ITHACA, N.Y. - Da'mani Burns, Hayden Brown and Gabriel McDaniel stayed undefeated on the weekend en route to a championship at their weight class which helped the Wildcats to the team trophy at the Ithaca Invitational on Saturday. JWU won the event with a 147 points, 15.5 points more than Baldwin Wallace and 23.5 points more than third place finisher, the host Ithaca.
Burns used a pin in his first match of the day at 149 pounds to continue in the championship bracket before an 8-0 major sent him to the title match. He was taken to the wire by New England College's Evan Fidelibus but claimed the win with a 7-6 decision. Brown, a first-year from Exeter, N.H., went 5-0 on the weekend and took home the top spot at 133 pounds with a 5-2 decision in the championship match against Ithaca's Tito Colom. The 141 pound sophomore, McDaniel, had to battle through some tough competition en route to his bracket win, including a 5-3 victory over 2018 National Champion Ben Brisman of Ithaca and a 3-0 win over teammate Jordan Robinson. Robinson defeated a two-time All-American en route to his second place finish in the weight class.
Senior Michael DiNardo earned a second place finish on the weekend in the heavyweight ranks, falling by a major decision to Otterbein's Drew Kasper, an All-American last season. Three wrestlers claimed fourth place at the event including heavyweight Liridon Leka, 184 pounder Nicholas Munsch and 125 pound first year Justin Lopez. Lopez went 5-2 on the weekend with three wins by fall while Munsch and Leka went 4-2. Tommy Wrzesien and Christopher Caban rounded out the place finishers for JWU with a 5th place finish and sixth place finish, respectively.
The Wildcats are back in action next weekend when they make the trek back to New York and compete in the Journeyman Duals in Troy. The event begins on Friday at 3 p.m.