Vestal, NY – Hofstra junior Michael Hughes captured the 285-pound title to lead 12 Pride wrestlers at the season-opening Jonathan Kaloust Memorial-Bearcat Open at the Binghamton Events Center Sunday night.
The 13-hour marathon tournament was not an obstacle for the junior from Smithtown, New York, who posted a 6-0 mark in the Open with two wins by fall and two major decisions. He defeated Harvard's Nick Gadjzik, 6-0 in the title match. Hughes recorded a 22-11 record in 2014-15 and won the 285-pound title at the New York State Collegiate Championships.
Junior Jahlani Callender recorded the most matches on the day for the Pride with eight and recorded a 6-2 slate at 157 pounds. Callender, who was 16-15 last season, won all six of his matches by decision before being eliminated by Cortland's Brendan Dent, 8-3 in the seventh round of the consolations.
Sophomore Bryan Damon, who is coming off a 14-11 season at 125 pounds last season, was 5-2 in Binghamton on Sunday with a win by fall and a tech fall. He advanced to the seventh round of the consolations before falling to Binghamton's Steven Bulzomi, 10-8.
Junior Frank Affronti posted a 4-2 slate at 174 pounds Sunday including a win by fall and three decisions. He, too, advanced to the seventh round of the consolations before being eliminated by Lehigh's Ben Haas.
Three Hofstra grapplers, red-shirt junior Cory Goshkagarian at 157, sophomore Cory Damiana at 184 and freshman Omar Haddad at 197, posted 3-2 records on the day. Damiana, who advanced to the seventh round of the consolations before falling to Princeton's Scott Gibbons, was 7-15 as a true freshman starter in 2014-15. Haddad made his collegiate debut and advanced to the fifth round of the consolations before being eliminated by Binghamton's Mark Tracy, 5-3. Goshkagarian, who was 1-8 last season, had a win by fall and a major decision before being eliminated by Drexel's Isaiah Hokit, 3-1 in the fourth round of the consolations.
Senior Jermaine John, who competed at 174 pounds this week after posting a 3-8 record at 184 during an injury-shortened season last year, was 2-2 overall, but 1-1 in countable matches, on the day. John was eliminated by Binghamton's Jack McKeever, 8-1 in the fourth round of the consolations. Red-shirt freshman Bobby Fehr posted a 1-2 record at 165 pounds and was the final member of the Pride to post a victory on the day.
Red-shirt junior Alex Mirante at 149, sophomore Michael Oxley at 197 and red-shirt freshman Connor Muliat 141 were each 0-2 on the day at the Bearcat Open.
Hofstra will begins its dual match schedule next Sunday, November 15 when they face Northern Iowa at 9:20 a.m., Lock Haven at 11:15 a.m. and Michigan at 3:15 p.m. in the Journeymen/Asics Northeast Duals at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York.