The wrestling team continued early season competition at the Journeymen Tussle Sunday, hosted by Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. Bruno placed four competitors at the meet, which included some of the top teams in the country.
No. 12 Rutgers, No. 9 North Carolina State, Penn, Citadel, Campbell and Hofstra made up the rest of the seven-team field.
Facing off against top teams early in the year helps ready the team for conference competition, said co-captain Michael Russo ’17. “Rutgers and NC State are really highly ranked teams, so just to be able to get on the mat with them and be exposed to that level — we need that for sure.”
Brown’s highest finisher in the competition was Ian Butterbrodt ’19, who took home third place in the 285-pound weight class. Butterbrodt dropped an opening-round match to Campbell’s Jere Heino but rebounded for three consecutive wins.
At 184 pounds, CJ LaFragola ’19 finished in fourth, falling to NC State’s Nicky Hall in the third-place match.
Russo was matched up with teammate Trey Keeley ’20 in the fifth-place match at 125 pounds, eventually prevailing in a close 3-2 decision.
“That’s always tough when you have to wrestle your teammate,” Russo said. “We wrestle each other every day in practice, so we really know each others styles. Overall, I felt pretty confident on my feet. It was a grind until the end.”
Jon Viruet ’19 continued his solid start to the season with a fifth-place finish in the 174-pound weight class. The sophomore took home third place at Binghamton University’s Bearcat Open to start the season, followed by earning a fourth-place finish at the Navy Classic tournament.
In the “B” division at 133 pounds, Jimmy Pawelski ’20 wrestled to a perfect 5-0 record to finish first, defeating teammate Theodore Powers ’20 in the finals. Other B placers included Charlie Banaszak ’17, William MacDonald ’16, Richard Muniz ’16 and Josh Durso-Finley ’17.
Bruno won’t compete again until the Midlands Championships, hosted by Northwestern Dec. 29 and 30 in Evanston, Ill. The annual tournament dates back 54 years and includes some of the top teams in the nation.
“We’ll definitely get some rest, train smart and just focus on areas we need to improve on from this weekend and past tournaments,” Russo said.