LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Richard Durso captured first place in the 141-pound bracket and was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler to lead Franklin & Marshall at the Brute Invitational hosted by Lock Haven on Saturday. Robert Ruiz also nabbed a spot on the medal stand for F&M, taking fifth at 133 pounds.
The Diplomats finished ninth with a total of 53 points in a field of 13 teams, including three squads with national rankings. Bloomsburg secured the team crown with 198.5 points, followed by No. 23 Kent State (154.5) and Lock Haven (136).
Durso's first-place finish marks the fourth tournament placing for the sophomore this season, and his second gold. Durso claimed the title with a 4-0 record, including a victory over a nationally-ranked opponent in the championship bout.
Seeded fourth, Durso rolled to the semifinal round with a 5-0 decision against Pittsburgh's Corey Bush in his opening bout and a 10-2 major decision over Bloomsburg's Dan Gaylord in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he defeated top-seeded Joe Bonaldi of Binghamton by a 6-2 decision. Durso then completed his clean sweep of the 141-pound bracket with a pinning in 3:44 of second-seeded and No. 24 Dan Neff of Lock Haven in the finals.
At 133, Ruiz placed fifth with a 3-2 mark. The sophomore began the day with a pair of wins by decision to advance to the semifinals. He edged George Mason's Zachary Isenhour by a 6-5 count, before downing fifth-seeded Robert Golde of Gardner-Webb 7-2 in the second round. After a pair of losses, Ruiz rebounded with another decision victory over Golde, this time 6-4, in the fifth-place bout.
Andrew Murano also posted multiple victories for F&M, concluding the day with a 2-2 mark at 149. The junior shook off a first-round defeat with back-to-back victories in the consolation bracket, including his third career pin. Murano downed VMI's Zeb Stewart by fall (2:14) and Kent State's Andrew Hollern by an 11-6 decision before falling in the consolation quarterfinals.
The Diplomats return to action next Saturday as they host the inaugural F&M Open. The tournament is set to begin at 9:00 a.m.