Wrestling opened its dual-meet season in Troy, N.Y., on Saturday, coming away with one win in three thrilling contests against Michigan State, Clarion, and Lehigh.
The Lions (1-2) got their only victory of the weekend against the Spartans, whom they beat 16-15 after surrendering the 13-0 advantage they held to start the bout. Their strong lead was fueled by seniors Penn Gottfried and Matt Bystol and sophomores Angelo Amenta and Connor Sutton in the 125, 141, 133, and 149 weight class matchups. Michigan State rallied, but junior Eric Fajardo prevailed 9-7 in the 174 to clinch the Light Blue victory.
Later in the day, Clarion proved more challenging to put away. Gottfried, Amenta, and Bystol helped Columbia race out to a 10-0 lead. However, a technical fall by Sutton cut the lead in half, and a loss in the 157 made the score 10-8. Though senior Josh Houldsworth picked up a 5-1 decision in the 165, a fall by Fajardo in the next bout put Clarion on top 14-13. Clarion would hold the lead, going on to win 20-16.
The Lions’ slide continued against Lehigh. In the 141, Bystol got the Lions’ first decision 3-2 to cut the Mountain Hawks’ lead to 6-3. Wins in the 149 and 157 gave Lehigh its advantage back before Houldsworth came through against Billy Ramsey, pinning him to make it 12-9. But that would be the last win the Lions would pick up, as they fell 25-9.
The Light Blue return to action in late December for the 51st Midlands Championships in Evanston, Ill.