Bristol, R.I. - February 25, 2017 - Ten members of the Springfield College wrestling program competed in the opening day of the 2017 NCAA Division III Wrestling Northeast Regional Championships on the campus of Roger Williams on Saturday.
Seven of Springfield's wrestlers advanced to the second day of competition, led by the duo of Zach Joseph (Clifton Park, N.Y.) and Hunter Ayen (Gouverneur, N.Y.), who each earned spots in Saturday's semifinals.
Joseph put together a pair of dominating performances at 157 pounds to reach Sunday's semifinals. The second-seed in the weight class, Joseph pinned Robert Rosenberg in 4:04 in his first outing of the day before producing a 23-8 technical fall over Norwich's Ben Swanson. Ayen kicked off his weekend at 197 win a win by pinfall over Joseph Galusha from Castleton in 4:18. In his quarterfinal match, Ayen pinned Cortland's Nick Bellanza in 2:38 to earn a spot in the semifinals
The top-seed at 174, Geovanni Medina (New Britain, Conn.), needed some late heroics in his opening match, besting Mark Settles from New England College, 11-9, in overtime. After getting upset in overtime, 9-7, by Coast Guard's Michael Palomba, Medina bested Castleton's Zach Allen by a 10-5 decision to move on to Sunday.
At 165, Aarin Feliz (Lake Hawatha, N.J.) rebounded from a hard-fought 11-10 setback to Alec Golner from Roger Williams in his opening bout with a 4-3 win over Chase Lind from WPI and a 4-2 triumph against Castleton's Jared Costa to remain in the hunt.
Springfield's Kearney Gutierrez (Freeport, N.Y.) dropped an 11-1 major decision to Coast Guard's Matthew Vieira to start his weekend, but built plenty of momentum through the wrestle backs, delivering a 6-3 win over Lamont Wallace from WNE, a win by pinfall in 6:52 against Bridgewater State's Colin Harty, and a 17-1 technical fall versus Plymouth State's Eddie Ballo.
At 133, Ian Tolotti (Dumont, N.J.) blanked Stephen Masi from RIC, 3-0, before Oneonta's Austin Sisco bested him by a 9-0 major decision. The first-year bounced back with an 8-2 decision against Norwich's Jacob Forsman to advance to Sunday.
Additionally, Patrick Ferzoco (Stoughton, Mass.) nearly upset top-seeded Nick Wahba from Ithaca in his opener as he was edged, 3-2. However, Fercozo strung together a pair of wins in the consolation bracket, clipping Plymouth State's Tom Pagliarulo, 12-10, in overtime and edging Justin Cochran from Roger Williams, 3-2.
Photo credit: Caroline Assumma