KINGS POINT, N.Y. – Collin Wickramaratna added another chapter to his incredible rookie season, rolling to the 125-pound title to lead the Ursinus College wrestling team at Saturday's Centennial Conference championship hosted by Merchant Marine.
Seniors Patrick Rowe and William McGinley joined Wickramaratna on the podium with third-place finishes for the Bears, who placed seventh in the team standings. Stevens ran away with its fifth straight conference crown, accumulating 83.0 points to land comfortably clear of second-place Washington and Lee (61.5). Merchant Marine (59.0) and Muhlenberg (58.0) were neck and neck in third and fourth, respectively, and were followed by Gettysburg (51.0), Johns Hopkins (43.5), Ursinus (34.5), and McDaniel (18.0).
Wickramaratna lived up to his billing as the tournament's top seed, dominating both of his bouts to become the first Ursinus freshman to win a gold medal at the conference meet since Derek Arnold in 2014. The freshman phenom pinned Merchant Marine's Jayce Garza at the end of the second period to gain the title bout and a rematch with Stevens' Akhil Vega, whom he defeated by 15-3 major decision in the regular season. The rematch went much the same way, a 9-1 major in favor of Wickramaratna as the rookie improved to 24-5 overall and stretched his personal winning streak to 12.
Five other Bears won a main-draw match to reach the semifinals, but none managed to join Wickramaratna in the championship round. Ursinus, in fact, went a strong 6-3 in the quarterfinals, ascending as high as third place in the team standings at one point.
Rowe opened his tournament at 149 by edging past Muhlenberg's Mathew Castimore, 11-6. He was pinned in the first period by top-seeded and nationally ranked Brett Kaliner of Stevens, but recovered to reach the consolation final with a 7-2 defeat of Johns Hopkins' Joe Paul. Rowe nabbed third thanks to a 6-3 victory opposite W&L's Bryce Crew.
McGinley earned third place in the heavyweight field for the second year in a row. He pinned Johns Hopkins' Henri Behaghel in the quarterfinals before being handed an 8-1 defeat in the semifinals by Blake Bunce of Merchant Marine, who came in with a record of 30-3 this season. McGinley's takedown with 16 seconds left in the third period lifted him to a 3-1 victory over McDaniel's Ethan Wolf, and the veteran held on for a tough 3-2 win over W&L's Clay Chadwick in the third-place clash.
Goranson advanced to the semifinals at 165 via a second narrow victory over Johns Hopkins' Dane Morgan. After an overtime triumph early in the season, the Bears' senior again got the better of his Blue Jay counterpart with a hard-fought 2-1 decision; Goranson trailed 1-0 late in the second period, but scored a takedown to seize the lead and ground out a scoreless third to set up a date with Muhlenberg's Dylan Schwartz. Goranson was dealt a 12-2 defeat in the semis and was down 5-2 to McDaniel's Cole Nagle in the third period, but took Nagle to the mat with 6 seconds remaining in the bout to force overtime, where a takedown 47 seconds into the extra session clinched his spot in the third-place match. There, he fell 8-4 to Merchant Marine's William Sims.
Senior Anthony Cutrufello picked up an impressive victory over W&L's Rexx Hallyburton in the 184-pound quarterfinals. Down 1-0 in the third, Cutrufello knotted it with an early escape and prevailed via a takedown with only 17 seconds left in the bout. Cutrufello lost 7-1 to Hopkins' Isaac Morales and fell, 8-4, to Gettysburg's Daniel Ebert.
Sophomore Ben Maack pinned Stevens' Bruce Parola in the quarters at 197, but dropped out of the semifinals with an injury and was done for the day.