Behind Five Champions, Virginia Tech Wrestling Wins Keystone Classic

Connor Brady won the 165-pound title in Philadelphia over the weekend for Virginia Tech. (Ivan Morozov)

Following a disappointing loss on Friday, Nov. 11 to No. 4 Ohio State, No. 14 Virginia Tech bounced back in Sunday’s Keystone Classic, winning the team title.

The Hokies brought home the title with an overall team score of 174.5 points. Tech was led by five individual championships and eight additional wrestlers who placed in the tournament.

VT’s most impressive championship run belonged to No. 31 Connor Brady at 165 pounds. A redshirt sophomore from Powell, Ohio who moved up from 157 to 165 this offseason, Brady took down three ranked wrestlers en route to the title. He eked out victories against Appalachian State’s No. 25 Will Formato (5-2), Penn’s No. 19 Lucas Revano (3-1, SV) and Drexel’s No. 20 Evan Barczak (5-3).

The championship run vaults Brady’s record this season to 8-2. He started last season with an 11-2 record before losing eight of the next nine matches.

No. 9 Hunter Bolen, No. 11 Sam Latona, No. 25 Eddie Ventresca and Collin Gerardi joined Brady in the title club.

Bolen dominated the 184-pound division in Philadelphia, pinning his first two opponents before earning two tech falls to win the championship. Both of Bolen’s pins happened in the first three minutes of each match. 

His four wins at the Keystone Classic were a nice rebound performance after beginning the season with a loss to Ohio State’s No. 4 Kaleb Romero.

Latona continued his hot start to the season with a championship run that included two major decision victories and a 7-2 win over Penn’s No. 10 Michael Colaiocco in the 133-pound title match. He is now 9-1 on the year.

Ventresca edged out a victory over fellow Hokie redshirt freshman Cooper Flynn in the tiebreaker period to win the 125-pound title. He tied the match at two with one second left to wrestle and was awarded the win since he owned the rideout advantage.

Ventresca and Flynn have been about as equally matched as any two wrestlers on Virginia Tech’s team, but Ventresca has consistently been just a tad bit better than Flynn. He started over Fynn against Ohio State, and his slim victory on Sunday may be an indication that he’s just barely holding on to that starting spot.

Collin Gerardi was one of five Virginia Tech wrestlers to win a title in Pennsylvania. (Ivan Morozov)

Collin Gerardi, who backed up true freshman Tom Crook against Ohio State, snagged the 141-pound title to build his record to 7-1 on the season. 

Gerardi nabbed a slim victory in a tiebreaker period in the semifinal round against Penn’s Carmen Ferrante before beating Rider’s McKenzie Bell by major decision 11-3 to win the championship.

No. 19 Hunter Catka finished second at the tournament. He lost the heavyweight title match to Duke’s Jonah Niesenbaum in the sudden victory period, 3-1. No. 12 Caleb Henson (149) and Sam Fisher (184) both made the podium in their weight classes, both finishing third.

True freshman TJ Stewart (4th, 197), Dakota Howard (6th, 197), Clayton Ulrey (6th, 157) and Jackson Spires (7th, 157) all placed for the Hokies. Brandon Wittenberg (133), Kylan Montgomery (149), Drew Nicholson (165) and Ty Finn (165) did not place at the tournament. 

Virginia Tech now turns its attention to the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Dec. 1-2 before hosting No. 3 Missouri in Cassell Coliseum on Dec. 11.



No. 25 Eddie Ventresca – Champion

  • Maj dec. Gabe Giampetro (Drexel), 16-6
  • Maj dec. Mason Leiphart (Franklin & Marshall), 12-2
  • Win by Fall Chad Bellis (App State), 0:38
  • Dec. Cooper Flynn (Virginia Tech), 2-2 TB2

Cooper Flynn – 2nd

  • Dec. Markel Baker (GMU), 5-3
  • Maj dec. Tyler Klinsky (Rider), 12-4
  • Dec. No. 15 Ryan Miller (UPenn), 10-4
  • Loss, No. 25 Eddie Ventresca (Virginia Tech), 2-2 TB2


No. 11 Sam Latona – Champion

  • Maj dec. Ethan Oakley (App State), 10-1
  • Dec. Evan Mougalian (UPenn), 7-2
  • Maj dec. Kyle Waterman (Drexel), 8-0
  • Dec. No. 10 Michael Colaiocco (UPenn), 7-2

Brandon Wittenberg

  • Loss, Pat Phillips (Franklin & Marshall), 1-0
  • Maj dec. Josh Hilliard (Franklin & Marshall), 11-1
  • Loss, Evan Mougalian (UPenn), 8-0


