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Panthers finish 7th at New Englands

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - With five of its 10 wrestlers earning All-New England honors, the Plymouth State College wrestling team finished in seventh place among 15 schools Saturday and Sunday at the New England College Conference Wrestling Association's annual championships, hosted by Williams College.

The Panthers finished with one New England runner-up, one third-place finisher, and three fifth-place finishers. The top six in each of the 10 weight classes receive All-New England honors.

Trinity College captured the team championship in a closely-contested tournament, scoring 89.5 points. Roger Williams University finished runner-up with 84.5, and four-time defending champion Springfield College shared third place with Coast Guard, each with 80.5. Rounding out the top 10 were Williams (78), Norwich (68.5), Plymouth State (64.5), Southern Maine (51.5), Rhode Island College (50.5) and Johnson & Wales (47.5).

The top individual place-winner for PSC was sophomore Nate Kittredge (Vergennes, Vt.), who finished runner-up at 197 pounds. He won his first two matches before losing to Kyle Ryan of Coast Guard, 7-5. Kittredge then won three matches in the wrestlebacks, including a 4-3 decision over Ryan to advance to the championship match, where he was defeated by two-time New England champion Ken Ojukwu of Williams, 10-4. Kittredge completes his season with a 26-6 record.

Sophomore Rich Moskowitz (Amherst, N.H.) brought home a third-place finish for PSC in the 157-pound weight class. After a second-round loss to Mark Mendes of Springfield, Moskowitz won four wrestlebacks before being eliminated by eventual champion Pete Doucet of Roger Wiliams. Moskowitz ends the season with a 32-10 record.

PSC's three fifth-place finishers were junior Dave Brown (North Andover, Mass.) at 141 pounds, freshman Griffin Banos (Edison, N.J.) at 149, and senior Marco Salce (Keene, N.H.) at 184. Brown had a 2-2 record in the tournament to finish his season at 14-14, Banos went 4-2 in the tournament to conclude a 20-19 campaign, and Salce had a 4-2 tournament mark to finish the season at 25-14.

PSC completed the regular season with a 9-9 mark under sixth-year head coach Dave Carlson. The Panthers did not have any NCAA qualifiers for the first time since 1990.