Cavallo & Morales to Semifinals, Blue Jays in Seventh Place at NCAA Regional
By Ernie Larossa
Associate AD/Director of Athletic Communications
ROCKY MOUNT, VA – The Johns Hopkins wrestling team earned 44.0 points on the first day of the 2018 NCAA Division III Southeast Regional Championships on Friday and sits in seventh place among 18 teams. The Blue Jays have seven of their 10 entries still alive heading into the final day of competition on Saturday.
Messiah totaled 73.5 points and sits in first place, while York (73.0 points), Ferrum (60.5), Lycoming (59.5), Delaware Valley (52.0), Washington & Lee (46.5) and Johns Hopkins round out the top seven in the team standings.
Cavallo, Morales Move into Semifinals
Juniors Ricky Cavallo (133) and Isaac Morales (184) both advanced to Saturday’s championship semifinals with wins in the quarterfinals after both received an opening-round bye.
Cavallo earned the top seed and drew Washington & Lee’s Matt Mueller in the quarterfinals. Cavallo needed just over six minutes to secure his team-leading eighth technical fall victory of the season as he cruised to a 20-4 win to improve to 27-7 on the year. In Saturday’s semifinal, Cavallo will meet Ferrum’s Bailey Cooper, who won his two matches on Friday by fall and major decision.
Morales is the number two seed and also picked up a bonus-point victory in the quarterfinals as he topped Ferrum’s Max Baker, 10-0. A reversal and four-point near-fall fueled the win for Morales, who improved to 34-9 with the victory. The 34 wins are just two shy of the Johns Hopkins single-season record and Morales will meet York’s Frankie Krauss in the semifinals. Morales topped Kraus, 9-2, earlier this season.
Five Others Still Alive
125 – Senior Christian Vallis rallied from an early 6-0 deficit to knock off Jacob Reid of McDaniel in his first match before falling to second-seeded Kordell Rush of Delaware Valley. In the consolation bracket he topped Shane Casey of Lycoming, 8-1, to earn his way to the second day of competition. He will meet Messiah’s Sean Redington in the consolation quarterfinals on Saturday morning.
141 – Senior Lucas Escobar went 2-1 on the day with both wins in the consolation bracket. After opening with a loss, Escobar scored a 6-0 decision over Vincent Mion of Thiel and then topped Gettysburg’s Sean Thompson, 11-7. He will take on Nick Munez of Messiah in the consolation quarterfinals on Saturday morning. Escobar and Nunez met earlier this season with Nunez taking a 7-4 decision.
149 – Senior Connor Joyce opened his day with a 6-2 win over Brandon Miller of Penn State-Behrend before falling to top-seeded Greg Warner of York in the quarterfinals. In the consolation bracket, he added a bonus-point victory with a 13-5 major decision victory over Dustin Childs of Delaware Valley. Joyce will face a familiar foe in the consolation quarterfinals on Saturday morning as he’ll meet Washington & Lee’s Bryce Crew. Crew topped Joyce earlier this season during the Johns Hopkins-W&L dual meet.
157 – Freshman Dominick Reyes needed just 79 seconds to pin Caleb Hamon of Averett in his opening match, but was dropped to the consolation bracket with a 3-1 overtime loss to Shane Conners of Washington & Lee in the quarterfinals. He added a second bonus-point win on the day in the consolation bracket as he scored a 20-2 technical fall victory over Jake Bracken of Gettysburg. He’ll meet Delaware Valley’s Anthony Snyder in the consolation quarterfinals.
165 – Sophomore Nathan Wertheimer scored a tournament-opening pin of Shane Rose of Lycoming in 4:25 before falling to York’s Jackson Drum in the quarterfinals. He bounced back with a 16-0 technical fall victory over Darren Marte of King’s and is slotted to meet McDaniel’s Wade Bishop in Saturday morning’s consolation quarters.
Although eliminated on Friday, juniors Miles Gilliam (174) and Karl Tayeb (197) and freshman Henri Behaeghel (285) all contributed valuable team points. Gilliam went 2-2 with one of his two victories coming by fall, while Tayeb and Behaeghel both went 1-2 on the day. Behaeghel’s win was a 6-2 decision of McDaniel’s Brendan Woody, who had pinned Behaeghel earlier this season.
The Blue Jays will return to action on Saturday, February 24 for day two of the regional championships. The top three finishers in each weight class qualify for the upcoming NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships in Cleveland, Ohio on March 9-10.
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