Cyclones Rip Through National Meet, Place 3rd
Centenary wrestlers are ranked fifth in the country.
The nationally ranked Centenary Cyclone wrestling team tested its mettle this weekend as it competed in the 2013 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals, taking home third place in the tournament.
Despite losing to top-ranked Wartburg 23-12, the No. 5 Cyclones bounced back in a thriller against No. 4 SUNY-Cortland, winning 20-18 to reach the podium.
At 125-pounds, Erick Orellana kicked off the scoring with a decisive 16-2 win, putting the Cyclones up 4-0. Three straight wins by Cortland put the New York school out to a 10-4 lead, but Centenary’s grapplers wouldn’t be denied.
Hackettstown High School graduate and 165-pounder Owen Vernon posted a shutout 4-0 in his match, bringing the teams to a 10-10 deadlock.
Back and forth bouts led to an 18-14 Cortland lead with just one bout to go, as 285-pound All-American J.D. Zitone waited for his shot to help the team.
Rather than just grab some points and hope for the best, Zitone left no room for doubt, pinning his Francisco DeCristo, guaranteeing the team a 3rd place finish.
Next up the Cyclones will host the Metropolitan Wrestling Conference Tournament Saturday, Jan. 19 at 11 a.m.
All information provided by Centenary College Athletic Department.