Senior Paul Triandafilou became the first Gettysburg College wrestler to win three Centennial Conference championships in a decade as he completed his hat trick in the heavyweight bracket Saturday afternoon at the United States Merchant Marine Academy.
Triandafilou, who came into the event ranked eighth in the country, won all three of his bouts on Saturday to win the heavyweight title for the third consecutive season. He defeated Ethan Wolf from McDaniel College 7-0 and Scott Schaeffer from Muhlenberg College 5-3 to earn a trip to the finals. A much anticipated rematch with seventh-ranked Blake Bunce from Merchant Marine was not to be as the Mariner grappler was unable to compete due to injury, handing the gold to the Gettysburg senior by medical forfeit.
Triandafilou became Gettysburg’s first three-time champ since Andrew Goldstein ’09 won three titles at 157 from 2007-09. He was also the first to win three-straight CC heavyweight crowns since McDaniel’s Drew Reinecker from 2003-05. Triandafilou improved his season record to 29-3 and moved past Matt Shank ’08 for second place on the program’s career wins list with a record of 117-18.
The Gettysburg heavyweight also earned the Chris Clifford Award for the most career points at the CC Championship, becoming the first Bullet to earn that distinction since Goldstein in 2009. Clifford was a 1998 graduate of Gettysburg and was the conference champ at 158 pounds in 1996. He was tragically killed in a car accident in 1999.
As a team, Gettysburg produced six place-winners and finished fifth among eight teams with 51 points. Stevens Institute of Technology won its fifth-straight title with 83 points and Washington and Lee University finished second with 61.5.
Sophomore Sean Thompson and junior Colin Devlin each took home the silver in their respective weight classes. Thompson received a bye in the opening round at 141 and made the most of it by earning a hard-fought 4-3 decision over Muhlenberg’s Austin Sherman in the semifinals. The Gettysburg sophomore was unable to overcome top-ranked Troy Stanich of Stevens in the finals, falling by major decision 9-0. Thompson moved his season record to 20-11.
Devlin grabbed his third consecutive top-three finish at conferences after placing second at 141 in 2017 and third at 149 last winter. He won his first match by major decision 9-1 and followed with a 4-2 win over W&L’s Bryce Crew. Facing last year’s 141 champ and sixth-ranked Brett Kaliner of Stevens in the finals, Devlin trailed 2-1 before the Duck grappler scored a late takedown in the first period. Kaliner kept pushing the pace and eventually pulled away for a 12-3 major decision. Devlin’s record moved to 22-6.
Senior Colin Kowalski and sophomore Mike Iodice finished third at 174 and 197, respectively. Kowalski, the top seed and 10th-ranked wrestler in the country, was upset in his opening bout by Max Sims from Merchant Marine. Sims held on through several overtimes before scoring a takedown for a 4-2 win. Kowalski rebounded to beat his next two foes by a combined 18-2 to earn a rematch with Sims on the consolation semis. The sequel was far less dramatic as the Gettysburg senior ran off a 12-1 major decision, improving his season record to 33-3 and moving into fourth on the Bullets’ career list with a mark of 105-25.
Making his CC Championship debut, Iodice rallied from an overtime setback of his own to win his final three matches. He pinned Stevens’ Bruce Parolo in 1:23 and beat William Gilliam of Johns Hopkins 5-2 in the semifinals. Iodice closed the day by downing Washington and Lee’s Brad Basham 7-2.
Senior Dan Ebert was Gettysburg’s final place-winner with a fourth-place showing at 184. After falling by two points in his opening match, Ebert scored a 9-1 major decision over Tommy Disisto from Muhlenberg and added an 8-4 win over Anthony Cutrefello from Ursinus to reach the third-place bout. The senior fell just shy of the bronze as W&L’s Rexx Hallyburton scored a takedown in sudden victory for a 5-3 decision. Ebert improved his record to 22-9 on the year.
Gettysburg hosts No. 23 York College for its final dual of the year on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.