BRISTOL, RI – Even though the season is only two weeks old, the Johnson & Wales University wrestling team looks like it's in midseason form. The sixth-ranked Wildcats edged #4 Messiah by 1.5 points to win the team title at the Roger Williams Invitational.
Backed by a pair of individual titles, JWU posted 171 points. Twelve wrestlers placed in the top five of their weight class.
A pin and a pair of close decisions sent Khamri Thomas (Windsor Locks, Conn.) to the finals of 184 pounds. He posted a 7-3 in the championship match to defeat sixth-ranked Derek Beitz of Messiah.
Another Messiah wrestler stood in the way of a JWU title. Top-ranked Jay Albis (Fishkill, NY) notched two pins and a major decision before defeating No. 10 Hunter Harris, 7-2, in the finals of 133 pounds.
In his first event of year, fourth-ranked Bobby Jordan (Woodbridge, NJ) had two major decisions and a pin before dropping a 10-7 decision to Peter Del Gallo of Southern Maine in the finals.
Junior Adrian Gonzalez (Providence, RI) lost in the semifinals of 165 pounds, but bounced back to defeat Muhlenberg's Dylan Schwart, 6-2, in the third-place match. At 197 pounds, Michael DiNardo (Mahopac, NY) recorded a pin and tech fall, before falling to fifth-ranked Devon Carrillo in the semifinals. He dominated Norwich's Zach Gibson, 17-2, in the third-place match.
Freshman Peyton Blauvelt (Manahawkin, NJ) rebounded from an early loss at 184 pounds to make it to the third-place match where he dropped a 9-5 decision to Victor DeFrance of Messiah. Junior Michael Gargano (Old Bridge, NJ) made it to the semifinals of 174 pounds before taking fourth.
The Wildcats are off until December 2 when they travel to the Spartan Invitational, hosted by York College.