JCU Sports Information Department
The John Carroll Wrestling team earned a second-place title at the Rochester Institute of Technology Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 4 after nine JCU wrestlers finished in the top five spots of their weight classes.
Andrew Perelka ‘22 and Kyle Murray ‘22 competed in the 133 weight class and placed first and fourth, respectively.
Murray got off to a good start as he won his first match by fall after only three minutes and 50 seconds. A 4-2 decision and another fall provided the next two victories for Murray before he lost in the 133 semifinals round to Hunter Thompson from Thiel College in a 6-2 decision. This did not stop Murray as he powered through the last two competitions to earn a fourth-place spot in his weight class.
Going undefeated on the day and earning the first place title, Perelka notched himself as a top wrestler for the Blue and Gold. After receiving a bye in the first match, it only took Perelka 45 seconds to defeat Danny Poggi from Oneonta State, sending the Blue Streak to the quarterfinals. A technical fall, major decision and a fall marked the victories for Perelka as he made his way through the championship bracket and emerged the victor of the 133 weight class.
Jarrod Brezovec ‘21 scored 21 team points with his first-place finish as he worked his way through the 141 weight class. An 11-1 major decision, a 17-1 technical fall, a 17-6 major decision and a 16-1 technical fall all paved the way for Brezovec to be named the champion of his weight division.
In one of the most competitive wrestling divisions at the invitational, No. 2 nationally ranked wrestler, Luke Reciosky ‘22 took on No. 1 ranked wrestler, Kaidon Winters from Rochester Institute of Technology in the championship match of the 157 weight class. Reciosky fell to Winters in a 3-1 sudden victory overtime. Even with this result, the Blue Streak showcased his skill, determination and drive throughout the match, proving why he is nationally ranked.
Finishing in fourth place in the 165 weight class, Patrick McGraw ‘23 lost due to the NCAA’s single day 6-match limit causing his third place match to go uncontested. McGraw won his first two matches in typical fashion with a fall and a 14-5 major decision before his momentum was halted in the quarterfinal round. He worked his way back through the consolation rounds, winning by a technical fall and a close 8-6 decision, before his uncontested final match.
Scoring 17.5 points for the team, Daniel Devera ‘25 got off to a good start winning his first three matches, two by technical fall and one in an 8-3 decision. He stumbled with a loss in the semifinals round, but got right back up as he ended the day with a win by fall only a minute and 22 seconds into the match and a 6-1 decision victory, earning him a third place title in the 167 weight class.
Competing in the 184 weight class, Anthony Rizzo ‘25 pinned his first two opponents in a combined time of two minutes and 17 seconds and added an 8-1 decision win to his record sheet, before his first defeat. Rizzo won by a 6-0 decision over Trevor Snow from RIT in the consolation semifinals round, but lost in the third-place match to earn him a fourth-place finish.
Ryan Forrest ‘24 and Jesse Kanatzar ‘24 both secured fifth-place finishes in the 149 and 197 weight classes, respectively, scoring 25 total points towards John Carroll’s second place victory.
With all of these placed wrestlers, John Carroll totaled 150.5 points on the day. The squad trailed behind host school RIT by 18 points as they finished in second place at the Rochester Institute of Technology Invitational.
“Obviously, we were aiming to go into the RIT tournament and come out with a first-place finish,” said Brezovec. “Many things went how we wanted them to go, but many things did not, but we do not train to win invitationals in December. We train to win national titles in March.”
Taking a couple of weeks off, the Blue Streaks will be back in action at the end of December as they travel down to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to compete in the annual two-day Citrus Invitational on Dec. 29 and 30.