Panthers post three wins, including two upsets
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The Plymouth State University wrestling team won its first three matches, including a pair of upsets, and finished runner-up Sunday at the New England Wrestling Association "Headlock for Hunger" Dual Meet Championship, hosted by Bridgewater State University.
The Panthers, seeded fifth in the 14-team tournament, topped 12th-seed Trinity College in their first-round match, 24-15, and then posted back-to-back upset victories over fourth-seeded Johnson & Wales University, 20-18, and top-seeded Springfield College, 24-16. PSU fell one match short of the championship, falling to second-seeded Wesleyan University in the championship bout, 24-12.
Wesleyan won the tournament for the first time in the 11-year history of the event. Following Wesleyan and Plymouth State in the standings were Springfield College in third place, Williams College in fourth and Rhode Island College in fifth. Host Bridgewater State University rounded out the top six teams.
Sophomore Seth Carter (Hudson, N.H./Alvirne) led the Panthers with victories at 174 pounds in all four matches, including a pair of wins by fall. He improved his season record to 15-5. Two other Panthers went unbeaten in two matches each, junior Mike Willey (Tewksbury, Mass.) at 157 pounds and junior Chris Rideout (Londonderry ,N.H.) at 184. Willey is now 16-1 on the season, tied for the team lead in wins, while Rideout improved to 13-4.
Three Panthers won three times in four tries on Saturday, junior Josh Huber (Hampton, N.H./Winnacunnet) at 125 pounds, sophomore Femi Wheeler (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) at 141, and senior Eric Larcomb (Jefferson, N.H./White Mountain Regional) at 197. Huber is now 14-3 on the season, while Wheeler upped his record to 16-6, sharing the team lead in victories, and Larcomb is now 11-3. Sophomores Cody Oliverio (Brick, N.J.) and James Matlack (Hamilton, N.J.) each split their four bouts at 149 and 165, respectively.
The 14 Division III New England wrestling teams that competed in the tournament also held a food drive to help support three local area food pantries; the Bridgewater Food Pantry, Father Bill's and MainSpring House in Brockton and My Brother's Keeper in Easton.
The Panthers will compete again next Sunday, Jan. 30, with a tri-meet at Southern Maine with WPI.
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