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PSU Wrestlers place sixth at RIT Invitational

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Four wrestlers finished in the top five in their weight classes, and the Plymouth State University wrestling team captured sixth place among 17 schools Saturday at the 39th annual RIT Invitational, hosted by the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Ithaca College won the team title for the second straight year, finishing with 140 team points, just ahead of runner-up John Carroll (134). Cortland placed third (106), followed by Oswego (99), Baldwin-Wallace (83.5), and Plymouth State (67). PSU was the top New England school, which included Rhode Island College (10th, with 47 points), Coast Guard (11th, 44), Wesleyan (13th, 37.5), Johnson & Wales (29.5), University of New Hampshire Club (17.5) and MIT (0).

PSU's four place-winners were senior Nate Kittredge (Vergennes, Vt.), who finished runner-up at 174 pounds, junior Dan Moskowitz (Amherst, N.H.), who placed third at 149 pounds, freshman Brandon Black (Keene, N.H.), who was fourth at 157 pounds, and senior Shaun Cleary (West Keansburg, N.J.), who finished fifth at 141 pounds.

Kittredge, who was seeded second at 174, won his first three matches to advance to the final, but was defeated by Mark Hawald of John Carroll, 3-1. Kittredge, who won the 184-pound division at last year's meet, is off to a 7-1 start this season.

Moskowitz received the No. 2 seed in the tournament and won his first two matches before being defeated by Ryan Holder of the UNH Club team, 5-3. Moskowitz rebounded to win two more matches in the consolation bracket to finish in third place, and improve his season record to 7-3.

Black faced No. 1 seeded Brent Rider of Cortland in the opening round at 157 pounds and was defeated 6-2. The Panther freshman came back in the consolation draw to win five consecutive matches, including two by pins, before he ran out of gas in the third/fourth place match against K.C. Beach of Ithaca, losing 11-5. Black is now 6-3 on the young season.

Cleary was seeded fourth in the tournament at 141, and won his first two matches before being derailed by fifth-seeded Leon Henry of Oswego. The defending champion, Cleary came back with three wins in four outings in the back draw and ended up in fifth place. It was Cleary's first competition of the season.

PSU junior Kyle Pietrowski (Eliot, Maine) and freshman Matt Friend (Jefferson, N.H.) each posted 2-2 records in the tournament, Pietrowski at 197 pounds and Friend at 125. Senior Rick Simula (Plymouth, N.H.) and sophomore Dean Miller (Long Valley, N.J.) each recorded one win in three matches, Simula at 285 and Miller at 165.

After two tournaments to start the campaign, PSU competes in its first dual match of the season Thursday at Rhode Island College (7:00 p.m.).

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