WORCESTER --- Brendan Marion (Norristown, PA), Tyler Marsh (Upper Black Eddy, PA), Dan Wensley (Wakefield, MA) and Michael Curtis (Wells, ME) combined to go 9-0 Saturday to advance to Sunday's semifinal round of the NCAA Division III Northeast Regional hosted by WPI.
The Engineers are tied for second with Wesleyan for second after day one of the 17-team event. The two squads have 54 points while Roger Williams (50.5), NYU (49.5) Coast Guard (48.5) and Springfield (47.5) make six teams separated by just 6.5 points for places second through seventh. Johnson & Wales leads the pack with 81 points.
Curtis was dominant on Saturday collecting a pair of falls at 197 pounds. The fourth-ranked senior began his day with a first period pin of Trevor Wassel of Plymouth State before pinning Cedrick Stephens from Castleton in the middle of the third period in the quarterfinal bout. Marsh, ranked third at 157, also started the day with a pin, taking down Zac Thompson from Southern Maine early in the third and following that up with a 5-1 decision over Brady Robin of Johnson & Wales in the quarterfinals.
Wensley posted identical 4-2 decision victories at 184 pounds. The fifth-ranked 184 pounder bested Mitchell LaFlam of Castleton in the first round and used a move with 30 seconds remaining to defeat Henry Oberlande from Bridgewater State in the quarterfinals. Marion, the top ranked wrestler at 165 pounds, was the only Engineer to win three bouts on Saturday. The rookie sandwiched a 12-2 major decision against Davey Goodal from Western New England around decision victories versus Declan Heaslip (7-4 in opening round) of Bridgewater State and Josh Smith (2-1 in the quarterfinals).
Four other Boynton Hillers - Sixth-seeded Ben Zogby (Franklin, MA) at 125 pounds, fourth-seeded Stephen Jendritz (Rockford, MI) at 133, Andrew Ellis (Arlington MA) at 141 and fourth-seeded Austin Shrewsbury (Westfield, MA) - are still alive to qualify for the NCAA National Championships. The quartet all took similar paths, winning their opening round bout, falling in the quarterfinals and bouncing back to post a victory in consolation round 3.
Rare three-time captain Jack Nigro (Closter, NJ) posted a 6-2 first round victory as the seventh-seeded at 149 pounds over Reese Millington of Castleton while Mike Ilic (Parsippany, NJ) posted a 19-10 consolation round two victory for the Crimson and Gray at 174 pounds.
Second day action continues Sunday at 10am. Eight wrestlers remain in each weight class, four in the winner's bracket and four in the consolation bracket. With the top three in each weight class headed to the Nationals in two weeks in Cleveland, several paths exist for qualification. For those in the winner's bracket, a win in semifinal match with punch their ticket while a loss with require two wins later in the today to qualify. The four starting in the consolation bracket with need to win three bouts Sunday to secure a spot in Cleveland.
Click HERE for the NCAA Regional recap.