Brown wrestling kicked off the 2009-10 season at the Binghamton Open on Sunday, as several Bears turned in impressive individual performances, highlighted by senior Greg Einfrank's second place finish at 125 pounds. Einfrank tore through the bracket before losing a hard-fought match in the finals, running his record to 4-1 in the early season. Brown also had placewinners at both 157 and 197 pounds, one of the best team showings of the tournament, though no standings were kept.
Einfrank led off the day at 125, starting the tournament with a relatively easy 6-2 win. He then followed that by pulling out clutch back-to-back 6-5 decisions that went down to the wire, propelling himself into the semifinals. In the semis, Einfrank soundly defeated Anthony Comunale by a 12-5 margin, moving into the finals against Princeton's Garrett Frey. Though Frey came away with a 9-4 win, Einfrank's performance was the best of the day for Brown, and could mark the beginning of a big season for Einfrank.
At 133, the Bears had two competitors, as both Nick Mazza and Cortlandt Choate dropped their opening matches to move into the consolation bracket. There, Choate won a decisive 14-2 bout against Jack Ingram before being knocked out of the tournament. Bruno fared somewhat better at 149, where rookie Max Lewin advanced to the third round before falling, including a fall over Del Valley's Matt Lindsay in just 2:30.
Senior Bryan Tracy turned in another strong performance at 157, as he became the second Brown placewinner of the day after Einfrank. Tracy won his first two bouts of the tournament by scores of 6-5 and 3-2 before a loss bumped him to the consolation bracket. Once there, he regained his rhythm, however, running off three straight victories to take fifth place in his division, capping off the run with a 7-2 win over Bucknell's Corey Lear.
At 184, Bruno got another solid outing from a senior, as Bran Crudden won his opening bout by an impressive 10-3 margin. Though Crudden then drew the eventual 184 champion, prematurely ending his day, his strong opener was reason for optimism.
Perhaps Brown's strongest overall event came at 197 pounds, as seniors Branden Stearns and Larry Otsuka took fifth and sixth respectively, each turning in impressive performances. Otsuka advanced to the quarterfinals before dropping a tough bout, moving into the fifth-place match. Stearns, wrestling unattached, took a more difficult route, losing his second match to fall to the consolation bracket, but then won three straight to advance and face Otsuka. In the decisive match, Stearns took a very difficult 2-0 decision to place fifth, while Otsuka became Brown's fourth placewinner with a sixth place finish.
The Bears will be back in action next weekend, when they travel to Philadelphia to compete in the Keystone Classic.