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Pitt Wrestling Takes Care of Rider, 29-9, Ends Losing Streak

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Pitt Wrestling

PITTSBURGH — Pitt Wrestling got a much needed dual win as they handled Rider, 29-9, at Fitzgerald Field House Thursday night.

Pitt earns their first win at home in 2024, ending a four dual losing streak that consisted of then ranked No. 5 Oklahoma State on Jan. 12, then ranked No. 24 Arizona State on Jan. 21, then ranked No. 8 NC State on Jan. 26 and No. 13 Virginia Tech last Friday.

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The Panthers (9-8) win just their second dual at home, as they defeated the Illinois Fighting Illini’ on Dec. 3. This also ends a two dual losing streak, as they lost to the North Carolina Tar Heels on the road on Feb. 9. The win over the Broncs (7-7) is their third ever against them, 3-2 in the all-time series, in their first meeting since November 2009.

Redshirt senior Colton Camacho (8-11) opened up the dual for Pitt Wrestling with a technical fall against Rider senior Tyler Klinsky (15-11) at 125 pounds. The victory for Camacho is the first in 2024, who lost his previous five matches, including all four ACC matches so far.

“It felt good,” Camacho said on getting his first win this calendar year. “Getting the weight back under control makes a big difference. But yeah, our schedule is really tough and trying to control the things I can control has really been the biggest opponent for me.”

Pitt head coach Keith Gavin has great faith in Camacho going forward and complimented him on staying with it through some tough moments these past few weeks.

“I thought he wrestled well last weekend against Virginia Tech too against a highly ranked guy and just putting together a complete match, it’s been a while since he’s done that and that’s what was nice to see tonight,” Gavin said. “I mean, he got off to a big lead on that guy and could’ve coasted it, but finished up with a tech fall and that was probably the best part of that performance was him finishing like that.”

Panthers No. 23 redshirt first-year Vinnie Santaniello (14-12) continued the winning, holding on for a 9-7 decision against Broncs graduate student Richie Koehler (14-9) at 133 pounds. No. 14 redshirt senior Cole Matthews (14-9) followed Santaniello with a 9-1 major decision against Broncs junior Will Betancourt (2-8), with a late takedown giving the Panthers bonus points.

Pitt redshirt first-year Finn Solomon (14-9) used a takedown towards the end of the second period and a reversal to win a 5-2 decision over Rider No. 30 redshirt senior Quinn Kinner (12-9) at 149 pounds.

The Broncs got their first victory of the dual at 157 pounds, as No. 28 junior Colton Washleski (25-6) held on for an 8-6 decision against Panthers redshirt first-year Jared Keslar (13-14).

No. 13 redshirt senior Holden Heller (11-5) won a defensive battle for Pitt wrestling at 165 pounds, with an escape and getting riding time for a 2-0 decision against Rider graduate student Jake Silverstein (12-10).

Panthers No. 18 Luca Augustine (12-4) returned to the starting lineup at 174 pounds, after missing last week’s dual against the Hokies due to injury. Facing Broncs graduate student Michael Wilson (16-10), he started off with three takedowns, but would have to fend off Wilson for a 13-9 decision.

Pitt wrestling No. 10 redshirt senior Reece Heller (17-5) engaged himself in a defensive battle with junior Isaac Dean (11-11), winning a 1-0 decision on an escape at 184 pounds.

Panthers No. 15 redshirt first-year Mac Stout (17-5) dominated Broncs senior Isaac Bell (10-11) at 197 pounds, winning 21-5 on technical fall at 6:19 in the third period.

Redshirt junior Geoff Magin (0-5), who is filling in for No. 13 redshirt first-year Dayton Pitzer at 285 pounds, lost to Rider No. 33 junior David Szuba (16-9), who pinned Magin at 4:18 in the second period.

Pitt Wrestling will finish their regular season against ACC foe Virginia Friday night at Fitzgerald Field House. The dual will also serve as Senior Night, with wrestlers like Matthews, Holden Heller and others receiving honors.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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