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A total of nine new faces will join the 2011-12 Columbia Wrestling program, head coach Brendan Buckley announced today. The Class of 2015 features student-athletes from eight different states who will compete in eight different weight classes.

?I am thrilled about the incoming group of freshmen that hail from eight different states for what is an incredibly diverse group of young men,? said Buckley, the Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling. ?In addition to spanning the entire country, this group covers a range of weight classes from 133 pounds through heavyweight. They have proven that they can compete on a national level and have demonstrated a year round commitment to the sport, something that is very important to us. We are expecting them to make contributions right away.?

The class of 2015 is listed below with a statement on each incoming student-athlete from Coach Buckley:

Austin Akins ? Colonial Heights, Va. ? Matoaca (184/197)
Ben Villaret ? Staten Island, N.Y. ? St. Benedicts Prep (165)
Ryan Ponte ? Pepperell, Mass. ? Northfield Mount Hermon (133)
Wyatt Baker ? Anaheim Hills, Calif. ? Servite (Hwt.)
Eric Fajardo -Lincoln Park, N.J. ? Boonton ? (149)
Shane Hughes ? Sussex, Wisc. ? Arrowhead Union (184)

Matt Idelson (215)- Glen Mills, Pa. ? Garnet Valley (197)
Matt put his name on the map as a junior when he won the Beast of the East. This past year he won title at the Super 32 tournament and made the finals of the Beast of the East, and this was while he had Mono. He then placed fifth at the PIAA State Tournament. He is very athletic and moves incredibly well for a big guy. He should jump right into the starting role next year.?

Earned four letters in wrestling and twice served as team captain ? first team All-County at 215 pounds as a junior ? named the All-County Wrestler of the Year in 2011 ? as a senior picked up 43 wins including 27 by fall ? team won the Central League title in 2011 ? two-time National Spanish Honor Society and National Society for High School Scholars.

Chad Ryan (H.M. @ 145) ? Sioux City, Iowa ? North High (157)
?Chad accomplished a rare feat by placing four times at the Iowa State Tournament as well as earning a state championship title his junior year. While only wrestling 145 at the state tournament, he is nearly six feet tall and is expected to grow into a 157 or even 165 pounder later in his career. He is very aggressive and has the ability to scramble very well.?

Earned four letters in wrestling and two in cross country ? captained the wrestling team as a senior ? compiled a 178-13 record over four years ? finished with over 100 career pins ? finished second in the state as a freshman at 103 pounds and fourth as a sophomore at 125 pounds ? won the Iowa state title as a junior at 130 pounds in 2010 before capping his career with a third place finish at 145 pound ? member of the National Honor Society.

Elijah Sullivan (140)- Dunlap, Iowa ? Iowa City West (141)
?Elijah is one of two incoming freshmen that hails from the state of Iowa. Elijah was a state finalist and three time state place-winner at the ultra-competitive Iowa State Tournament. He is also no stranger to Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling having earned All-American status in both styles as well as winning an Asics Junior National title in Freestyle. We expect him to challenge for a starting role next year.?

Four-year letterwinner in wrestling and two-time team captain ? in 2009 finished third in the state and was a Junior Greco All-American ? as a junior placed second in the state and was a Junior Greco National Champion ? placed third at states and finished his senior year with a 46-2 record ? member of the National Honor Society.

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