COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columba wrestling went toe-to-toe with No. 4 Ohio State Friday night at the Covelli Center. Though the Lions were defeated, 33-6, they earned two decisions by Lennox Wolak (174) and Danny Fongaro (149) to highlight the evening, including a ranked victory by Wolak.
“I think we learned a lot tonight. We have one of the hardest schedules in the country and we have it for a reason,” Andrew F. Barth Head Coach of Wrestling Zach Tanelli said. “We need to gather intel and information. For that, I’m grateful to have wrestled an elite team. The best lesson is experience. The most valuable teaching comes from experience. For that, it was a success.”
Wolak came from behind to earn an 8-6 decision over No. 6 Ethan Smith at 174 pounds. With Smith leading 4-2 in the second round, Wolak got an escape and quickly took down Smith to grab the lead. Later on in the third round, Wolak gained position around Smith’s back and took him down again to go back on top. He held on through the final seconds to have his hand raised in victory.
“Lennox is one of the hardest workers that we have,” said Tanelli on the junior, who was competing in his hometown of Columbus. “He does so many things right. I’m happy and proud of Lennox because it validates what we already know — he’s an elite competitor and he’s going to be a big problem for the country at that weight class. I’m super proud of him and it couldn’t happen to a better person.”
Wolak’s win came a few matches after Danny Fongaro earned a 7-4 decision at 149 pounds. In that bout, Fongaro took a 2-0 lead late in the first round on a reversal. He extended it to 5-0 with a beautiful takedown, grabbing Reeves’ left leg from low on the mat and sitting him back down. Reeves came back to make it 6-4 late in the third round but Fongaro did enough to take the decision.
The Lions had a few close calls in some other weight classes. Matt Kazimir, a 2020 NCAA Wrestling Championship Qualifier, lost a narrow, 3-1, decision to Jordan Decatur at 141 pounds. Josh Ogunsanya came close to what would have been a second ranked win on the night but fell to No. 6 Carson Kharchla at 165 pounds, 6-3.
“That’s ok. We’ll see a lot of these individuals in two weeks in Vegas and hopefully we can flip it there,” Tanelli added. “Overall, I wish things would have gone a little bit differently tonight, but I leave encouraged with some of the things we did well as well.”
The Lions remain in Big Ten country over the weekend, taking on No. 7 Michigan on Sunday in Ann Arbor at 2 p.m. The match can be accessed live on Big Ten Network+.
Source : Columbia Lions