Pelusi Claims Fifth at EIWAs; Earns NCAA Bid

Pelusi Claims Fifth at EIWAs; Earns NCAA Bid

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Franklin & Marshall's Antonio Pelusi won two out of three matches on Sunday to claim fifth place in the 285-pound bracket at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships. 

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Pelusi, who went 4-2 over the weekend, snagged one of the bracket's five automatic qualifying spots for the 2018 NCAA Championships. The fifth-place finish matched his showing in the 2016 EIWA Tournament as Pelusi qualifies for the second NCAA Tournament of his career. 

The NCAA's will take place at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on March 15-17. More information will be published on GoDiplomats.com as it becomes available.

F&M finished with 17.5 team points to place 15th out of 16 teams. Lehigh captured the team title with 164.5 points, snapping an 11-year win streak from Cornell, who placed second with 146 points. 

Overall, Pelusi was one of four Diplomats to secure a win during the EIWA Championships with Brett Kulp (141 pounds), Emmett LiCastri (157 pounds) and Josh Young (174 pounds) all claiming consolation-round wins on Saturday. 

Pelusi opened day two with a 10-5 decision win over Princeton's Christian Araneo in the Consolation Round of Four. F&M's grappler registered four takedowns in the match, including a pair in the first frame.

In the Consolation Semifinals, Pelusi battled Cornell's Jeramy Sweany. Tied at 1-1 heading into the third, Sweany chose bottom and picked up a quick escape before following with a match-clinching takedown. Sweany went on to take third place. 

American's Brett Dempsey, ranked No. 26 in the nation and the bracket's No. 5 seed awaited Pelusi in the fifth-place match. Each competitor exchanged escapes in the contest to force extra periods. Neither grappler scored in fourth and Pelusi picked up an escape with 24 seconds remaining in the following frame to earn the 2-1 TB2 decision.

285 Pounds – 5th Place - Antonio Pelusi (4-2)

Day 1

  • W – Fall (1:50) – Brandon Stokes (Bucknell)
  • L – 5-2 Decision - Garrett Ryan (Columbia)
  • W – 20-6 Major – John Hartnett (Sacred Heart)

Day 2

  • W – 10-5 Decision – Christian Araneo
  • L – 4-1 Decision – Jeramy Sweany (Cornell)
  • W – 2-1 TB2 – Brett Dempsey (American)