LEWISBURG, Pa. (March 5, 2011) ?The No. 9 Rutgers wrestling team completed day one of action at the 107th EIWA Championships at Sojka Pavilion on the campus of Bucknell University. RU, who currently sits fourth in the team race, was led by redshirt sophomore Scott Winston (Jackson, N.J.), who advanced to the finals at 165-pounds. Additionally, RU saw two seniors make history as both DJ Russo (Netcong, N.J.) and Daryl Cocozzo (River Edge, N.J.) recorded their 100th collegiate wins in day one action.
Winston, who will meet up with Eren Civan of Columbia in the finals, advanced to his first EIWA finals by winning a pair of thrilling matches. In his first match, in the quarterfinals, Winston earned a 2-1 victory over Patrick Graham of American in sudden victory. Winston followed that impressive performance with a tough win over Justin Kerber of Cornell. After Kerber scored a quick four points after a takedown and two back points, Winston scored a reversal and rode Kerber out in the first. In the second, Kerber chose down and got ridden out but still held the 4-2 lead going into the final period. Winston started down in the third and quickly earned a reversal to tie the score at four. Winston then continued to go to work on top riding Kerber out and adding two back points as time expired to win 7-4.***
While Winston will be competing for the title tomorrow, seven other Scarlet Knights will be fighting for at-large bids to the NCAA Championship in the consolation bracket.
After splitting his first two matches at 141-pounds, Trevor Melde (Hewitt, N.J.) ran off a pair of victories in the consolation bracket to keep his at-large hopes alive. Melde will face Zack Kemmerer of Penn tomorrow in the consolation semis.
Mario Mason (Moorestown, N.J.)earned a tech fall in his opening 149-pound match and then had a match with Joe Napoli of Lehigh, who he recently lost to in dual action. In his match with Napoli, Mason trailed 3-2 late but managed to secure a takedown with just six seconds left in the match to record the victory and advance to the semis. In the semifinals, Mason could not overcome a strong start by No. 1 seed Kyle Dake of Cornell and fell dropping him into the consolation bracket where he will meet up with Dan Young of Army tomorrow morning.
At 157-pounds, Cocozzo picked up his 100th career victory when he downed DJ Meagher of Cornell by a 3-1 decision. The victory set Cocozzo up with Steve Fittery of American, No. 1 wrestler in the nation. Cocozzo was able to keep Fittery at bay limiting him to only a takedown and an escape but it was enough as Fittery earned the 3-0 decision. Cocozzo will look to earn one of the EIWA?s five automatic bids at 157-pounds when he faces Dan Kolodzik of Princeton in consolation bracket action.
Alex Caruso (Green Brook, N.J.)earned decisions over Princeton?s Ryan Callahan (11-4) and Penn?s Scott Griffin (4-3) at 174-pounds to advance to the semis where he fell to No. 1 seed Mack Lewnes of Cornell. Caruso will face Matt Fullowan of Franklin & Marshall in consolation bracket action tomorrow morning.
At 184-pounds, Dan Rinaldi (Lodi, N.J.) will look to earn one of the EIWA?s four automatic bids when he faces Rob Waltko of Bucknell in consolation bracket action. Rinaldi earned a major decision over Will Brown of Army and a 4-0 decision over Nick Mills of Columbia before dropping his semifinal match to No. 1 seed Robert Hamlin of Lehigh.
True freshman Mike Wagner (South Plainfield, N.J.) made a strong debut in EIWA Tournament action when he earned wins over Dan Mills of Army and Dan Mitchell of American at 197-pounds. Wagner could not continue his momentum in the semis and lost to No. 2 seed Micah Burak of Penn. Wagner will now have a rematch with Mitchell in the consolation bracket for the chance to clinch a berth to the NCAA Tournament.
At heavyweight, Russo dropped his semifinal bout to Ryan Flores of American by a 5-2 margin to send him to the consolation bracket. Prior to the loss to Flores, Russo picked up his 100th career victory when he earned a 7-2 decision over Dan Miller of Navy in quarterfinal action. The win moves Russo into elite company as he becomes just the 11th student-athlete to earn 100 wins at Rutgers. Russo will have a chance to add to his total when he takes on Andrew Knapp of Harvard in consolation action.
