take on Alderson Broaddus' Adam Eaton on Saturday morning.
Wildermuth, meanwhile, tallied a technical fall (16-1) against Greensboro's Carlos Ortega to reach the quarterfinals, where he was dealt a 22-4 defeat by Messiah's Kyle Koser, who is ranked 5th in Division III. Wildermuth pinned Bridgewater's Jerome Williams in a mere 17 seconds to set up a bout with Muhlenberg's Gennaro Cerminara on Day 2.
Wildermuth now has a team-leading six pins on the season, and all seven of his non-forfeit bout victories have come with bonus points.
Sophomore heavyweight Theodoros Vlahos won two matches, the first a 7-3 decision over Penn College's Scyler Phillips in the first round. After a loss to Muhlenberg's Scott Schaeffer in the second round, he pinned Springfield's Tyson Jones in the consolations.