Providence, RI -- Brendan Marion (Norristown, PA) was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler as nationally-ranked WPI posted its best ever showing at the New England Wresting Association (NEWA) Dual Meet Championships on Sunday. The Engineers went 3-1 to finish third at the 16-team event hosted by Johnson & Wales at the Providence Career & Technical Academy.
16th-ranked WPI opened the event by blanking Norwich 50-0 in the first round and defeating Castleton 25-6 in the quarterfinals before falling to No. 17 Roger Williams 18-15 in the semifinals. In the third place match, the Engineers knocked off rival No. 20 Coast Guard 22-15 to secure their best finish after a fourth place performance a season ago.
Marion, Stephen Jendritz (Rockford, MI) and Austin Shrewsbury (Westfield, MA) combined to go a perfect 12-0 on the day while all-tournament selection Tyler Marsh (Upper Black Eddy, PA), Ben Zogby (Boston, MA) and Michael Curtis (Wells, ME) all went 3-1.
The Engineers were also recognized for their success in the classroom. WPI had the third highest GPA of the 16 teams, sporting a 3.259 overall GPA after the fall semester.
The second-seeded Crimson and Gray made quick work on Norwich in the opening round, capturing all 10 bouts. After Zogby received a forfeit at 125 pounds, Jendritz notched a pin just 20 seconds into his bout at 133. WPI notched fourth other falls in the match, including Marsh at 157, and three straight to conclude the shutout by Dan Wensley (Wakefield, MA) at 184, Curtis at 197 and Shrewsbury at heavyweight. The Engineers also received major decisions from Andrew Ellis (Arlington MA) at 141 and Jack Nigro (Closter, NJ) at 149 and victories by Marion at 165 and Mike Ilic (Parsippany, NJ) at 174.
In the quarterfinals against Castleton, it was one-point decisions that got the Engineers off on the right foot. Zogby collected a 10-9 triumph at 125 before Jendritz turned in a 3-2 victory at 133. The rest of the way saw both of the Spartans bout wins quickly countered by three WPI victories. Nigro post at 8-3 victory at 149, Marsh registered a 12-2 major decision at 157 and Marian battled his was to a 10-4 win at 165. Again WPI was strong in the upper weights as Wensley (6-4), Curtis (4-0) and Shrewsbury (3-1 SV1) all won by decision to give the Boynton Hillers the 25-6 team victory.
WPI met third-seeded Roger Williams for a second time in 15 days in the semifinals and for the second consecutive time, the two teams split the 10 bouts with Hawks using a pin in the third match to eke out the victory 18-15. All five of WPI's wins were via by decision with Jendritz and Marsh extracting revenge on their opponents from two weekends ago. Jendritz delivered a 3-1 triumph in SV 1 at 133 while Marsh grinded out a 6-4 victory at 157. Other Engineers wins were claimed by Marion at 165 (6-3 over the number two ranked wrestler in New England.), Curtis at 197 (8-4) and a 1-0 shutout by Shrewsbury at heavyweight.
The Crimson and Gray lightweights took center stage in the third place match against Coast Guard. The Engineers raced out to a 16-0 advantage as Zogby tallied a pin in the closing seconds of the first period at 125 and Jendritz defeated his opponent 3-1 in SV1 in a battle of regionally-ranked wrestlers at 133. Ellis continued the hot start with a 10-8 upset over the third-ranked grappler at 141 and Nigro added an impressive 18-2 tech fall at 149.
After a Coast Guard victory, Marion pushed the advantage to 19-5 when he defeated his nationally-ranked opponent at 165 8-6 in TB1. The Bears then proceeded to rattle off three straights victories to cut the deficit to 19-15 going in the final bout but Shrewsbury secured the victory with a 3-2 triumph at heavyweight.
WPI returns home Saturday for a quad with Johnson & Wales, Southern Maine and Brockport. Action begins in the Sports & Recreation Center at 11am.