PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Richard Durso captured first place in the 141-pound bracket at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships on Saturday, becoming the first Franklin & Marshall wrestler to hold the top spot on the medal stand since 1994, and ninth overall.
Seeded fifth, Durso defeated a higher-ranked opponent for the third match in a row with a 5-4 triumph by decision over third-seeded Charles Cobb of Pennsylvania in Saturday's championship round.
Cobb grabbed the early 2-0 lead with a takedown at the 2:05 mark of period one, before Durso got on the board with an escape 10 seconds later. Trailing 2-1 heading into the second, Durso started on the bottom and evened the score at 2-2 with an escape at 1:35. The F&M sophomore then secured his first lead with a takedown with 16 seconds remaining to nab a 4-2 edge.
In the third, Cobb started down and registered a reversal at 0:56 to knot things up at 4-4, but Durso tallied the bouts' final points with an escape nine seconds later. Clinging to a 5-4 advantage late in the final frame, Durso effectively held off Cobb as time winded down to bring home the gold.
In addition to claiming the EIWA crown, Durso's three victories in this weekend's championships pushed his winning streak to 15-straight matches and propelled him to a record of 37-3 on the year, giving him the finest single-season mark in the history of the program. His 37 wins surpasses the previous record held by Brendan James '98, who compiled a 36-8 mark in 1997-98.
The Diplomats concluded the championships with a total of 21.5 points, placing 13th in the 14-team field. Cornell won the team title with 142 points, followed by Navy (117.5) and Pennsylvania (110.5) in second and third, respectively.
Durso will travel to the NCAA Championships from March 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa.