Some Wrestling History
Edwin Rooney started wrestling at Mepham High School on Long Island in Bellmore, NY, under legendary Coach Frank "Sprig" Gardner (a member of the National Wrestling Hall-of-Fame. While attending there Mepham didn't loose duel or tournament, and Ed won Jr. Met., State AAU, and South Shore Athletic League Championships (sectionals). He got the attention of Syracuse Coach Joe McDaniel by defeating 37 year old Murray Edelman for the state AAU crown and was subsequently awarded a scholarship to Syracuse University.
At Syracuse Ed battled his way into the starting Lineup as a freshman defeating several seniors for the 147 lb. spot. He gained early fame by defeating Penn State's Donald Frey, the defending NCAA runnerup, in a duel match. He defeated Frey again in the EIWA championships before losing in the Finals to 3 time champ Frank Bettucci.
Three weeks later he avenged that loss with a 54 second fall to take 2nd in the National AAU Championships. He placed 3rd in the EIWA's as a sophomore and was champion his junior and senior years winning the Outstanding Wrestler award in 1954. He was also a 3 time Wilkes Open finalist, winning the title and Outstanding wrestler award in 1954 pinning the 167 lb. NCAA Champ Joe Solomon in the finals.
Although troubled by injuries throughout his college career, Ed still managed to turn in great performances at the NCAA Championships. He lost in the quarterfinals his sophomore year, took 2nd as a junior (loosing to Bob Hoke in the middle picture), and 4th as a senior. He also set a NCAA record for the fastest fall by pinning John McMahon of Michigan in 31 seconds in 1954. That same year he traveled out to San Diego and placed 2nd in the National AAU's (top picture) getting the trophy for most falls in least time.
Ed Rooney is also a member of the National Wrestling Hall-of-Fame