PRINCETON, N.J. – Three Franklin & Marshall wrestlers advanced into the second day of competition at the 112th Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships, hosted by Princeton. Rick Durso paced the Diplomats on Saturday by rolling into the 141-pound Championship Semifinals, where he will face off against Princeton's Jordan Laster tomorrow. Scott Stevens (133) and Antonio Pelusi (285) remain alive in the wrestlebacks.
Complete day one results can be found here.
Durso is already guaranteed a top-six finish and with six NCAA allocations being awarded at 141, he has earned his way into the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in his career. Previously taking gold at the EIWA's in 2013, Durso opened with a dominating 18-3 tech. fall at 2:46 over Brown's Charles Namarszak, before following with a narrow 4-1 decision against Drexel's Kevin Devoy in the quarterfinals.
At 133, Stevens began action by upsetting the bracket's No. 7 seeded grappler Jacob Nicolson of Binghamton. Ahead 3-2 in the third, Stevens secured a pin at 6:45 to advance. Drawing No. 2 Mason Beckman of Lehigh in the quarterfinals, Stevens dropped down to consolations with a 14-4 loss. Stevens followed with a 9-6 win against Brown's Ezekiel Salvo and will face No. 3 Angelo Salvo of Columbia in tomorrow's consolation round of four. With only three automatic bids on the line, Stevens will need to win three straight for a shot at qualifying for the NCAAs.
Pelusi was dealt the No. 6 seeded wrestler in Princeton's Ray O'Donnell but came up short in a hard-fought 3-0 decision loss. He responded in the wrestlebacks with an 8-3 decision over American's Jake Scanlan and a 3-1 sudden victory upset of No. 5 seeded Garrett Ryan from Columbia that included a takedown with just 10 seconds remaining.
With six automatic bids up for grabs at 285, Pelusi will face Drexel's Joseph Goodhart (No. 8) tomorrow with a guaranteed trip to the NCAA's on the line. The winner of that match can finish no lower than sixth. Goodhart has taken a pair of close decisions against Pelusi this season, with the most recent coming in a 3-2 win on Feb. 6.
Josh Young had a strong showing at 174. Edged out by a 6-4 score against the No. 6 seed Jack McKeever of Binghamton in the championship bracket, he answered with a 10-6 decision against Sacred Heart's Jonny Vrasidas in the wrestlebacks but fell in his next match.
In the 184 consolations, Anthony Mancini came away with the thrilling 6-5 win the second tiebreaker period against Harvard's Michael Mocco, an opponent that has beaten him twice in the year, by registering a clutch reversal. However, his tournament came to an end in the next round.
The final day of the EIWA Tournament starts tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. with the championship semifinals and third-round wrestlebacks. First, third and fifth-place matches are slated for a 3:30 p.m. start.
Fans can follow along with live results, which can be accessed here.