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February 22, 2009

PSU Wrestlers finish 11th at New England Championships

(Tournament Results

            SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Plymouth State University finished in 11th place out of 15 schools Sunday and had two wrestlers earn All-New England honors at the annual New England Wresting Association Championships, hosted by Springfield College.

            Sophomore Dustin Rudy (Iselin, N.J.) and freshman Mike Willey (Tewksbury, Mass.) led the way for PSU, each earning All-New England honors in their weight class.  Rudy won three of his five bouts and captured fourth place in the 165-pound weight class, and Willey went 4-2 in the tournament to capture fifth place at 157 pounds. The top six finishers in each weight class comprise the All-New England Team.

            The Panthers scored 36 points in the two-day event, finishing ahead of 12th-place Coast Guard (23 points) and just behind 10th-place Bridgewater State (40.5).  Williams College captured the team title, with Johnson & Wales University, defending champion Rhode Island College, Springfield, and the University of Southern Maine rounding out the top five.

            Rudy (right), the fifth seed in the 165-pound bracket, won his first two bouts Saturday before a loss to the top seed. Rudy defeated second-seeded Chris Perry of Springfield in his first consolation match Sunday, 9-5, and ended up in fourth place after a 6-5 loss to fourth-seeded Josh Berkovic of Wesleyan University. Rudy completes the season with a 15-11 record,

            Willey (left), unseeded at 157 pounds, rebounded from a first-round loss to capture three straight victories Saturday in the consolation draw. He suffered a 4-1 loss to third-seeded Rob Mifsud of Springfield in his first consolation bout Sunday, but came back in the fifth/sixth place bout with a 9-7 victory over fifth-seeded Tyler Howe of WPI.  Willey completes an outstanding rookie season with a 23-9 record.

            Four Panther wrestlers won two matches each on Saturday but were eliminated 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.

            The Panthers finished the regular season with a 10-8 record in dual meets under second-year head coach Tommy Prairie, PSU's first winning season since 2001-02 and the first 10-win season since 1998-99. 

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