SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Plymouth State University wrestling team finished with a 2-0-1 record Saturday afternoon in a tough quadrangular meet at Springfield College, including a win and a tie against two of the top three teams in New England.
PSU, which is ranked eighth in New England, defeated Trinity College, the ninth-ranked team in New England, in the first match of the day, 29-18. The Panthers came back to tie Johnson & Wales University, 18-18, and upset Springfield College, 21-13. Johnson & Wales and Springfield are tied for second in this week's New England rankings. Plymouth State and Johnson & Wales each finished 2-0-1 on the afternoon, while Springfield went 1-2, and Trinity 0-3.
Plymouth State used the 2-0-1 result to finish at the .500 mark for the season in dual meets (9-9-1). Springfield completes the regular season at 13-7, JWU is 16-7-1, and Trinity is 5-9.
Five Panthers were a perfect 3-0 on the afternoon to lead the way -- sophomore Josh Huber (Hampton, N.H./Winnacunnet) at 125 pounds, freshman Femi Wheeler (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) at 149, sophomore Mike Willey (Tewksbury, Mass.) at 157, freshman Seth Carter (Hudson, N.H./Alvirne) at 165, and junior Eric Larcomb (Jefferson, N.H.) at 197.
Huber continued his outstanding season. Ranked third in New England, Huber went 3-0 with wins over the #1 and #5-ranked wrestlers in New England. He completes the regular season with a 25-4 record. Wheeler posted an upset victory over New England's fourth-ranked wrestler at 149 from Johnson & Wales, improving his season record to 16-14.
Willey and Carter, who are each ranked fourth in New England at 157 and 165, respectively, head into the post-season on winning streaks. Willey improved his season mark to 16-6 while Carter is now 19-10. Larcomb, who is ranked fifth in New England at 197, improved his season mark to 15-6.
Sophomore Jake Gagnon (Manchester, N.H./Memorial), who is ranked second in New England in the 285-pound division, went 2-0 on Saturday, including a win over the #3-ranked wrestler from Springfield. Gagnon is now 14-6 on the season. Junior Rob Phillips (Brick, N.J.) won two of his three bouts, with his only loss a decision to the top-ranked wrestler in New England from JWU.
The New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Championships are set for Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 20-21, at Western New England College in Springfield, Mass. PSU will be looking to improve on last year's 11th-place finish.
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