Simeti, Montgomery still hoping to advance to NCAA National Championships
WORCESTER, Mass. – Plymouth State University seniors Nick Simeti (Pearl River, N.Y.) and Justin Montgomery (Natick, Mass.) survived the first day of the NCAA Division III Northeast Regional wrestling championships at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and will compete Sunday with a chance to qualify for the NCAA National Championships.
The duo are the only two of the eight Panther wrestlers to advance to day two. Both are one of the final eight grapplers in their respective weight classes, with three from each class headed to Nationals in two weeks. They will both wrestle out of the consolation bracket, needing to win three consecutive bouts Sunday to secure a spot.
Simeti, ranked #4 in New England at 157-pounds, went 2-1 during the first day of action, earning a 12-4 major decision over John Reilly of Trinity College in his opening bout. He lost by technical fall, 18-1, to #3 Tyler Gazaway of Roger Williams in the quarterfinals, but rebounded to win his first consolation match over James Kilgo of Castleton University by a 7-2 decision. Simeti opens Sunday with Williams College senior Jake Savoca.
Montgomery, wrestling at 184-pounds, drew #5 Connor Humphries of Roger Williams in the opening bout, losing by a 7-2 decision. He advanced in the consolation bracket with a forfeit victory over #3 Connor Bohringer of Springfield College and will square off with Henry Oberlander of Bridgewater State University in his first action on Sunday.
Senior Trevor Wassell (Walpole, Mass.) was the only other Panther to record a victory on Saturday. Wrestling at 197-pounds, he opened the meet with a loss by fall to #4 Mike Curtis of WPI, but came back to top Caelin Worthington of New England College in his first consolation match. Wassell's day came to an end after losing by technical fall, 17-0, to Michael Fernandes of Roger Williams.
Also wrestling for the Panthers were freshman Mike Titus (Saugus, Mass.) at 125-pounds, sophomore Eddie Bello (West Hartford, Conn.) at 141-pounds, sophomore Steve Abusherry (North Attleboro, Mass.) at 149-pounds, senior Moises Diaz (Manchester, N.H.) at 174-pounds and junior Kevin Ell (Derry, N.H.) at 285-pounds.
PSU is 15th in the team standings with 10.0 points, two ahead of Bridgewater State and four in back of Norwich University. Johnson & Wales, currently #4 in the country, leads the team standings with 81.0 points, with Wesleyan University (54.0) and #21 WPI (54.0) tied for second. #19 Roger Williams (50.5) and New York University (49.5) round out the top five.
The tournament marked the end of the careers of Diaz and Wassell.
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