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PSU Wrestler places fifth at NCAA Regionals

Wheeler represents Panthers on awards podium

            WORCESTER, Mass. – The top wrestler on the Plymouth State University wrestling team earned All-Region honors Sunday with a fifth-place finish at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Northeast Regional Championships at Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Sports and Recreation Center.


            Senior Femi Wheeler (Mamaroneck, N.Y./Mamaroneck) brought home fifth place in the 157-pound weight class after posting a 4-2 record in the tournament, winning two of three bouts for the second straight day on Sunday. Wheeler won his second consolation round match against former teammate Logan Russell of the University of Southern Maine, 13-2, clinching All-Region status, but was defeated in his next match by Derek Brenon of Ithaca College, 7-5.  Wheeler capped his run in the tourney with an 8-4 victory over Daniel Graff of Oneonta State in the fifth-place match, the same opponent who had handed Wheeler his first loss of the tournament on Saturday.

            The Panther senior co-captain capped an outstanding season and career.  Wheeler finished with a 17-4 record this season and captured individual titles at tournaments at the University of Southern Maine and Roger Williams University.  Wheeler, who placed sixth at 141 pounds at the 2011 New England Championships and finished runner-up at 157 last year, completes his career with a 75-36 record.

            PSU freshman Chris Perrault (Saint Johnsbury, Vt.) made a solid showing for the Panthers on Saturday in the 184-pound weight class. After a loss to Springfield College's Nick Camera in the first round, Perrault registered wins in the back draw over Mike Frizinia of Western New England University (16-3) and Chris Schenk of Norwich University (7-4) but was eliminated with a consolation-round defeat to Gregory Duvall of Oneonta State, 11-3. Perrault finished the season with a 16-12 record, second on the team in wins.

            The wrestlers were competing for spots in the NCAA Division III National Championships on Mar. 15-16 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; the top three placers in each weight classes advance. With the individual qualifiers being the goal of the meet, no official team scores were kept. 

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