Match of the Week: Wilkes vs. Ithaca


David Lee

The Wilkes University wrestling team won the 800th match in the program’s history Feb. 14 against Ithaca. Here, sophomore Guesseppe Rea pins his opponent.

Alex Fahnestock, Staff Writer

Wilkes University’s wrestling team reached the 800-win milestone with a victory over Ithaca College on Feb. 14.

With the win Wilkes improved to 17-3 overall on the season, they are now 18-3 after a win against cross-town rival kings last Thursday. As a program, Wilkes now stands 801-369-16, becoming the 12th program in any division (I, II, or III) to reach the 800-win plateau. Wilkes is also just the second Division III school to have posted 800 victories.

Wilkes won seven of the 10 matches against Ithaca.

At 133-pounds, Myzar Mendoza scored his biggest win of the season when he outlasted top-ranked Alex Gomez 3-2 in a hard-fought match, handing Gomez his first loss of the season.

Fifth-ranked Mark Hartenstine was in his usual form and moved his overall record to 33-1 pulling off a 4-3 decision over Eamonn Gaffney at 149-pounds to push the Wilkes advantage to 10-3.

Other winners included Guesseppe Rea at 125-pounds, Kris Krawchuk at 157-pounds, Kyle Diesel at 174-pounds with an upset over sixth-ranked Carlos Toribio, Levi Veppert at 184-pounds, and William Fletcher with an overtime win against Shane Bartrum at 285-pounds.

The man at the helm is head coach Jon Laudenslager who is in his 14th season at Wilkes, serving as an assistant until taking over the program in 2003-04 season.

Laudenslager has led Wilkes to a dual match record of 154-69-5, including nine winning seasons.

The Colonels are ranked ninth in the nation at the moment and have been ranked as high as seventh during Laudenslager’s tenure.

“Coach Laudenslager is a big part of (our) success out here,” Hartenstine said. “He’s got a really great routine down and makes sure to work us hard every day so that we’re able to compete at a high level.”

The Colonels have concluded match play but will take to the mat one last time on March 2, at King’s College in the East Regional tournament.