Providence, RI --- Senior Tyler Marsh (Upper Black Eddy, PA) became the first WPI wrestler to qualify for three consecutive NCAA national championship meets in over two decades by placing third at the Northeast regional meet, which concluded Sunday at Rhode Island College.
Classmate Chase Lind (Fairfield, CT) fell one win short of joining Marsh at nationals while Chris Cook (Mount Kisco, NY) and Ronan Ball (Maynard, MA) joined the duo on the podium for the Engineers. With the strong day, the Crimson and Gray jumped up a place to eight overall in the 17-team event, amassing 62.50 points. Johnson & Wales won the regional with 168 points while Coast Guard (122.50) edged NYU (122) by half a point for second.
Marsh took the long route to nationals at 165 pounds, dropping his semifinal match by a narrow 6-5 margin and being forced to win twice to qualify. The senior delivered a second period pin versus a Castleton wrestler and a 15-0 tech fall over a Bridgewater State foe to punch his ticket. Marsh is now 29-5 on the season and 108-30 in his career.
The last Crimson and Gray wrestlers to qualify for three straight NCAA national meets were Aaron Becker and Lance Baden from 1997-99. Others to accomplish the feat were John Roy (1991-93) and Dave "Willie" Wilson (1977-80), who went to the NCAAs all four of his seasons.
Lind, Cook and Ball all needed to win three matches through the consolation bracket to join Marsh at nationals in Iowa. Lind got the closest, posting a 4-3 triumph against a Southern Maine wrestler and an 8-0 major decision versus an opponent from Wesleyan. The 149-pounder however fell 8-5 to the second-seeded grappler from Western New England in the third place match to wrap up his season 25-11 and his career 81-46.
Cook and Ball also concluded great tournament runs on Saturday. Cook placed sixth at 133 pounds after starting his day with a first period pin of a wrestler from Roger Williams and Ball finished seventh at 149, victorious in his the final career match at 157 pounds, a third period pin against a foe from Norwich. The win was the 50th career victory for the senior and his 25th by fall.
Others that competed for WPI at the event on Saturday included Carter Lewis (Duxbury, MA) at 141 pounds, Brendan Marion (Norristown, PA) at 174, Adam Marsh (Upper Black Eddy, PA) at 184, Tyler Riggs (North Scituate, RI) at 197 and heavyweight Nikolaos Diakides (Union, NY).
Marsh ventures to in Cedar Rapids, IA for the NCAA Championships on Friday, March 13th and Saturday, March 14th.