Collin Gerardi – Champion

  • Tech Fall Jordan Soriano (Drexel), 18-2 (6:02)
  • Dec. Jackson Polo (UPenn), 8-5
  • Dec. Carmen Ferrante (UPenn), TB2 2-2
  • Maj dec. McKenzie Bell (Rider), 11-3


No. 12 Caleb Henson – 3rd

  • Maj dec. Jack Crook (Harvard), 13-2
  • Maj dec. Dominic FIndora (Drexel), 10-2
  • Loss, No. 9 Doug Zapf (UPenn), 7-5 SV
  • Win by Fall Jack Crook (Harvard), 6:22
  • Dec. No. 19 Quinn Kinner (Rider), 3-2

Kylan Montgomery 

  • Loss, No. 2 Jonathan Millner (App State), Fall (2:03)
  • Loss, Kaden Keiser (App State), 4-2 SV


Clayton Ulrey – 6th

  • Maj dec. Louis Colaiocco (UPenn), 18-6
  • Loss, Tommy Askey (App State), 3-2
  • Dec. Tate Nichter (Drexel), 11-4
  • Maj dec. Evan Gleason (Harvard), 14-6
  • Loss, Cody Bond (App State), 6-1

Jackson Spires – 7th

  • Dec. Jake Silverstein (Rider), 2-0
  • Loss, Peter Pappas (Rider), 4-3
  • Dec. Cole Spencer (UPenn), 3-1
  • Loss Michael Kilic (Arizona State), 10-1
  • Dec. Evan Gleason (Harvard), 9-7


No. 31 Connor Brady – Champion

  • Maj dec. Cody Walsh (Drexel), 13-5
  • Maj dec. Gabe Miller (UPenn), 12-4
  • Dec. No. 25 Will Formato (App State), 5-2
  • Dec. No. 19 Lucas Revano (UPenn), 3-1 SV
  • Dec. No, 20 Evan Barczak (Drexel), 5-3

Drew Nicholson

  • Tech Fall Rene Fragoso (Arizona State), 18-3 (5:17)
  • Loss, Josh Kim (Harvard), 5-3
  • Loss, Hunter Mays (Rider), 6-5

Ty Finn

  • Loss, Oren Bost (App State), 7-5 SV
  • Maj dec. Jeremy Ridge (UPenn), 12-1
  • Loss, No. 25 Will Formato (App State), 5-2


No. 9 Hunter Bolen – Champion

  • Win by Fall Malachi DuVall (GMU), 2:45
  • Win by Fall Lucas Uliano (App State), 2:51
  • Tech Fall Leonardo Taratino (Harvard), 17-2 (4:20)
  • Tech Fall Brian Bonino (Drexel), 16-1 (7:00)

Sam Fisher – 3rd

  • Dec. Luke Chakonis (Duke), 13-7
  • Dec. Luke Rada (Harvard), 10-4
  • Loss, Brian Bonino (Drexel), 3-1 SV
  • Dec. Maximus Hale (UPenn), 3-2
  • Dec. Leonardo Tarantino (Harvard), 5-2


Dakota Howard – 6th

  • Win by Fall John Crawford (Franklin & Marshall), 1:50
  • Loss, Kordell Norfleet (Arizona State), 10-2
  • Loss, TJ Stewart (Virginia Tech), 8-6
  • Medical Forfeit Jonathan Crawford (Franklin & Marshall)

TJ Stewart – 4th

  • Maj dec. Logan Michael (SHU), 18-6
  • Loss, No. 27 Cole Urbas (UPenn), Fall (4:32)
  • Dec. Carson Floyd (App State), 11-4
  • Maj dec. Jonathan List (GMU), 13-4
  • Dec. Dakota Howard (Virginia Tech), 8-6
  • Loss, No. 27 Cole Urbas (UPenn), 6-4


No. 19 Hunter Catka – 2nd

  • Dec. Jacob Sartorio (App State), 4-1
  • Maj dec. Nathan Hoaglund (UPenn), 8-0
  • Dec. David Szuba (Rider), 8-2
  • Loss, Jonah Niesenbaum (Duke), 3-1 SV

5 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Jack, definitely wanted to second VT Trainman’s comments above. Would it be possible to list the rankings and scores by each school that participated in the event and for any multi team events going forward. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. The loss to Ohio State was not disappointing. If Bryce Andonian wrestles we win. True freshman Caleb Henson beat the #2 ranked guy in the country. True freshman Tom Crook had a major decision over a ranked guy. LOTS of positives out of that dual.

Comments are closed.