Looking to continue their early season success, the Buffalo Bulls took to the mats once again today at the Brockport/Oklahoma Gold Classic held at SUNY Brockport. In addition to the Bulls, and co-hosts Oklahoma and Brockport, Lock Haven, Kent State, Army, and John Stutzman's former team Bloomsburg were also in competition today.
Senior Max Soria continued to dominate on the mats as he pinned his way into the finals, with each successive victory coming faster than the last, his quickest being a 22 second victory over Kaleb LeMaire of Lock Haven. Then in the finals Soria defeated Ryan Millhof of Oklahoma by a 3-1 decision to claim the Bulls' lone championship of the day. With the championship Soria's record on the season remains perfect at 7-0.
Ten of the 16 participating grapplers placed in the top 8 of their respective weight classes for the Bulls, and 6 of them are freshmen. Leading the charge was impressive true freshmen Sean Peacock who finished 4th at 133 pounds bringing his season record to 7-2, and redshirt-freshman Joe Ariola also finished 4th at 197 pounds losing only to Oklahoma's Brad Johnson twice by decisions of 5-3 and 9-7. True freshmen Rocco Russo, Danny Graham and Alex Smythe also placed finishing 7th, 6th and 4th in their respective weight classes. While redshirt freshman Austin Weigel finished 7th at 184 pounds.
Rounding out the place finishers for the Bulls were redshirt sophomore Rrok Ndojak coming in 6th at 165 pounds, senior captain Wally Maziarz coming in 6th at 157 pounds, and finally junior Jarred Lux came in 7th at 174 pounds.
On a side note, it was nice to see Muhamed McBryde get back on the mat for the Bulls after battling with the NCAA over facial hair rules. McBryde, who practices Islam, has a beard that is part of his faith and cannot cut it, but, according to NCAA rules, wrestlers may not have any facial hair beyond a mustache that is kept neatly trimmed. McBryde wrestled in two matches today, falling in both, but, the fact that he is back on the mat is a big win for the Bulls and for equality for all student athletes.
The Bulls have really come out strong the first two weeks of the season, starting with a 3-1 dual meet record the first week, and now with a solid showing at the Oklahoma Gold Classic, John Stutzman's young squad is building momentum and is on an upward trajectory heading into the meat of the schedule.
The Bulls will not take to the mats again for another two weeks when they head to Cornell for the NYS Intercollegiate Championships.
To view the full results from the tournament please click HERE