MILLERSVILLE, Pa. - Richard Durso claimed third place in the 141-pound bracket to lead the Franklin & Marshall wrestling team at the Shorty Hitchcock Classic hosted by Millersville on Sunday. There was no team scoring in the tournament.
After a first round bye, Durso dropped a 13-10 decision to Shippensburg's Simon Rice in his first match of the day. From there, the freshman reeled off six-straight wins in the backdraw to secure bronze and tally his team-best fourth tournament placing of the season. Durso has now won nine of his last 10 matches and becomes the first Diplomat to cross the 20-win threshold with 22 on the year.
Durso shook off the loss to Rice with a 5-3 decision over Virginia's Mason Popham, before downing Louis Mascola of Maryland, 10-1, and Ean Starner of Shippensburg, 19-8, both by major decision. He then defeated Navy's Alex Johnson by sudden victory decision, 11-9, secured a victory by forfeit and edged another Navy opponent - Quentin Leadbeter - by a 9-8 decision in the backdraw finals.
In addition to Durso's placewinning finish, four other Diplomats posted multiple victories on the day. At 197, Colin Ely opened with a pair of wins to move onto the quarterfinals, before being ousted, 4-3, by eventual runner-up Conor Wetzel of Maryland.
Andrew Murano started strong with an 11-3 major decision against Shane Miller of Shippensburg, but Lehigh's Anthony Salupo tallied a major decision over Murano in round two to send the F&M sophomore to the backdraw. Murano then won two straight, an 11-1 major decision over Shippensburg's Tony Tolbert and a 9-4 decision over Millersville's Steve Hess, before being knocked out by Lehigh's Kyle Rosser, 8-0.
Matt Fullowan bounced back from a opening-match loss at 174 to notch victories by decision over Army's Robert Doyle (6-3;TB2) and Bloomsburg's Jason Laboranti (6-3), before Penn State's Alex Church nipped the F&M senior by a 5-4 decision.
At 184, Matt Latessa also recorded a pair of backdraw wins for the Diplomats. The senior fell to Wil Brown of Army by a 9-3 decision in his first action of the day, but responded with an 18-6 major decision over Shane Gilmore of Millersville and a tight 3-1 decision against teammate Paul Alessandrini. Lehigh's John Bolich then defeated Latessa, 6-0, in the backdraw semifinals.
F&M returns home on Friday, Jan. 27 for an Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) match at 7:30 pm.