Bristol, RI --- Freshman Tanner Burke (Derry, NH) captured the championship at 149 pounds as the WPI wrestling team opened the 2012-13 season at the Roger Williams Invitational on Saturday. The Engineers racked up 79.5 team points as Messiah won the tournament by just half a point over the host Hawks.
Burke went 5-0 on his route to the title, including pins in his first two matches. Teammate Mike Perruccio (Pelham, NH) also reached the championship bout at 149 pounds. The junior won four matches including a quarterfinal pin.
In addition to the duo, sophomore Tyler Tilbe (Woodbury, CT) had a strong season debut, placing third at 141 pounds. He won four of five matches, notching two major decisions. Andrew Tanner (Danville, NH) racked up three wins on the day at 157, including a pin.
Pins were plentiful as the other victories for WPI all came by fall including two by Alex Potts (Syracuse, NY) at 133 pounds and one each by Brian Jennings (Danbury, CT) at 133, Duncan MacKinnon (Colchester, CT) at 174, Teddy Kostopoulos (Milford, CT) at 184 and Joseph Szerszunowicz (Milford, MA) at 285.
WPI returns to the mat next Saturday, hosting a rare November tri-match. The Engineers entertain Southern Maine and Norwich in the first action in the new Sports and Recreation Center, home of the 2013 NCAA Division III Northeast Regional Championships. The first match Saturday is scheduled for noon.