Bristol, RI --- The WPI wrestling team began the 2016-17 campaign Saturday by finishing seventh at the Roger Williams Invitational. Sophomore Austin Shrewsbury (Westfield, MA) finished second at heavyweight and was joined on the podium by classmate Michael Curtis (Wells, MA) and the freshman duo of Tyler Marsh (Upper Black Eddy, PA) and Chase Lind (Fairfield, CT).
As a team, the Engineers totaled 80 points overall at the 12-team event that featured four top 10 programs in the preseason NWCA Top 15. The No. 9 host Hawks edged Johnson & Wales and No. 10 York to claim the team title. No. 4 Stevens finished fourth and No. 2 Messiah placed sixth.
Shrewsbury won three matches, including his opener with a fall less than a minute in, to reach the finals before falling 5-2 in bout featuring the top two-ranked wrestlers in New England. Curtis racked up points at 197 pounds with a pair of pins and a tech fall among his four victories in six matches on his was to fourth place.
Marsh put in a full day, wrestling seven times at 149 pounds. After falling in his initial bout, the rookie rattled off four straight wins, including a pin and a pair of major decisions to guarantee a podium showing. Following a loss to a ranked opponent, Marsh responded with a first period pin to take home fifth place. Lind also took to the mat seven times, notching four victories and, in the process, reaching the quarterfinals on his way to a sixth place showing at 157 pounds. His first collegiate bout proved memorable with a pin just 27 seconds in.
Four other Crimson and Gray wrestlers reached the quarterfinals in their respective weight classes. Freshman Brandon Weyant (Chesterfield, MA) did it style at 165 pounds by blanking the second-ranked wrestler at 7-0 in his initial bout and a major decision in his second match. Stephen Jendritz (Rockford, MI) at 133, Lucas Muntz (West Hartford, CT) at 184 and Andrew Hubina (Newtown, CT) all won their first matches and then a bout in the consolation round. Muntz tallied a pair of falls while Hubina added a pin and a tech fall and Jendritz registered a major decision.
Five other Engineers had their arm raised in victory on Saturday. Andrew Ellis (Arlington, MA) was victorious twice at 141 pounds, including by major decision in his opening bout. Jack Nigro (Closter, NJ) won twice at 149 with a 12-5 opening round victory and first period pin in the consolations. Also posting triumphs were Michael Aquino (Boston, MA) at 125, Brandon Abad (Miller Place, NY) with a fall at 149 and Tyler Wilson (Derry, NH) by major decision at 165.
WPI opens up the home portion of its schedule next Saturday with a super quad beginning at 11am in the Sports and Recreation Center. WPI will face Norwich, Ursinus (PA) and King's (PA) in an event that also features Roger Williams and Castleton State.