PISCATAWAY, N.J. Â Seeds and
brackets for the 109th EIWA Championships were announced Thursday evening
following a meeting of the conferenceÂs head coaches. Nine of LehighÂs
tournament entrants were seeded in the top eight, with five of those nine
Mountain Hawks earning top two seeds. Seven Mountain Hawks will compete in the
opening round while three received first-round byes.
Two Mountain Hawks earned No.1 seeds: sophomore Nathaniel
Brown at 174 and senior Robert Hamlin at 184. Brown will wrestle a first round
match against BrownÂs Ricky McDonald, while Hamlin will begin his quest for a
third straight title against Thomas Barreiro of American.
Lehigh also had three wrestlers
earn No. 2 seeds. Senior Shane Welsh, the defending champion at 149 is matched
against Andrew Murano of Franklin & Marshall. Freshman Randy Cruz earned the
No. 2 seed in his first EIWA tournament and will face Anthony Finocchiaro of
Brown in round one. Junior Joey Napoli earned the two-seed at 157 and earned a
first round bye. Napoli, ranked third nationally, will meet the winner of No. 7
seed Vincent Favia of Bucknell and Mark Cirello of American in the
At 197, freshman John Bolich was
seeded fifth. Bolich will wrestle a first round match against Isaiah Cromwell of
Franklin & Marshall.
The Mountain HawksÂ two remaining
seeded wrestlers earned No. 7 seeds. Senior Alex Abreu will wrestle a first
round match against Max Rogers of Princeton at 125, while at heavyweight
freshman Max Wessell earned a bye and meet the winner of No. 2 seed Blake Herrin
of American and Alexander Henry of Franklin & Marshall in the
The only Lehigh wrestler not to
earn a seed was freshman Ben Haas, who drew the No. 2 seed Corey Lear of
Bucknell in the opening round at 165.
Of the seven Mountain Hawks
wrestling first round matches, three already wrestled their first opponent this
season. Cruz pinned Finocchiaro in the first period of LehighÂs dual versus
Brown, while Hamlin won by fall over Barreiro at the Lehigh-American dual meet
in Washington, D.C. Haas and Lear squared off two weeks ago in LehighÂs final
dual meet with Lear winning by fall in 6:22.
The 109th EIWA Championships get
underway Friday at 11 a.m. from the RAC in Piscataway, N.J. Session two,
featuring the semifinals will begin Friday at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday, session
three, with the consolation semifinals and seventh place matches will begin at
10 a.m., while SaturdayÂs finals session featuring matches for first, third and
fifth place will begin at 3 p.m. Live audio of LehighÂs matches from SaturdayÂs
finals session will be streamed online at Lehighsports.com.