Minotti, Riddick capture titles to lead Lehigh at NCO Sunday
RICHMOND, Va. – Freshmen Mitch Minotti and Elliot Riddick claimed titles to lead a contingent of 11 Lehigh wrestlers who competed in the National Collegiate Open Sunday in Richmond, Va. Minotti and Riddick were two of our Mountain Hawks who placed in the top six of their respective weight classes on the day.
The National Collegiate Open is a collegiate wrestling event that serves as a post-season championship for Division I athletes that are not wrestling in their school’s national qualifying tournament. The inaugural tournament was held in 2009 at Clarion University and the 2013 tournament was the second contested in Richmond. All 11 of Lehigh’s tournament entrants were reserves, or wrestlers deferring their eligibility this season.
Both Minotti and Riddick posted 4-0 records en route to first place finishes at 149 and 174 respectively. In addition, sophomore Mason Beckman finished third at 133, while freshman Brandon Griffin finished fifth at 184.
Minotti posted his second open tournament title this month, after her previously won the Edinboro Open back on February 9. He posted a win by decision; a major decision and a first period fall to advance to the finals, where he won a 3-1 sudden victory decision over Luke Frey of Penn State. Minotti also earned several impressive third place finishes in open tournament competition both in the fall semester and in several January open tournaments. He finishes his freshman season with an impressive 38-10 record competing unattached.
Riddick captured his first open tournament title and placed in his third tournament in his deferred year. He previously finished fifth at the Wilkes Open in late December and the Franklin & Marshall Open in early January. Riddick advanced to the finals with a major and two decisions before downing Nikkos Reyes of Illinois 4-2 to improve to 18-9 on the season.
Beckman capped a stellar deferred year going 5-1 on Sunday to improve to 34-3 this season on the mat for Lehigh. He placed in all seven open tournaments he entered plus the Midlands Championships in late December. Beckman won five titles and added a second, a third and a fourth place finish in tournament competition.
Griffin won his first three bouts on Sunday and ended the day at 4-2 to improve to 25-13 on the season. His fifth place finish marked the fourth open tournament in which Griffin placed at this season.
Also competing in the tournament for Lehigh were freshmen Cody Kievman (125), David Jeffrey (125), Will Switzer (141) and Zach Diekel (197), and sophomores Jim Carucci (141), Will Sullivan (165) and David Quackenbos (197).
The Mountain Hawks finished the dual meet season at 10-7 and will now shift focus to preparations for the 109th EIWA Championships, March 8-9 at the RAC in Piscataway, N.J.
Story by Taylor Boyd ‘13