RU?wins two titles at Brockport
Traveling home from Brockport, N.Y., Rutgers head wrestling coach Scott Goodale could not shake a sense of frustration.
The Scarlet Knights placed five wrestlers in the finals of their weight classes at the Brockport/Oklahoma Gold Classic, which juniors Mario Mason and Gregory Zannetti won to lead the team to a third-place finish.
“I expect those guys to win,” Goodale said. “I was thinking about the guys who lost, and I think every coach does that. There were matches we left out there, matches we could’ve won and didn’t. I was a little frustrated, to be honest with you.”
Mason and Zannetti were frustrated as well.
Mason, who earned co-Most Outstanding Wrestling honors for his performance as the top seed in the 149-pound bracket, said he did not wrestle as well as he wanted.
Zannetti, who was the top seed in the 174-pound bracket, thought he left points on the mat.
“There’s some things I’d like to do a little different,” Zannetti said. “I felt like I could have won by more, but it’s a good starting point for the season. Now I have to keep that going and try to have fun out there.”
Zannetti scored a 14-4 major decision in his first matchup, pinned No. 10 Oklahoma’s Nolan McBryde in the semifinals and beat Maryland’s 16th-ranked Jimmy Sheptock, 5-2, in the finals.
“He could have scored a lot more, and that’s what frustrates him,” Goodale said. “He’s not happy about it, which is a great attitude to have. You can’t be happy coasting, and he’s not happy winning 5-2.”
Senior 197-pounder Dan Rinaldi left points and a title on the mat as well, Goodale said.
Rinaldi was the top seed in his weight class, cruised through the first two rounds with a 13-1 major decision and 10-4 decision and then lost, 8-6, in overtime to Maryland’s Christian Boley.
“He was killing the kid, then got thrown on his back for a 5-pointer,” Goodale said. “He still has an opportunity to win in overtime and doesn’t. It’s a match you should never lose. I thought that got away from us.”
Rinaldi joined juniors Scott Winston (165 pounds) and Dan Seidenberg (184 pounds) as runner-ups, while an injury took senior Dan Hopkins’ opportunity to win heavyweight.
Hopkins won his first round bout with American’s Blake Herrin and then bruised his ribs against Kyle Colling of Oklahoma in the semifinals.
The injury will keep the senior out of this weekend’s dual meet at Oklahoma State, where sophomore Carl Buchholz will instead wrestle.
“I worry about our heavyweight situation,” Goodale said.
It was still enough for No. 15 Rutgers to place third, behind No. 10 Oklahoma and No. 11 Maryland, but ahead of American, which is tied for the 11th ranking with Maryland. And two individual titles and a co-Most Outstanding Wrestling honor were more than the Knights claimed in years past.
“It’s a confidence builder,” Mason said. “The more confident you are going into a match, the better you are. Definitely with the whole team wrestling well, it will give us an upper hand.”
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