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Wrestling drops dual meets to Penn, Princeton

Blake Saito ’25 upsets Penn’s Anthony Artalona, Harrison Trahan ’25 secures individual win

<p>Blake Saito ’25 took out 20th-ranked wrestler Anthony Artalona of Penn in a major individual upset.</p>

Blake Saito ’25 took out 20th-ranked wrestler Anthony Artalona of Penn in a major individual upset.

The wrestling team (2-7, 1-5 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) fell to Ivy League rivals Penn (3-1, 3-0 EIWA) and Princeton (4-2, 3-0 EIWA) Friday at the Pizzitola Sports Center, by scores of 36-3 and 39-4, respectively. Brown earned one individual win in each match, with Blake Saito ’25 (149 lbs) taking out Anthony Artalona of Penn, ranked 20th in the country, for the biggest upset of his collegiate career. Harrison Trahan ’25 (165 lbs) picked up a major decision over Princeton’s Jake Marsh.

The Bears first took on Penn at noon Friday, and kicked things off with the 125-pound weight class with Hunter Adrian ’25 taking on 25th-ranked Ryan Miller. Both wrestlers started conservatively, with each man picking up a stalling warning in a scoreless first period. But Miller used an escape and a single leg takedown in the second period to pull ahead and eventually win the match 4-1, giving Penn an early advantage. Penn earned a major decision victory at 133 pounds, as 16th-ranked Michael Colaiocco beat Nicky Cabanillas ’23 12-2, putting the Quakers up 7-0 as a team.

Timothy Levine ’25 then took on 16th-ranked CJ Composto at 141 lbs in arguably the most unpredictable match of the day. Composto was in control for most of the match, and led 9-4 late in the third period. But Levine won a late scramble and turned Composto to his back, sending the match into overtime. In overtime, Composto cradled Levine and nearly pinned him, winning the match 16-10. 

Next, Saito wrestled Artalona, a 2019 NCAA Round of 12 finisher. Saito said he approached his matchup with Artalona “pretty similar to any another match. Go in, be loose, be warm, be ready to go and wrestle in positions that I’m good at.”

Saito showed his defensive prowess in the first period, circling out of a single leg shot to avoid being taken down. In the second period, Artalona escaped for a 1-0 lead. Saito took control in the third, escaping and then taking down Artalona with an ankle pick. Artalona appeared to injure his knee during Saito’s takedown, but was able to return to the match. In the final minute, the wrestlers had a chaotic scramble in which each man was nearly pinned, but no takedown was awarded. Saito held on for the 4-1 upset, earning one of the biggest individual victories of Brown’s season.  

“That’s a position I’m pretty comfortable in,” Saito said of the final scramble. “It may not have looked that way, but (I) just kept (my) head cool, kept (my) head in the game.”

“That was big,” Head Coach Todd Beckerman said of Saito’s match. “We gotta feed off that. Blake’s been working hard in the (wrestling) room, getting better, and it showed in that match.”

Penn regained momentum with a 4-0 win at 157 lbs, and 21st-ranked Lucas Revano continued it with a major decision over Trahan. Brown forfeited at 174 lbs, and Penn pulled away to a 23-3 lead. The Quakers dominated the upperweights, winning by major decision at 184 lbs, 7-0 decision at 197 lbs and first period pin at heavyweight, to complete the 36-3 blowout.

“Hats off to Penn, they did a great job today,” Beckerman said after the Bears’ match against the Quakers. “I thought our guys fought hard in a lot of positions. Things that we’ve been working on all week and the last couple of weeks, it was showing out there. We still have some work to put in to get ready for the end of the year, but I thought we fought hard in this match.”

Princeton started hot against the Bears at 6 p.m. Friday, as first-ranked Pat Glory proved deserving of his high ranking with a 16-1 technical fall over Adrian. Then, Nicholas Kayal defeated Reese Fry ’23 6-1 at 133 lbs to give the Tigers an 8-0 lead.

Levine took part in another shootout against Princeton’s Daniel Coles, but fell 13-7. Saito was unable to capitalize on the momentum from his win over Artalona, losing 16-2 to the Tigers’ Marshall Keller. Eighth-ranked Quincy Monday earned a pin at 157 lbs, and the Tigers swept Bruno’s lightweights to pull ahead 22-0. 

Marsh looked ready to continue Princeton’s clinical performance as he earned the first takedown against Trahan. But Trahan transitioned from a throw attempt to a cradle and took down Marsh for a 3-2 lead. In the second period, Trahan nearly locked up another cradle, but Marsh escaped to make the score 3-3. In the third, Trahan turned the close match into a dominant win, reversing Marsh and tilting him before tripping him to his back, taking a 14-4 major decision win. 

“When I got the reversal, I felt (Marsh) kind of get tired,” Trahan said. “I knew that was my moment to capitalize (and) score points in a couple of bunches.”

“Nice win (at 165 lbs) with Harrison really pushing that pace and finishing the whole seven minutes,” Beckerman said.

With a forfeit at 174 lbs, a decision at 184 lbs, a tech fall at 197 lbs and a major decision at heavyweight, Princeton cemented a 39-4 team victory.

Princeton “was a tough match. Princeton is a solid team from top to bottom,” Beckerman said. “We have a lot … to still work on this week and the rest of the season to get ready for the national tournament.”

Bruno now has two weeks off from competition before traveling to New York to take on EIWA rivals Columbia and Long Island University.

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