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PSU Wrestlers in seventh place after first day at New Englands

            GORHAM, Maine - Plymouth State University is in seventh place after the first day of the 2008 New England Wrestling Association Championships, hosted by the University of Southern Maine, with seven Panther wrestlers still alive for earning All-New England honors.

            Defending champion Johnson & Wales University leads the 15-team field with 86 points, with Rhode Island College second with 83.  There's a tight battle for third place between Williams College (70.5), Springfield College (69.5), Bridgewater State College (69) and Roger Williams University (68.5).  PSU is seventh with 51 points, with Southern Maine (47), Wesleyan University (33.5) and the US Coast Guard Academy (29.5) rounding out the top 10.

            Five Panther wrestlers are still alive in their weight class in the double elimination event --  sophomore Fred Wilkinson (Quogue, N.Y./Riverhead) at 125 pounds, junior Shawn Moseley (Hooksett, N.H./Concord) at 133, senior Ryan Schieding (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) at 174, senior Landon Nelson (Salem, N.Y.) at 184, and senior Josh St. Ours (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) at 285.  St. Ours won his first two bouts before suffering his first loss, while the other four won their opening match before taking a loss, and all four have stayed alive with two straight wins in the back draw.

            PSU's other five entries were eliminated in Saturday's competition.  Four of the Panther wrestlers - sophomore Joe McGowan (Lincolnville, Maine) at 141 pounds, and freshmen Dustin Rudy (Iselin, N.J.) at 149, Joey Kehoe (Cohasset, Mass.) at 165,  and Eric Larcomb (Jefferson, N.H.) at 197, each won a consolation round match before being eliminated.  Sophomore Jared Laganas (Dracut, Mass./Dracut) was knocked out with two straight losses at 157.

            The championships will conclude on Sunday evening, with the 10 individual weight class champions and a handful of at-large wrestlers advancing to the NCAA Division III National Championships on March 7-8 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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