Philly-Bound: Garrett Frey Punches Second Straight Ticket To NCAAs
Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer
Sophomore Garrett Frey is headed back to the NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Though it may have taken him a bit longer than he would have liked, Princeton sophomore Garrett Frey is returning to the NCAA Wrestling Championships. His 15-5 victory over Army's David White clinched a bid to the 125-pound national championships and highlighted a day in which five Princeton wrestlers placed at the EIWA Championships.
Frey joins teammates Tony Comunale (sixth, 133), Zach Bintliff (eighth, 141), Daniel Kolodzik (sixth, 157) and Travis Erdman (eighth, 184) as EIWA placewinners, giving head coach Chris Ayres his most in five years as the Princeton head coach.
"It was a better weekend overall, but we're still too inconsistent," Ayres said. "We didn't wrestle great today, which is disappointing, but there is progress being made."
It was of the utmost importance to Ayres to get back to NCAAs, and Frey made sure it would happen in his final match of the weekend. He suffered a 9-4 upset to Harvard's Steven Keith in the consolation semifinal to open Sunday's session, meaning he needed to defeat White to clinch the final guaranteed NCAA berth.
There was no fooling around in this one. Frey scored two takedowns in the first period and picked up three near-fall points to take a 7-1 lead into the second period, and he added a reversal and takedown in the second to lead 11-2. By the end, he clinched the NCAA bid with a 15-5 win.
"Frey will be one of those dangerous lurkers in NCAAs, especially against guys who haven't wrestled him before," Ayres said. "He had some great matches this weekend, especially against [Rutgers' Joe] Langel in the quarters. He even wrestled well against [Penn's Mark] Rappo in the semis, but he just didn't win. He'll be tough."
Ayres is hoping that Frey will have a teammate with him at NCAAs. Kolodzik finished sixth in a weight class that only had five guaranteed bids, but he is still eligible for one of four wild card berths awarded this week. Kolodzik lost to a pair of Top 15 opponents Sunday; he fell 8-1 to Rutgers' Daryl Cocozzo, and then was caught and pinned in the first period by Harvard's Walter Peppelman. With 25 wins on the season and a strong RPI, Kolodzik will be a strong candidate for a wild card berth.
Comunale lost an 18-3 technical fall to Penn's Rollie Peterkin in the consolation semifinal and finished sixth with a 10-3 loss to Jacob Bucha of Franklin & Marshall. Both Bintliff and Erdman lost seventh-place matches Sunday; Bintliff fell 8-1 to Navy's Dustin Haislip, and Erdman was pinned by Harvard's Cameron Croy with 15 seconds remaining in their match.