SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Plymouth State University is in ninth place out of 15 schools thru Saturday and has two wrestlers still competing after Day One of the annual New England Wresting Association Championships, hosted by Springfield College.
The Panthers have scored 30.5 points for their ninth-place standing, behind eighth-place Roger Williams (45) and ahead of 10th-place Bridgewater State (28.5). Williams College leads the tournament with 109.5 points, with defending champion Rhode Island College second with 89. Johnson & Wales (81.5), Southern Maine (66.5) and Springfield (64) round out the top five teams.
Sophomore Dustin Rudy (Iselin, N.J.) and freshman Mike Willey (Tewksbury, Mass.) are still alive in their weight classes for PSU and will earn All-New England honors for a top-six finish.
Rudy, who is the fifth seed in the 165-pound bracket, won his first two bouts, including a decision over fourth-seeded Josh Berkovic of Wesleyan University. Rudy suffered his first loss at the hands of top-seeded Mike Morin of Southern Maine, 10-5. Rudy's next match in Sunday's consolation round will be against second-seed Chris Perry from Springfield.
Willey, unseeded at 157 pounds, suffered a tough 3-2 loss to seventh-seeded Kyle Rodgers of Roger Williams in his opening bout. Willey rebounded with three consecutive victories in the consolation rounds, pinning unseeded Alex Schreiber of Trinity and recording decisions over eighth-seeded Chris Giannios of Johnson & Wales and fourth-seeded Mark Moyer of Southern Maine. Willey will meet third-seeded Rob Mifsud of Springfield in his next consolation bout on Sunday.
Four Panther wrestlers won two matches each but were elimination from contention in their weight classes. The group included senior Josh St. Ours (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) at 197 pounds, junior Fred Wilkinson (Quogue, N.Y.) at 125, sophomore Kyle Moseley (Hooksett, N.H.) at 174, and freshman Jake Gagnon (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) at 285.
St. Ours, a two-time All-New England wrestler and the fourth seed at 197, won by fall in his first bout but suffered a 9-5 loss in the next match to fifth-seeded Pat McCrohan of Johnson & Wales. St. Ours recorded another fall in his first consolation round bout, but was eliminated with a defeat to eighth-seeded Scott Guzman of WPI. St. Ours finishes the season with a 26-7 record with 18 wins by fall, and his PSU career mark is 70-23 with 39 pins.
Wilkinson, a two-time All-New England wrestler and the seventh seed at 125, earned a technical fall in his first match but was defeated 8-4 by second-seeded Dan Bloom of Wesleyan in the next round. Wilkinson came back with a victory in the consolation round but was eliminated with a loss to fifth-seeded Carl Anderson of WPI. Wilkinson completes the season with a 19-14 record, and he has a 52-40 career mark.
Moseley, unseeded at 174, lost to fourth-seeded Larry Loomis of WPI in the opening round. After a forfeit victory and a win by decision, Moseley was knocked out with a loss to Larry Coughlin of Southern Maine.
Gagnon, unseeded in the 285-pound bracket, went 2-2 in the tournament with all four matches against seeded opponents. He upset eighth-seeded Troy Robinson of Coast Guard in the first round before getting pinned by top-seeded Glenn Geesman of MIT. Gagnon came back with an upset win over seventh-seeded Dan Patsiga of Western New England College in the back draw before getting eliminated with a loss to fifth-seeded Jon Flegal of Johnson & Wales.
Freshmen Tom Paolera (Andover, Mass.) and Logan Russell (Bath, Maine) each won a consolation round match for PSU, Paolera at 141 pounds and Russell at 149. Senior 133-pounder Chris Greenwood (Manchester, N.H./West) and sophomore 184-pounder Eric Larcomb (Jefferson, N.H./White Mountain Regional) were eliminated with two straight defeats.
The championships will conclude Sunday evening. The 10 individual weight class champions and four at-large wrestlers, as selected by the coaches, will represent New England at the NCAA Division III National Championships on Mar. 6-7 at Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
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