Lehigh welcomes 11 newcomers to wrestling program
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — The Lehigh Wrestling Program has announced the addition of 11 student-athletes who will join the Mountain Hawks this summer. The incoming class includes nine freshman student-athletes and a transfer pair. The two transfers combined to qualify for five NCAA Tournaments, bringing home an All-American medal. The first nine years combined for three state championships, a national prep title, 13 state placements and 10 national prep medals.
The incoming class spans virtually every weight class from 125 to 197. Six states are represented in the class with six wrestlers hailing from Pennsylvania and California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine and New Jersey also represented in the band.
The class gained national recognition, with a No. 17 ranking from InterMat.
“We are very happy with the arrival of our new class,” said the head coach. Pat Santoro said. “It’s a good mix of young talent and some really good experienced wrestlers. The energy has been high at South Mountain and they’re gearing up for a fun year ahead.”
Below is information on the 11 new arrivals. The newcomers will join a core group of returnees that includes nine NCAA qualifiers, three former EIWA champions and one NWCA All-American.
Michael Beard – 197 – Reading, Pennsylvania / Malvern Prep (Penn State) – Political Science
One of two transfers and one of three Malvern Prep alumni in the incoming class, Michael Beard comes to Lehigh from Penn State, where he earned All-America honors with a seventh-place finish at 197 at the 2021 NCAA Championships. Beard went 18-8 in two seasons competing for the Nittany Lions. In his prep days, Beard was a three-time national prep champion and posted a 172-7 record for Malvern Prep, including a 95-0 record in his final two seasons. Beard is no stranger to Grace Hall, having appeared in FloWrestling’s Who’s No. 1 event in 2016 and 2017. He comes to Lehigh with three seasons of eligibility remaining.
Remy Brancato – 184/197 – Pompton Lakes, NJ/Bergen Catholic – Arts and Sciences
Remy Brancato, a four-time New Jersey State qualifier, hails from Bergen Catholic High School. Brancato was a state runner-up in 2021 and finished seventh in the state in his senior season. He won two district titles and a regional title. Brancato projects at 184 or 197. He won a BCCA title and also placed in Xcalibur and Powerade tournaments.
Ryan Crookham – 133/141 – Hellertown, PA/Saucon Valley – Business
Considered one of the best recruits of the Class of 2022, Ryan Crookham is a three-time Pennsylvania AA state champion. The Hellertown native graduated from nearby Saucon Valley High School. Crookham amassed a high school record of 116-3 with 51 falls. He is a three-time district and regional champion. Crookham won his third state title in March and was later recognized as the 2022 Lehigh Valley Live Wrestler of the Year as well as District XI Athlete-Scholar of the Year. The projected 133/141-pounder won a Beast of the East championship in high school and was the first-ever eighth-grader to win a title in the high school division at the prestigious Super 32 tournament.
Killian Delaney – 125 – West Chester, Pa./Henderson – Arts and Sciences
A projected 125-pounder from West Chester, Pennsylvania, Killian Delaney was a four-time PIAA AAA rated West Chester Henderson. Delaney is a two-time winner who reached the state finals in 2018. He set new school records with 161 career wins and 96 falls. Delaney has won the King of the Mountain tournament four times and finished third at Escape the Rock 2020.
Kelvin Griffin – 141/149 – Berwick, Maine / The Hill School – Arts and Sciences
Originally from Berwick, Maine, Kelvin Griffin prepared for Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Griffin is a four-time National Prep place winner, highlighted by a second-place finish as a junior in 2021. He’s a Pennsylvania Prep champion, who amassed more than 100 high school wins. Griffin is ranked in the top 150 overall and top 20 in his weight class by MatScouts. He projects at 141 or 149.
Kimo Leia – 141 – Selma, CA/Selma – Arts and Sciences
Coming to Lehigh from Selma, Calif., is Kimo Leia, a three-time state qualifier and two-time Selma High School winner. Leia holds third and fourth place in California’s one-class system. He is a two-time league champion and won the California Invitational in 2021, which served as the unofficial state championship. Leia projects at 141 and is ranked just outside the top 100 by MatScouts.
Mikekal McClarin – 125/133 – Chicago, Illinois / DePaul College Prep – Business
From DePaul College Prep in Chicago comes lightweight projected Mikekal McClarin. A two-time team captain and three-time team MVP, McClarin won the first sectional and regional championships in DePaul history. McClarin owns a seventh-place finish in the state and is the recipient of Beat the Streets Chicago’s Life Champion award.
Owen Quinn – 165/174 – Blue Bell, Pa./Malvern Prep – Arts and Sciences
The second Malvern Prep wrestler in the incoming class is Owen Quinn. A two-time National Prep Spot winner, Quinn was a major contributor to Malvern Prep’s 2021 National Prep Team Championship. Quinn was a three-time Pennsylvania Prep medalist and earned a spot at the prestigious Escape the Rock and Powerade tournaments. He projects at 165 or 174.
Owen Reinsel – 133/141 – Summerville, Pa./Brookville – Arts and Sciences
Owen Reinsel, a four-time state qualifier and three-time medalist, hails from Brookville Area High School in northwestern Pennsylvania. Reinsel was a state runner-up in 2022 and also owns a pair of fourth-place finishers. He is a four-time state qualifier, has won four district titles, and has reached the regional finals four times with a regional title under his belt. Reinsel projects at 133 or 141 and posts a 142-21 high school mark with 74 drops.
Caden Rogers – 184/197 – Lancaster, PA/Malvern Prep – Business
Four-time National Prep place winner Caden Rogers completes the Malvern Prep trio. Rogers won the 2021 National Prep title at 195 and also holds sixth, third and second place finishes in his other three trips to the National Prep Tournament. A rookie in the top 70 overall according to InterMat and MatScouts. Rogers went 135-39 and won a medal at the Beast of the East, Escape the Rock and Powerade tournaments. Rogers also holds a third-place finish at the World Junior Team Trials and a fourth-place finish at the US Open in freestyle.
Tate Samuelson – 184 – Castle Rock, Colorado/Castle View (Wyoming) – Technical Entrepreneurship
Coming to Lehigh as a transfer grad is four-time NCAA qualifier Tate Samuelson from Colorado, who struggled at the University of Wyoming. Samuelson went 77-37 for the Cowboys at 184 and was a four-time Big 12 winner. His best season was 2020-21 when he reached the Big 12 final and went on to claim the No. 10 seed at the NCAA championships. Samuelson is a two-time first-team Academic Big 12 winner who graduated in economics from Wyoming. Prior to Wyoming, he was a two-time Colorado state champion for Castle View.
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