The 107th EIWA Championships resume tomorrow at 10 a.m. with consolation bracket action.
Fans unable to make it to Lewisburg will have the opportunity to watch live online via Bison Vision (www.BucknellBison.com). The entire event, except Sunday?s championship bouts, will be available free of charge.
While the majority of the EIWA Championships will be provided free of charge, Sunday?s championship bouts will require a subscription. Fans can sign up for a monthly pass for Bison Vision for $9.95.
In addition to the live video broadcast, fans will have the chance to follow the results of the EIWAs live online via three different outlets. Updated brackets will be available at www.escapesports.com, while the NWCA will provide live scoring of each match through its Live College Scorebook at www.nwcaonline.com. Additionally, Rutgers wrestling will be providing live updates via its twitter page at www.twitter.com/RUWrestling.*
RU Wrestlers at 107th EIWA Championships
Joe Langel (125-pounds)
Quarterfinals: Garret Frey (Princeton) pins Joe Langel (RU), 4:52
Consolations: Joe Langel (RU) m. dec. Teodoro Popolizio (Brown), 8-0
Consolations: David White (Army) dec. Joe Langel (RU), 3-2
Matt Fusco (133-pounds)
Quarterfinals: Jacob Bucha (F&M) dec. Matt Fusco (RU), 7-3
Consolations: Anthony Comunale (Princeton) dec. Matt Fusco (RU), 10-4
Trevor Melde (141-pounds)
First Round: Trevor Melde (RU) pins Aaron Velasquez (F&M), 2:30
Quarterfinals: Casey Thome (Army ) pins Trevor Melde (RU), 6:27
Consolations: Trevor Melde (RU) dec. Dustin Haislip (Navy), 5-1
Mario Mason (149-pounds)
First Round: Mario Mason (RU) t. fall Joe Marino (Harvard), 24-9/7:00
Quarterfinals: Mario Mason (RU) dec. Joe Napoli (Lehigh), 4-3
Semifinals: Kyle Dake (Cornell) m. dec. Mario* Mason (RU), 11-1
Daryl Cocozzo (157-pounds)
Quarterfinals: Daryl Cocozzo (RU) dec. DJ Meagher (Cornell), 3-1
Semifinals: Steve Fittery (American) dec. Daryl Cocozzo (RU), 3-0
Scott Winston (165-pounds)
Quarterfinals: Scott Winston (RU) dec. Patrick Graham (American), 2-1 (TB1)
Semifinals: Scott Winston (RU) dec. Justin Kerber (Cornell), 7-4
Alex Caruso (174-pounds)
First Round: Alex Caruso (RU) dec. Ryan Callahan (Princeton), 11-4
Quarterfinals: Alex Caruso (RU) dec. Scott Griffin (Penn), 4-3
Semifinal: Mack Lewnes (Cornell) dec. Alex Caruso (RU), 10-4
Dan Rinaldi (184-pounds)
First Round: Dan Rinaldi (RU) m. dec. Will Brown (Army), 12-2
Quarterfinals: Dan Rinaldi (RU) dec. Nick Mills (Columbia), 4-0
Semifinals: Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) dec. Dan Rinaldi (RU), 4-1
Mike Wagner (197-pounds)
First Round: Mike Wagner (RU) dec. Dan Mills (Army), 8-2
Quarterfinals: Mike Wagner (RU) dec. Dan Mitchell (American), 3-2
Semifinals: Micah Burak (Penn) dec. Mike Wagner (RU), 4-1
DJ Russo (285-pounds)
First Round: DJ Russo (RU) pins Charles Fox (Princeton), 1:25
Quarterfinals: DJ Russo (RU) dec. Dan Miller (Navy), 7-2
Semifinal: Ryan Flores (American) dec. DJ Russo (RU), 5-2