Wrestling season winds down, winning streak keeps NCAA Div. II ranking high

The wrestling season for California Baptist University Lancers has been noteworthy, as multiple wrestlers have given outstanding performances throughout the season, resulting in the breaking of records and putting the program on the map.

In November, wrestlers and a crowd of 2,082, attended the Take It Outside tournament. Even though the Lancers lost to the NCAA Division I Roadrunners of California State University, Bakersfield, the team said this was a highlight within their season because of the lessons learned.

In a press release, Lennie Zalesky, head coach of the wrestling team, said his wrestlers learned the valuable lesson of staying strong through this tournament.

“The biggest thing we learned from this is to wrestle the third period hard, and stay on the guy, giving them no rest,” Zalesky said.

However, Take It Outside was not a complete upset for the Lancers. Anthony Racobaldo, freshman undeclared major and wrestler, stole the show with outstanding moves, resulting in his last second pin.

“After a while I started to control the match and at the end he started to tire out, so I threw him to his back and collected six points for the team,” Racobaldo said in a press release.

Another exponential moment in this season was the moment that the Lancers beat No. 4-ranked Mercyhurst with an overall score of 23-18, making it the first time in CBU history to beat a team in the top five.

It came down to the last match between Joe Fagiano, graduate student and heavyweight wrestler, and opponent Andy Welton to determine the overall victor of the match. Faginao dominated the mat with his agility and strength, and took down the third ranked heavyweight wrestler.

“I came to win a match and win it for the team,” Fagiano said in a press release. “It’s good to know where I’m at with the rest of the country, so it’s good, it’s a good feeling.”

In more recent news, wrestlers advanced to the prestigious Midlands tournament in December, as it was the first time the team attended the match. Fagiano continued his success and became the first CBU wrestler to advance to the second day of the tournament.

Soon after, wrestlers traveled to Stanford but the Lancers took a loss, 24-10. However, three wrestlers powered through and gave their team three wins. Racobaldo, Brady Bersano, senior marketing major, and Jake Waste, junior criminal justice major, all brought their A-game and took down their competitors.

The team will return home to compete in a RMAC conference matchup against California State University, San Francisco, Jan. 23 at 5 p.m., before traveling to compete in the RMAC championships.

About Hannah Preston

A&E Editor

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