NEW YORK – Six Army wrestlers won bouts to lead the Black Knights to a 19-15 victory over EIWA rival Columbia on Saturday evening at University Gymnasium.
Freshman Scott Filbert posted a major decision and five other Black Knights recorded wins by decision to lead Army (4-5, 2-1 EIWA) to its first dual match win since late November. Kevin Lester picked up a win by fall in the heavyweight bout to pace Columbia (3-2, 0-1 EIWA).
Filbert got Army off to a fast start by blanking Robert Dyar, 11-0, in the 125-pound matchup. The bonus-point victory gave the Black Knights an early 4-0 advantage.
Junior Jordan Thome followed Filbert’s dominating performance by securing a 6-2 verdict versus Kyle Gilchrist at 133 pounds, extending Army’s lead to 7-0.
Consecutive wins by Columbia trimmed Army’s advantage to 7-6, but senior Jimmy Rafferty and freshman Cole Gracey responded with victories to make it 13-6 in favor of the Black Knights with four bouts remaining. Rafferty scored a 4-1 decision versus Jake O’Hara in the 157-pound bout, while Gracey posted a 10-8 triumph opposite Eren Civan at 165 pounds.
Columbia’s Stephen West edged Ryan Tompkins, 3-2, in the 174-pound matchup to pull the Lions to within 13-9, but Army clinched the contest with wins in the next two bouts.
Senior Michael Gorman outlasted Shane Hughes, 14-11, at 184 pounds, and fellow senior Derek Stanley doubled up Nick Mills, 4-2, at 197 pounds to give Army an insurmountable 19-9 cushion.
Lester rounded out the scoring by pinning Army freshman heavyweight Stephen Snyder in 49 seconds.
Army resumes its tournament slate next weekend (Jan. 21-22) when the Black Knights travel to Ithaca, N.Y., to compete at the 43rd annual New York State Championships.
Match Notes: Army’s all-time record versus Columbia improves to 51-7-1 … Jimmy Rafferty leads the Black Knights with 18 victories this season … he also tops the team with seven dual match wins … Rafferty has won six of his last seven bouts … Scott Filbert’s major decision was the first of his career … Derek Stanley picked up his first dual match win of the season.
Army 19, Columbia 15
125: Scott Filbert (A) maj. dec. Robert Dyar, 11-0
133: Jordan Thome (A) dec. Kyle Gilchrist, 6-2
141: Elijah Sullivan (C) dec. Casey Smith, 8-5
149: Steve Santos (C) dec. Ryan Bilyeu, 6-5
157: Jimmy Rafferty (A) dec. Jake O’Hara, 4-1
165: Cole Gracey (A) dec. Eren Civan, 10-8
174: Stephen West (C) dec. Ryan Tompkins, 3-2
184: Michael Gorman (A) dec. Shane Hughes, 14-11
197: Derek Stanley (A) dec. Nick Mills, 4-2
285: Kevin Lester (C) pinned Stephen Snyder, 0:49