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March 1, 2014

PSU Wrestling in 15th place at NCAA Regionals

Welch remains alive for Panthers at 157 pounds

            MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – One Plymouth State University wrestler is still alive through Saturday's rounds at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Northeast Regional Championships at Wesleyan University's Bacon Field House.

            The Panthers are in a tie with the State University of New York at Oswego for 15th place in the 18-team regional event with 14 points apiece. Ithaca College leads the tournament with 75.5 points, ahead of runner-up SUNY Cortland (64.5) and third-place Johnson & Wales University (58). PSU is 5.5 points back of the University of Southern Maine (19.5).

            Sophomore Ray Welch (Rochester, N.Y.) has won two of his three bouts at 157 pounds to remain active in the tournament for PSU. Welch is seeded sixth in his bracket, and won his first match by fall before suffering the same outcome against him against third-seeded Jorge Lopez of Williams College in the quarterfinals. Welch came back with a win over Norwich University's Evan Poole and with a 17-5 season record, remains alive to finish as high as third place.

            Tournament action continues Sunday with rounds starting at 10:00 a.m. and the championship rounds slated for 2:30 p.m. 

            Freshman Clay Callahan (Milford, Conn./Floran) also had a strong tournament for the Panthers at 165 pounds, posting a pair of victories in his first appearance in NCAA Regional competition.  After a loss to the third seed in his first match, Callahan posted back-to-back wins in the consolation bracket before a setback to the seventh-seed ended his run. Callahan finishes his rookie season with a 16-10 record.

            Two other Panther veterans captured one victory apiece before being eliminated. Sophomore Chris Perreault (Saint Johnsbury, Vt.) was seeded fourth in the 184-pound bracket and won his first bout by fall, but was upset by fifth-seeded Christopher Chorzepa of Williams College in the quarterfinals and then eliminated by Michael Case of Springfield College in a consolation bout. Perreault finishes the season at 27-7. Junior Fred Reisch (Norwalk, Conn.) won a consolation match bout at 141 pounds but lost his next encounter to finish the season at 12-12.

            Also representing Plymouth State were freshman Kenny Kiriga (Nashua, N.H./South) at 125 pounds, freshman Joe Thibault (Southwick, Mass./Wilbraham and Monson) at 133, junior Alex Gerhold (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton) at 149, junior Taylor Lozier (Barre, Vt./Spaulding) at 174, and senior Andy Klempa (Andover, Mass.) at 285. 

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