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February 17, 2007

PSU Wrestlers in seventh place at New England Conference Championships

BRISTOL, R.I. - The Plymouth State University wrestling team is in seventh place out of 15 schools and has four wrestlers still alive heading into the final day at the New England College Conference Wrestling Association's annual championships, hosted by Roger Williams University.

The Panthers are seventh with 56 points, just behind Williams (60) and ahead of Rhode Island College (46.5). Johnson & Wales leads the event with 100.5 points, with Springfield (80), Bridgewater State (78), Wesleyan (65), and Roger Williams (61) rounding out the top five.

PSU sophomore Shawn Moseley (Hooksett, N.H./Concord HS/Tilton Prep) at 133 pounds and junior Shaun Wilbert (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) at 285 pounds are unbeaten in their weight classes and remain in contention for a championship. Freshman 125-pounder Fred Wilkinson (Quogue, N.Y.) and freshman 197-pounder Josh St. Ours (Manchester, N.H./ Memorial) have suffered one loss each, but remain alive in the back draw.

Moseley, who is ranked third in New England, received a first-round bye and advanced with two straight wins, including a pin over Trevor Vernon of Roger Williams, who's ranked fifth in New England. Moseley's next bout is against Steven Valastro of Southern Maine, who is ranked #2 in N.E.

Wilbert, who is ranked fifth in New England at 285, has dominated the weight class in the tournament, posting three consecutive wins by fall. One of his pins came over Mike LaBeef of Western New England, who is ranked sixth in N.E. Wilbert, who placed third at New Englands last season, meets fourth-ranked in New England Tim Ferreira of Bridgewater State is his next bout.

Wilkinson split his first two matches at 125, but rebounded with a pair of wins to stay alive in the bracket. St. Ours, who is ranked #2 in New England with a 21-3 record, won his first two matches before getting knocked into the back draw.

PSU's six other wrestlers have been eliminated from their weight classes. Freshman 149-pounder Jared Laganas (Dracut, Mass.) and freshman 165-pounder Donny Connolly (Plaistow, N.H./Memorial) won two matches apiece before being eliminated with 2-2 records; junior Ryan Schieding (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) at 174 and junior Landon Nelson (Salem, N.Y.) at 184 posted 1-2 records in their weight classes; and senior Matt Friend (Jefferson, N.H./White Mountain Regional) at 141 and freshman Nick Fantony (Stoughton, Mass.) were eliminated with two straight losses.

The competition continues Sunday, with the champions in the 10 weight classes and four at-large wrestlers earning bids to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.

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