Monarch Grapplers Host ODU Invitational on Sunday
Old Dominion is off to another strong start having placed four wrestlers in both the VMI and Coppin State Tournament's to open the season. The team returns six starters from last season's squad, which finished fourth in the CAA.
Leading the way for ODU will be 1998-99 CAA Rookie of the Year, Jeff Rusak (Reading, PA). Rusak, who will wrestle at 165 this year, completed a successful freshman campaign at 157 last season by finishing second in the CAA Championships and advancing to the NCAA's, where he won two matches. He finished the season with a 34-6 record, including a perfect 15-0 record in dual meets.
In addition, the Monarchs return Lake Taylor High School product, Joel Jimenez (Norfolk, VA) at 133. Jimenez is a former CAA runner-up who will be looking for another solid performance his senior season.
Senior Chris Harrington (North Ft. Myers, FL), junior Chad Filson (Lewisberry, PA) and sophomore George Sable (Middle Island, NY) also return to bolster the Monarch lineup at 197, 149 and 174. Harrington and Sable both placed at the CAA Championships last season, while Filson finished second in the CAA as a freshman.
Old Dominion also welcomes several key newcomers who will be added to the mix immediately. Salem High alum Chip Reyes (Virginia Beach, VA) will start for the Monarchs at 125, while freshman Blake Romano (Boinling Springs, VA) and redshirt freshman Jake Cairns (Brick, NJ) will start at 141 and 157. Romano and Cairns are coming off solid performances at the VMI Tournament on Nov. 7, where they each won their division.
The Monarchs will be hosting four more events after the new year, with the Old Dominion Quad on January 9, and dual meets with NC State on Jan. 26 and Campbell on Feb. 4, before the ODU Quad. on Feb. 19.