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December 7, 2013

PSU Wrestling finishes runner-up at Southern Maine Tournament

Welch claims title at 157; nine Panthers are place-winners

            GORHAM, Maine – The Plymouth State University wrestling team took second place out of nine teams Saturday afternoon at the annual Ted Reese Invitational, hosted by the University of Southern Maine.

            American International College claimed the team title, scoring 103 points.  PSU finished runner-up with 99 points, ahead of third-place Trinity College, which had 89.  Host Southern Maine was fourth with 81.5, followed by MIT (32.5), RPI (28), SUNY Sullivan (26.5), UNH (25.5), and UMaine (22.5).

            The Panthers had nine place-winners in the event, with each placing among the top four in their weight class.  Sophomore Ray Welch (Rochester, N.Y.) took top honors for PSU, winning the 157-pound bracket.  After an opening-round bye, Welch won both of his bouts by fall to take the title.  Welch, ranked fifth in New England at 157, is now 10-2 on the season, leading the team in wins.

            Three Panthers finished second in their respective weight class -- freshman Kenny Kiriga (Nashua, N.H./South) at 125 pounds, junior Taylor Lozier (Barre, Vt.) at 174, and sophomore Chris Perrault (St. Johnsbury, Vt.) at 184.  Lozier won three bouts before falling the final while Perrault won twice and Kiriga needed only one win to reach the final. Perrault, ranked fourth in New England at 184, is now 9-2 this season, while Lozier is 5-2 and Kiriga is 5-3.

            PSU senior Justtin Demers (Concord, Mass.) won four straight backdraw matches at 174 pounds, including three by pin, to finish 5-1 in the tournament and capture third place.  Panther fourth-place finishers included freshman Joe Thibault (Southwick, Mass.) at 133, sophomore Hunter Fogarty (Arlington, Mass.) at 149, freshman Clay Callahan (Milford, Conn.) at 165, and senior Tyler Snyder (Elizabethville, Pa.) at 285.

            PSU has one more match to close out the semester of competition, a dual match this Friday, Dec. 13, at Rhode Island College (7:00 p.m.)

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