Wensley Earns Second Career RIT Tournament Title as Wrestling Repeats as Team Champions

2018 RIT Invitational Champions
2018 RIT Invitational Champions

Rochester, NY --- Dan Wensley (Wakefield, MA) rallied in overtime with a pair of takedowns to claim his second career RIT Tournament individual championship and propel No. 12 WPI to its second straight team title at the 15-team tournament on Saturday.  On a day that saw 11 Engineers wrestlers reach the quarterfinals and nine the semifinals, Tyler Marsh (Upper Black Eddy, PA) and Chase Lind (Fairfield, CT) were also finalists for the Crimson and Gray. 

Wensley, who also won the invitational as a freshman in 2015, posted a thrilling 6-2 TB1 victory over Joe Cutugn of host RIT in the finals at 184 pounds.  The head-to-head victory over the Tiger wrestler was important as WPI finished with 139.5 points.  No. 25 John Carroll was second with 132.0 and RIT just behind in third with 131.5.    

The 184-pound senior was a perfect 5-0 on the day with a pair of pins to open the day against foes from Case Western Reserve and Trinity and major decisions versus wrestlers from Norwich (12-2) and Thiel (9-0) before the pulsating victory in the finals. 

Marsh, ranked seventh nationally, tallied first period falls in his first three trips to the mat at 157 pounds.  In the semifinals he collected an impressive 13-1 major decision versus a RIT grappler before falling 5-0 in the finals to No. 9 Kaidon Winters of RIT in the day's only bout featuring two-nationally-ranked wrestlers.  Lind made his season debut at 174 a memorable one, collecting three victories, including a first period pin over a wrestler from RIT in the second round and a 7-0 shutout of a Williams grappler in the quarterfinals.  The junior dropped a tight 8-7 decision to Tariq Grissom of Williams in the finals.    

The Engineers had a trio of wrestlers bring home bronze on Saturday.  Andrew Ellis (Arlington, MA) and Austin Shrewsbury (Westfield, MA) reached the semifinals at 133 pounds and heavyweight respectively.  Ellis was 4-1 on the days and collected a pin at 6:27 over his foe from John Carroll from secure third place.  Shrewsbury amassed a pair of first period pins to reach the semifinals and then posted a pair of tight decisions against wrestlers from Case Western Reserve (4-1) and Scranton (3-2) to earn his third place showing.  Freshman Eddie Hay (Bangor, PA) had a longer road back to get third at 149 pounds.  After winning his first two bouts and then falling in the quarterfinals, the rookie saw his hand raised four times in the consolation to earn his way back to third place. 

174-pounder Tyler Wilson (Derry, NH) and 197-pounder Michael Curtis (Wells, ME) both reached the semifinals on their way to fifth place performances.  Wilson ran the gantlet with types of victories on the day including a pin, a tech fall, a decision and a forfeit.  Curtis recorded a pair of pins as part of his three victories on the day, including one just to beat the third period buzzer in his opening bout.  Pete Nash (Liverpool, NY) had a big day on his way to sixth place showing at 149 pounds.  The senior registered a pair of first period pins over grapplers from Case Western Reserve and Ulster and a 13-2 major decision versus his opponent from Williams. 

Two other WPI wrestlers won their opening two matches on the day to advance to the quarterfinals.  Ronan Ball (Maynard, MA) scored a first period pin versus Scranton and a 9-7 decision over Thiel at 157 pounds.  Brendan Marion (Norristown, MA) made his season debut at 165 with 12-2 major decision over New England College and a quick 45-second pin versus Keystone.    

George Horta (Milford, NH) racked up valuable points at 184.  After losing his first bout, the freshman then rattled off first period falls against wrestlers from New England College, RIT and Pitt-Bradford to accumulate 7.5 team points. Zach Harris (Westwood, NJ) and Matt Rothman (Orange, CT) also rebounded from opening round losses to win twice on the day.  Harris registered major decisions over foes from Oswego State (12-3) and Norwich (15-3) at 141 while Rothman tallied a pin versus his opponent from Williams and a 10-6 decision over a wrestler from Scranton at 184.   

Christian Chadwick (Orange, CT) and Christian Curll (Groton, MA) were also victorious for the Engineers in consolation bouts.  Chadwick posted a 6-4 triumph over his opponent from New England College at 125 pounds while Curll grinded out a 6-4 victory over his foe from Wesleyan. 

WPI now turns its focus to its final competition of the 2018 portion of its schedule.  The Engineers host No. 5 Wabash (IN), No. 3 Johnson & Wales and Oneonta State in a super quad that also features No. 21 Castleton and Coast Guard. Action is slated to begin at 11am in the Sports & Recreation Center.