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Wrestling places two at EIWA Championships

Reese Fry ’22.5, Nicky Cabanillas ’23 take eighth in respective weight classes

<p>Two Brown wrestlers took eighth place in their weight classes at the championship. Six other Brown wrestlers picked up wins at the 2022 EIWA Championships but did not make the podium.</p><p></p><p>Courtesy of Brown Athletics</p>

Two Brown wrestlers took eighth place in their weight classes at the championship. Six other Brown wrestlers picked up wins at the 2022 EIWA Championships but did not make the podium.

Courtesy of Brown Athletics

Two Brown wrestlers — Reese Fry ’22.5 (125 lbs) and Nicky Cabanillas ’23 (133 lbs) — took eighth place in their weight classes at the 2022 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships hosted by Cornell this weekend. Six other Bears picked up wins at the tournament but were unable to make the podium. Overall, Brown placed 14th of 17 teams in the EIWA, matching its 2020 result.

“I thought we did well,” said Head Coach Todd Beckerman. He noted that eight of Brown’s ten starters, including Fry and Cabanillas, were competing at their first EIWA Championships. “To see Reese and Nicky outperform their seeds and then get on the podium, that was special to see. Those guys wrestled their hearts out.”

Fry began his tournament by dropping an 11-4 decision to Bucknell University’s Brandon Seidman in the round of 16. But he rebounded in dominant fashion, earning a 14-2 major decision over Sacred Heart University’s Jacob Venezia, followed by a 6-1 over Franklin & Marshall College’s Gio Diaz to cement his spot in the top eight. Fry then lost via technical fall to Lehigh University’s Sheldon Seymour and dropped a rematch to Seidman in the seventh place match.

Fry only started a few matches for the Bears during the 2021-22 season prior to the championships. But he took advantage of his opportunity in the starting lineup to earn a podium finish. I “just put the work in, had the right mindset and had great teammates to push me,” Fry said.

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Cabanillas began his tournament with a stroke of luck, advancing to the quarterfinals via injury default as Lehigh’s Malyke Hines forfeited out of the tournament. He lost his quarterfinal matchup to the United States Military Academy’s Richard Treanor but notched a first-period pin over Hofstra University’s Matt Templeton in the consolation bracket. Cabanillas lost close decisions in his final two matches, falling 6-3 to Princeton’s Nick Kayal and 7-5 to Drexel University’s Jaxon Maroney.

The forfeit was “a gift from God, but I’ll take it,” Cabanillas said. “I pinned (Templeton) from Hofstra which was really big. I was really hyped up for that. Overall, I think I wrestled pretty well and I’m very excited and proud of my performance.”

Timothy Levine ’24.5 (141 lbs), who earned a 10-0 major decision over Drexel’s Jared Donahue, and Jack Bokina ’22.5 (157 lbs), who pinned Columbia’s Andrew Garr, were among the wrestlers who picked up victories for the Bears. Keegan Rothrock ’24.5 (165 lbs) won by technical fall over American University’s Breon Phifer, Drew Clearie ’25 (174 lbs) pinned Sacred Heart’s Alex Marciniak, James Araneo ’25 (184 lbs) won by disqualification over Franklin & Marshall’s James Conway and Cade Wilson ’22 (197 lbs) defeated Franklin & Marshall’s Mike Waszen 12-0.

None of the Bears placed highly enough at the EIWA Championships to qualify for the NCAA Wrestling Tournament, bringing Bruno’s season to a close. Brown will return two EIWA placers next season — Nicky Cabanillas and his twin brother Ricky Cabanillas ’23 (149 lbs), who placed seventh at the 2020 EIWA Championships.

“We had six guys in the placing round … Five of them are back next year,” Beckerman said. “There’s a lot of exciting things that happened this weekend, a lot of things that we can learn from and work off of. … For how young we were this year, I thought they did very well.”

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