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Pioneers Finish 2nd, Van Valen and Galton Claim Individual Titles

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The Alfred State wrestling team finished 2nd overall out of 14 teams at the NCWA North East Conference Championships at the University of New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon. George Van Valen (Ithaca) and Mike Galton (Warsaw) took home individual weight class titles. Seven Pioneers finished in the top three of their weight class.

Van Valen won the title at 184 lbs. and was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament. He pinned Hunter D'Antonio (Rhode Island) in 36 seconds and beat Rusty Wilson 16-1 in the semifinals to reach the championship bout. In the finals he defeated George Andrews (UCONN) 4-0 to claim the title.

Galton was 3-0 as he claimed the title at 157 lbs. He pinned Andrew Gomez (Rhode Island) in 41 seconds, defeated Jacob Cincotta (UMASS) 10-2 in the semis, and earned a 9-5 victory over Josh Fontanez (Springfield Tech) in the finals.

Brandyn Whitacre (Jamestown) was 2nd at 235 finishing with a 2-1 record. He pinned John Norton (Fairfield) in 1:12 and Oliver Feagin (RPI) in 4:04 to reach the finals. In the finals, he lost a 11-2 decision.

Ryan Mattison (Brockport) and Ryan Thierman (Portville) both split a pair of matches to earn 2nd place in their weight classes. Thierman pinned Brian Gembarski (RPI) in 1:41 in the semis but fell 12-6 in the finals of 125 while Mattison pinned Jose Gandarill (RPI) in 1:04 but fell to Donovan Lozada (Springfield Tech) in the finals of the heavyweight bracket.

Casey Connor (Barnstable, MA) bounced back from an opening defeat with four wins, including three pins, to earn 3rd place at 141. He won 11-9 over Anthony Deveanny (UCONN) and then pinned Laszlo Gendler (Yale) in 4:04, Paul Brohan (Farmingdale) in 2:04, and Connor Block (RPI) in 1:26 to claim 3rd.

Patrick Lehman (Marathon) was 3rd at 125 lbs. He earned a pin in 50 seconds to start the day but was tripped up in the semifinals. He bounced back with a win over Muslim Asianov (Springfield Tech) and won his 3rd place match by pin over Mark Hoyt (Maine).

The Pioneers scored 152 points on the day and only trailed Springfield Tech's 180. Maine was 3rd (113), UCONN 4th (109.5), and RPI 5th (69).

The blue & gold now shift their focus to the NCWA National Championshpis in Allen, TX. Nationals begins on March 8th.

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