The Spartan Combat RTC opened the season at the Clarion Open in Pennsylvania, with a number of strong performances.
Mikey Dellagatta took second place in his first college tournament. At 197 pounds, he began with a 17-2 technical fall over Sean McElhinny of John Carroll before beating returning Purdue starter Ben Vanadia. Dellagatta pinned Columbia's Michael Baker and then majored Michigan State's Lucas Daly to punch his ticket to the title bout. Pittsburgh's Mac Stout won 3-0.
Simon Ruiz earned fifth at 174 pounds, with a 4-1 mark. Ruiz started with a 15-0 technical fall over Casper Hinklie of Clarion before besting NCAA qualifier and returning EIWA third placer Lennox Wolak of Columbia in an impressive 5-1 decision. Wolak came into the bout nationally ranked. Ruiz then went into overtime against the eventual champion, Rocco Welsh of Ohio State, yielding a takedown in the extra session. Ruiz was dominant the rest of the way, majoring Columbia's Kyle Mosher (17-4) and Purdue's Orlando Cruz (9-0).
Tyler Ferrara started off his college career with a bang, beating 2023 EIWA and Midlands placer Hunter Adrian of Brown, 4-1, with a takedown in sudden victory at 133 pounds. Ferrara followed with an 8-0 major over Ohio State's Braxton Appello. He again went to overtime against finalist Vincent Santaniello of Pittsburgh in the next round, dropping a decision, before responding with a 13-8 victory against Edinboro's Jacob Brenneman. Ferrara ended the day with three wins.
George Oroudjov pinned two opponents at 141 pounds: Dy'vaire Vandyke of Michigan State and Cameron Soda of Edinboro. Tyson Carroll added a fall at heavyweight, when he topped Thomas Lunt of John Carroll. Also winning twice was Roberto Padilla, who had a major and a decision at 165 pounds.
Ernie Perry picked up his first college win with a 15-0 technical fall at 125.
Also competing for Spartan Combat RTC: Matt Dougherty (125), Carter Tate (141), and Buzzy Bomberger (157).
Photo credit: Michael Kemerer