Ithaca, N.Y. - November 3, 2018 - Led by a first-place finish from Joseph Fusco (Billerica, Mass.), the Springfield College wrestling team finished fourth at the 2018 Ithaca Invitational on Saturday.
Ithaca, which entered the competition as the nation's second-ranked team, totaled 167 points to win the two-day, 12-team event. Castleton finished second with 139.5 points, RIT was third with 129, and the Pride's 112.5 points was good enough for third. Springfield finished ahead of Johnson & Wales, as the nation's third-ranked team concluded the weekend with 98.5 points
Fusco, who was ranked 10th at 285 pounds in the NWCA Division III individual rankings to start the year, wasted no time pinning RIC's Travis Manick in the quarterfinals as he prevailed in just 51 seconds. In the semifinals, Fusco pinned Connor Calkins from RIT in 2:52 before besting Castleton's Jesse Webb, 6-0, in the championship bout.
At 165, Aarin Feliz (Lake Hawatha, N.J.) was the runner-up as the senior put together a solid second day of action. In the quarters, Feliz grinded out a 12-11 decision against RIT's John Donohue, and advanced to the finals after an 11-5 victory over Castleton's Mason LaFlam. In the title match, Feliz was bested by Ithaca's Austin Whitney, 8-3.
First-year Jacques St. Jean (Goffstown, N.H.) also battled his way to a second-place finish at 133, and started his day pinning New England College's Griffin Murray in 2:46, who was the No. 2 seed in the bracket. He followed up with another pin over third-seeded Michael Gonyea from Castleton in 5:45 in the semi's, before Deyker Edwards of Castleton won by 16-9 decision over St. Jean in the championship.
Springfield had a strong showing at 141, with Ryan Peters (Wells, Maine) finishing third and Michael Vietri (Dumont, N.J.) taking fourth. In the quarterfinals, Peters rolled over Ithaca's Joe Rorick by an 11-4 decision, while Vietri was edged the the defending national champion and nation's top-ranked wrestler, Ithaca's Ben Brisman, by a 6-5 decision. After Brisman topped Peters, 7-4, in the semifinals, Peters prevailed in overtime, 5-3, against JWU's Jordan Robinson to reach the third-place match, where he then downed Vietri, 6-3. Vietri showed plenty of toughness after falling in the quarterfinals as he edged Ray Wetzel of Ithaca, 3-2, and topped Ithaca's Rorick before benefitting from a forfet against JWU's Gabriel McDaniel in the consolation semifinals.
Chris Trelli (Bristol, Conn.) finished fourth at 125 as he delivered a 9-7 overtime win over WNE's Nicholas Arborio to advance to the semifinals in his first match of the day before dropping a 5-3 decision to NEC's Diego Santiago. After downing RIT's Alex Prunoske, 11-4, in the consolation finals, Trelli was bested by a 13-2 major decision to Nichola Camacho from Castleton.
Nick Monteleone (Hackensack, N.J.) clipped JWU's Marvin Cunningham, 3-1, for a spot in the semifinals at 149, but when then defeated by technical fall against Ithaca's Demetri D`Orsaneo, 15-0. Monteleone bounced back with a 3-1 overtime win against JWU's Darius Joyce, only to be pinned by Ithaca's Albert Ciccitto in 21 seconds in the third-place match.
Additionally, Springfield's Nicholas Almonte (Cranston, R.I.) took fifth place at 174. On Friday, Almonte fell to Ithaca's Isaiah Mayes, 6-5, in his opener, but then rattled off four-straight wins, including a 15-0 technical fall over RIC's Alexander Hom, a pin in 2:30 versus Castleton's Athony Altomer, a 9-3 win against JWU's Jordi Perez, and a 10-8 decision over WNE's Davey Goodall. After losing in the consolation finals to JWU's Michael Gargano, 5-3, Almonte pinned RIT's Morgan Seller in 5:00 in the fifth place match to conclude his weekend.
Springfield will now gear up for the Doug Parker Invitational, which will take place in the Springfield College Field House on November 17.