PRINCETON, N.J. - Richard Durso secured an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships with a 3-1 mark in the 141-pound bracket on day one of the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships on Saturday at Princeton. The Diplomats currently sit in 12th place out of the 14 competing teams with a total of 27 points.
In addition to Durso, three other Diplomats advanced to the final day of competition through the consolation side of their respective draws. Andrew Murano (149), Matt Fullowan (174) and Colin Ely (197) will each vie for seventh place in their weight classes on Sunday.
Durso, seeded eighth at 141 pounds, started strong with a pinning of Sacred Heart's Robert O'Neill in his opening bout. The freshman took down O'Neill in 3:22 to set up a showdown with top-seeded Zack Kemmerer of Pennsylvania in the second round. Durso gave Kemmerer all he could handle, but fell just short in a 3-2 decision. He then bounced back with back-to-back wins in the consolation bracket to nab at least a top-six placing and guarantee himself a trip to the NCAA's. Durso will face off against Lehigh's Stephen Dutton on Sunday with a spot in the third-place bout on the line.
At 174 pounds, Fullowan outlasted seventh-seeded Andrew Lowy of Princeton in the first round with a 3-1 sudden victory decision. In the second round, Fullowan was nipped by second-seeded Nathaniel Brown of Lehigh, 2-1, forcing him into the consolations. The F&M senior defeated Army's Eric Gobin by decision, 5-1, to move into the consolation quarterfinals, before dropping a 3-1 sudden victory decision to Columbia's Stephen West. Fullowan will meet eighth-seeded Ian Korb of Pennsylvania in Sunday's seventh-place bout.
At 197, Ely shook off an opening round loss to second-seeded Micah Burak of Pennsylvania by reeling off two consecutive backdraw victories. Ely bounced Brown's Brandon Vorrius from the tournament in his first consolation bout with a pin in 3:20, and followed that up with a 4-0 decision over Princeton's Kurt Brendel. The senior then fell to American's Daniel Mitchell, 8-4, and will next meet James Fox of Harvard.
Murano also earned a spot Sunday's seventh-place bout at 149. The sophomore was defeated by second-seeded Corey Jantzen of Harvard in the first round, and advanced past top-seeded Mario Mason of Rutgers via medical forfeit in the consolations, before falling to Columbia's Steve Santos. Murano will battle Princeton's Zachary Bintliff on Sunday for seventh place.
Heavyweight Alex Henry also notched a win for F&M. After a defeat to top-seeded Ryan Flores of American in his opening bout, Henry tallied a 3-1 sudden victory triumph over Princeton's Charles Fox, but was later edged by Rutgers' Daniel Hopkins by decision, 2-1.
Sunday's EIWA consolation semifinals and place finals will begin at 10:00 am.