The College of New Jersey Athletics
Williamsport, Pa. — The College of New Jersey capped one of the busiest weeks of the season in style on Saturday as the Lions claimed the title at the prestigious Budd Whitehill Duals with a pair of victories.
The 15th-ranked Lions opened with a narrow 23-21 win over 16th-ranked SUNY Cortland and then held off 22nd-ranked Ohio Northern 19-13 in the final. TCNJ defeated three ranked teams in the tournament held at Lycoming College as it captured its second title in the last five years. It was also the program’s ninth title at the tournament since 1990.
In all, the Lions went 5-0 in the two-day tournament extending their winning streak to eight consecutive dual meets. For the season, TCNJ is 12-1.
In the final, the Lions forged a 10-3 lead against the Polar Bears as Steve Godine won at 125 pounds followed by a major decision from Dan Herr at 133. John Darling later tacked on another win via decision at 149 for the advantage.
Ohio Northern then won two of the next three weight classes before TCNJ’s trio of Justin Bonitatis, Brian Broderick and Mike Denver collected wins at 174, 184, and 197, respectively, to secure the team title. The win by Bonitatis came against Luke Miller, who won the 2010 NCAA Division III title at 157 pounds.
The Lions opened the day facing SUNY Cortland in the semifinals with the teams each winning five bouts. TCNJ, however, won its matches in impressive fashion as Broderick (174) and Denver (184) each recorded pins, while John Barnett at 149 and Bonitatis at 165 each won by major decision.