Redshirt junior Alfred Bannister secured the top spot of the 149-pound weight class after being undefeated at the 85th annual Wilkes Open on Friday. Bannister fought his way to 4-0 against some tough opponents, earning two of his four wins by way of fall.
After a bye in the Round of 32, Bannister faced off against Bobby Pryhocki, a freshman from Campbell University. The bout ended after a brief 30 seconds, with Bannister securing his place in the next round with a pin on Pryhocki in the first period.
This dominant win for Bannister previewed what was to come in his second bout of the day against Drexel sophomore, Vincent Foggia. Bannister was up for the challenge, and once again defeated his opponent by fall. His pin on Foggia came in the first period, with less than a minute before the time ran out.
Moving onto the quarterfinals, Bannister met Michael Sprague, a junior from American University and also No. 18 in the nation for the 149-pound weight class according to InterMat Wrestling.
The bout began with a Bannister takedown for two points, but Sprague quickly countered with an escape. The second period followed suit, with Bannister earning a takedown and Sprague gaining an escape.
The two went back and forth in the final period, but Bannister eventually gained the upper hand with a takedown on Sprague. Bannister won by decision, 6-4, and took a place in the championship match.
Bannister sealed his victory over Lehigh sophomore Kent Lane in the final match of the tournament with a 10-5 win by decision. He displayed his offensive dominance from beginning to end, earning three takedowns in the first period alone.
Lane earned five points from escapes in each period, but his efforts were not enough to overcome Bannister’s five takedowns.
Due to his championship effort, Bannister captured 1st place for the 149-pound division, making this his third placing of the season. Bannister previously placed second at the Princeton Tigers Open Nov. 4 and won 1st place at the Mat Town Open that took place Nov. 26.
Also competing at the Wilkes Open for the Terps was redshirt sophomore Jahi Jones. Jones was defeated by Nunzio Crowley of Binghamton by a close score of 7-6 after having a bye in the Round of 32. In his second match of the day, Jones lost to Dom Celli, a senior from Sacred Heart, by a 12-6 decision.
The Terps’ next challenge will take place at the 55th annual Midlands Championships Dec. 29-30, followed by a dual meet against national powerhouse and conference foe Ohio State Jan. 5.
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