CLEVELAND, Ohio – Tom Sleigh captured the 197-pound title and was one of 10 Bison placewinners at the Cleveland State Open on Saturday. Bucknell sent 25 wrestlers to the unscored event and had plenty of success as Drew Phipps (2nd at 184) and Tyler Greene (2nd at 285) also made finals appearances.
Sleigh, who is ranked nationally, was the standout performer for the Bison. He won three bouts and earned another victory by forfeit, outscoring his opponents 28-1 on his way to the title. It marked the second straight event at which Sleigh was a placewinner, following a seventh-place showing at the competitive Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational two weeks ago.
Phipps was one of two Bison freshmen to be placewinners in the 184-pound weight class as he was joined by fifth-place Garrett Hoffman. Phipps won his first two bouts on Saturday and then advanced to the finals thanks to a forfeit. He then lost to veteran Maxwell Dean. Hoffman lost to Dean by a tight 2-1 score in his first bout and then won four in a row – including two by major decision – in the consolation bracket.
Greene, a senior, posted three straight wins by decision to advance to the championship bout, but lost to Gardner-Webb’s Boyce Cornwell by a 7-0 score. Greene’s career record is now back above .500 (44-43) after his 3-1 performance.
Bucknell had four other wrestlers advance to the semifinals of their brackets and end up in fourth place. Jordan Gessner (125), Joey Gould (133), Seth Hogue (149) and Logan Kerin (165) were the fourth-place finishers, while nationally ranked Tyler Smith (141) and D.J. Hollingshead (165) won the consolation brackets in their weight classes to finish in fifth place.
Smith finished the day with a 5-1 record. After winning his first two bouts by matching 8-2 decisions, he captured three straight in the wrestlebacks. He won his first two consolation matches by a combined 21-0 score and then won the fifth-place bout by fall in just over two minutes.
Hollingshead had plenty of success in the 165-pound wrestlebacks, capturing five straight wins en route to his fifth-place showing. In addition to two victories by forfeit, Hollingshead posted wins by fall, major decision and decision.
Bucknell will return to action Jan. 10 when it hosts Franklin & Marshall in its first home dual match of the year. Start time is 7 p.m. in Davis Gym. It will be the first dual match for the Bison since they faced nationally ranked Lehigh on Nov. 11.