Trio of Wrestlers Win Championships at Franklin & Marshall Open

Trio of Wrestlers Win Championships at Franklin & Marshall Open

Senior Josef Johnson (174) was one of three Crimson wrestlers to capture a tournament championship at the 2018 Franklin & Marshall Open. 

LANCASTER, Pa. – The 2018 calendar year began on a high note for Harvard wrestling as three-student-athletes captured tournament championships. Senior Josef Johnson claimed the first-place match in the 174-weight class, while sophomore A.J. Jaffe earned the championship at 141 pounds and junior Nolan Hellickson followed at 125. 

Johnson went a perfect 5-0 en route to capturing the 174-weight class for the second straight year. The New Jersey native opened the day with a major decision (13-4) over Bradley Skinner before earning a 9-2 decision against Robert Patrick to advance to the quarterfinals. After blanking Princeton's Chase Piperato with a 7-0 decision, Johnson moved onto the championship match following a major decision (10-2) against Binghamton's Nunzio Crowley. The first-place bout was a battle, but Johnson was able to edge out Clarion's Evan DeLong in the first tie-breaker, 2-1. 

Entering the day tied for second on the Crimson in wins, Jaffe posted an unblemished, 5-0, mark with two pins at the 2018 Franklin & Marshall Open. The Illinois native began his day pinning Binghamton's Matthew Swanson at 4:24. Jaffe advanced to the semifinals of the 141-weight classes following quick decisions over Chattanooga's Franco Valdes (8-1) and Maryland's Michael Doestch (7-2).  In his semifinals match, Jaffe moved on to the championship bout recording his second pin of the day against Franklin & Marshall's Paddy Quinlan. In first round match, Jaffe claimed the 141-weight class title with a 10-5 decision over Rider's Travis Layton.

Hellickson began his championship day strong with a major decision (15-6) over Millersville's Aaron Wildonger. After three back-to-back decisions against Drexel and Virginia, the Iowa native appeared in the semifinals where he defeated Zurich Storm via a 11-4 decision to advance to the championship match. Wrestling for the 125-championship, Hellickson picked up an 11-4 decision against Navy's Logan Treaster. 

Beginning the day as the team leader in pins, freshman Brock Wilson picked up two more in the consolation round of the 157-weight class. In his first consolation match, Wilson pinned Davidson's Tony Palumbo at 4:58, before pinning Bryce Reddington of George Mason at 4:59 in his next match. Wilson finished the day at 6-1.

Senior Tyler Tarsi (157) advanced to the quarterfinals, while Kanon Dean (184) and Angus Cowell (285) posted a 5-1 and 5-2 record, respectively.

Harvard Highlights:

  • Senior Josef Johnson earned his second consecutive tournament championship at 174 pounds.
  • Sophomore A.J. Jaffe posted a 5-0 record to claim the tournament title at 141, while junior Nolan Hellickson captured the championship at 125 pounds.
  • Freshman Brock Wilson recorded two pins at 157 pounds, currently has a team-high five on the season.

What's Next:
Harvard returns to the mats on Saturday, Jan. 13 hosting Stanford at 6:30 p.m. The match will be broadcast on the Ivy League Network.