Josh Etzel Captures 149-Pound Title At Messiah
GRANTHAM, Pa. – Washington & Jefferson College sophomore Josh Etzel (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth-Forward) recorded four victories to win the 149-pound championship Saturday at the Messiah Wrestling Open.
Sophomore 165-pounder David Dibenedetto (Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel) placed second in his bracket, while senior heavyweight Taylor Potts (Wellsburg, W.Va./John Marshall) grabbed third place.
Etzel, who upped his season record to 18-3, was the No. 1 seed in the 149-pound bracket and opened with a fall (4:53) against Liberty’s Tyler Knopp. He then blanked another Liberty wrestler, Bobby Leffew, by a 6-0 margin before earning a 5-3 decision over Anthony D’Amico of The College of New Jersey. Etzel wrapped up the championship with a 6-3 triumph against The College of New Jersey’s Josh Gorzo.
Dibenedetto was the fourth seed at 165 pounds and quickly posted a fall (2:08) over Liberty’s Eric Hughes. After knocking off Messiah’s Jacob English 9-4, Dibenedetto defeated top-seeded Sam Lombardo of Waynesburg 5-2 to advance to the championship bout. However, second-seeded Nathan White of Wilkes collected the title with a 3-1 win. Dibenedetto now has 18 victories this winter.
Potts owns a team-high 24 victories after a 4-1 record at the open invitational. He began the tournament with a fall (2:57) against TCNJ’s Mike Larcamp and then topped William Fletcher of Wilkes 6-3.
The third-seeded Potts fell into the consolation bracket following an 8-2 loss to second-seeded Brandon Lawrence of Liberty. He bounced back with two wins, including a 3-0 triumph over Fletcher in the third-place match.
W&J returns to action next Saturday at Thiel’s Mel Barry Duals.