Providence, RI --- Tyler Marsh (Upper Black Eddy, PA) became WPI's first champion in a regional qualifier since 2004 and Michael Curtis (Wells, ME) also qualified for the national championship to highlight a busy day two for the Engineers Sunday at the NCAA Division III Northeast Regional Wrestling Championships hosted by Johnson & Wales.
The strong Sunday showing propelled the Engineers, who began the day in sixth place, into fourth with 84.5 points.
Marsh becomes WPI's first champion at a national qualifier since Joe Moskowitz won the same 157-pound weight class at the New England College Conference Wrestling Association 15 years ago. The junior is also WPI's first back-to-back qualifier since Moskowitz turned the trick in 2003 and 2004. Moskowitz's name was mentioned frequently this weekend as Marsh and Curtis gave the Boynton Hillers multiple qualifiers for the since he and Peter Kryzyzewski (174 pounds) accomplished the feat in 2003.
Marsh began the day just needing a victory in the semifinals to reach nationals and punched his ticket with a 6-0 blanking of Brendon Seyfried of Williams. In the championship bout, the top seed matched up with number two seed Ryan Monteiro from Western New England, Marsh duplicated the one-point victory, taking the title 4-3 after winning 5-4 in a dual meet in Springfield in November.
Curtis had a more difficult route to the national meet, needing to win three times on Sunday to earn the spot. The senior captain did not disappoint, pinning Mitchell LaFlam from Castleton in the first period of the consolation quarterfinals, besting Wesleyan's Simon Chee 8-4 in the semis and defeating Jack La Corte of NYU 5-3 in the third place match. The final win was a reversal of a result between the two just three weeks ago in a quad meet at Coast Guard.
Dan Wensley (Wakefield, MA) twice was one win away from also going nationals but just fell short in the stacked 184 pound weight class. In the semifinals Wensley, seeded fourth, fell to top-seeded John Boyle of Western New England. The senior, ranked eighth nationally, bounced backed with a 4-2 decision over Plymouth State's Dylan da Silva but was defeated in the third place bout 7-3 by Paul Detwiler from Coast Guard.
Marion notched a first period pin against Juan Vernaza of Southern Maine at 165 pounds while Day rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Bridgewater State heavyweight Ryan Higgins 3-2.
In action Saturday, Chase Lind (Fairfield, CT) reached the quarterfinals at 174 pounds while seniors Michael Aquino (Boston, MA) and Pete Nash (Liverpool, NY) combined for three victories at 125 and 149 pounds respectively. Also competing Saturday were Andrew Ellis (Arlington MA) at 133 and Wayne Nolette (Nashua, NH) at 141.
Marsh and Curtis head to Roanoke, VA for the NCAA Championships hosted by Ferrum on Friday, March 8th and Saturday, March 9th.