A young corps of Crimson grapplers stood its ground against older and more experienced competition at this weekend's Coast Guard Tourney, held in New London, Conn., and nabbed 36 points for a respectable fifth-place finish in the team standings. Columbia, a traditional Eastern powerhouse, grabbed first with 83 1/2 points.
Fritz Campbell's three victories in Friday's preliminary bouts of the double-elimination tourney earned him two chances at Barry Barone of St. Lawrence. Barone, a two-time Division III NCAA Champion, taught the Crimson youngster a lesson in their first meeting, pinning him on a cradle move in the second period. That was Barone's fourth pin of the tourney.
A quick learner, Campbell wrestled a tougher match the next time the two went to the mat. The control situations rocked back and forth before the Crimson grappler almost pinned the veteran. After that the more experienced Barone relied on a conservative series of moves to score the takedowns that enabled him to post a 7-6 win over second-place Campbell.
Canadian-born freshman heavyweight Jim Phills lost to former Eastern champion Jay Craddock of Columbia in the semifinals. An experienced wrestler, Craddock choked out Phills' attempts to use upper body moves by shooting single leg attacks and maintaining his distance.
In his consolation match, Phills faced off against Trenton State's Fred Aikens. The 300-pounder avenged an earlier loss to Phills when he caught him under with 15 seconds on the clock. Phills, who gave away almost 100 pounds to his mammoth opponent, succumbed to a pin move but still received third-place honors.
Andy McNerney, at 126 pounds, battled his way into third as a result of earlier wins. Two quick headlocks left the freshman playing catch-up from a 10-2 deficit against Columbia's Doug McKenna. The aggressive McNerney fought back, abandoning his patented cradle for a roll which he used to pull close to McKenna, who finally held on for the 14-13 win.
Paul Widerman lost unexpectedly in the 118-lb. class when an old high school nemesis, Wade Genova--whom Widerman had beaten in all 13 of their previous bouts --posted an overtime criteria win on riding time advantage.