AU wrestling loses to Drexel 26-16

Another loss puts AU at 1-9 for the season

AU wrestling loses to Drexel 26-16

Despite a good battle, American University wrestling lost to Drexel 26-16 on Jan. 30. 

The Eagles took an early blow against Drexel after forfeiting their 125-pound bout due to freshman Max Leete being off-weight on Sunday. An uphill battle followed with notable performances from freshman Jack Maida, junior Tim Fitzpatrick and sophomore Isaac Righter. 

The meet kicked off with an electrifying bout between Maida and Drexel sophomore Jaxon Maroney. The two struggled for dominance in all three periods, but Maida seized victory in the final period by shutting down all of Maroney’s reversal attempts. 

“A lot of young kids find ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,” head coach Jason Borrelli said. “Jack has found a lot of ways to hold onto that victory. There’s a lot of guys who might’ve given up a reversal, or given up a takedown, but he’s real stingy and greedy.” 

Drexel’s Jared Donahue pinned AU sophomore Ethan Szerencsits, giving them a 12-3 lead. With their back on the ropes, AU’s Patrick Ryan faced off against Tyler Williams. Ryan willed an impressive comeback after an early takedown winning the bout by decision 4-2. 

The meet took an unfortunate turn for the Eagles when AU freshman Antonio Segura lost by decision to Parker Kropman, and freshman Breon Phifer suffered a 15-0 technical fall. With the score at 20-6, all eyes were on Fitzpatrick.  

Fitzpatrick and Drexel’s Michael Martinak started the bout on even footing, but the tables flipped when AU’s Wrestler Of The Match scored a takedown deep into the first period. The proceeding periods saw Fitzpatrick dominate the mat with takedown after takedown, winning by major decision. In an extra bout after the meet, Fitzpatrick snagged another win for his record. 

“He’s just a workhorse. Tim is the first one in the room, the last to leave, always stays after with coaches, and he takes lifting seriously,” Borrelli said. “He’s had a lot of struggle this year, but he hasn’t let that get him down, and he’s used all those struggles, all those little close moments, and those tough defeats to find a positive in it.”

Righter pinned Drexel’s Eli Anthony in the final bout of the match, leaving the final score at 26-16. The short but explosive one-period bout was a big win for the Eagles. Despite the team’s loss, Borrelli said he was happy with their performance. 

“The guys, they competed. Our effort, our attitude, and our grit were really more prevalent, and that’s one thing,” Borrelli said. “We went to Michigan a couple of weeks ago and we were really flat. I didn’t see that fight the way I wanted. Today I saw a lot more fight and competitiveness.” 

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