Rochester, NY --- Senior Brian Amato (Newington, CT) won his weight class and sophomores Michael Curtis (Wells, ME) and Austin Shrewsbury (Westfield, MA) each reached the final round as a total of 10 WPI wrestlers reached the podium at the RIT Invitational Saturday.
The Engineers finished tied for second as a team at the 12-team event with 121 points, despite not having a 184-pounder compete in a format that awarded team points to the best finisher in each of the ten weight classes. Lycoming took the team title with 130 points followed by Oneonta, who entered the week at No. 15 in the NWCA Division III Tournament Team Rankings, and WPI with 121 apiece.
Amato, who also won the tournament title as a sophomore in 2014, received a bye to the second round where he registered a 15-0 technical fall against Lycoming. He then earned a 5-2 decision versus Wesleyan and pinned sophomore teammate Michael Aquino (Boston, MA) in the semifinals at 4:13. The 125-pounder closed it out with a 9-2 decision over his foe from Scranton. Aquino's journey began with a technical fall (16-0) over Oswego, a 4-2 triumph in SV1 against John Carroll and a 3-2 decision versus Oneonta. After falling to Amato, he took the consolation semifinal 7-1 from another grappler from Oneonta en route to a fourth-place showing.
Curtis and Shrewsbury reached their championship bout at 197 and 285, respectively. Curtis sandwiched a pair of major decisions, a 9-0 in the second round against Lynchburg and a 12-3 versus Oneonta in the semifinals, around a pin of his RIT opponent at 5:37. He was upended 9-6 in TB1 by Thiel. Shrewsbury picked up a 6-1 decision and a pair of quick pins, at 1:25 against Thiel and 1:10 versus Lycoming. He fell 3-0 in the final to a nationally-ranked foe from Oneonta after a 14-4 major decision against a second Lycoming wrestler.
After dropping into the consolation bracket, junior Stephen Jendritz (Rockford, MI) posted a trio of decisions until he was edged 4-2 to finish fourth at 133.
Freshman Ronan Ball (Maynard, MA), senior Lucas Muntz (West Hartford, CT) and sophomore Nick Day (Northampton, MA) placed fifth at 149, 174 and 285, respectively. Ball was pinned in the quarterfinals by sophomore Pete Nash (Liverpool, NY) at 5:23. Following a pin of junior Jack Nigro (Closter, NJ), and a major decision, the rookie was on the other end of a major decision. He met up with Nash again; however, this time Ball had his hand raised due to a medical forfeit which determined who would be fifth and sixth. Muntz slipped into the consolation rounds after an 8-6 result in TB1. He won a pair of bouts (major decision, fall) in the foruth and fifth round. The senior then absorbed a 12-9 decision in the semifinals before pinning his opponent from Alfred at 7:29. Day moved into the consolation rounds early where he took a quartet of bouts, including a 4-2 SV1 triumph over junior Logan Mendelson (West Bloomfield, MI). He went on to pick up a medical forfeit in the fifth-place match after falling at 3:56 to Lycoming.
Rookie Andrew Hubina (Newtown, CT) took home sixth as he fell in his first bout at 197, won four in-a-row before falling in the consolation semifinals and absorbed a decision in the fifth-place contest.
Discounting byes, any type of forfeit or injury, sophomore Andrew Ellis (Arlington, MA) won three at 141 as Nigro, freshman Tyler Marsh (Upper Black Eddy, PA), freshman Rafael Ellis-Rech (Sharon, MA) and freshman Chase Lind (Fairfield, CT) all earned a pair of victories. Nigro was competing at 149, Marsh and Ellis-Rech at 157 and Lind at 165. Also earning a victory for the Engineers were freshman Anthony Lopez (Wharton, NJ) at 125, sophomore Tyler Wilson (Derry, NH) at 165 and senior Anton Libsch (Milton, MA) at 174, as well as Mendelson and freshman Mike Fabian (Williams Township, PA) at 285.
The Engineers travel to Oneonta for the Northeast Duals Saturday beginning with Niagara Community College at 11am and continuing with the hosts and Cortland State.