PROVIDENCE, RI – For the first time, the best wrestling team in the land resides in Providence. The Johnson & Wales University wrestling team is ranked number one in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association poll.
The wrestling program is the first JWU team in any NCAA sport to be ranked number one in the country. Last season the Wildcats were ranked as high as number three.
Johnson & Wales has had a great start to the season, winning the New Standard and Roger Williams Invitationals while taking second at the Ithaca Invitational. Last weekend, the Wildcats easily won their three matches at the Northeast Duals.
In addition to the team ranking, the Wildcats have wrestlers ranked in seven of the 10 individual weight classes. Leading the way is junior Jay Albis (Fishkill, NY) who is second at 133 pounds. Classmate Joe Ferinde (Nutley, NJ) comes in at number three at 141 pounds. Moving up two spots to number four at 125 pounds was senior Bobby Jordan (Woodbridge, NJ). Junior Khamri Thomas (Windsor Locks, Conn.) checks in at number six at 184 pounds.
Three wrestlers made their debut in the national rankings this week. Sophomore Michael DiNardo (Mahopac, NY) debuts at No. 6 at 197 pounds. Junior Michael Gargano (Old Bridge, NJ) and senior Jonah Aurelio (Riverside, RI) are seventh at 174 pounds and 285 pounds, respectively.
Johnson & Wales is on Long Island this weekend, taking on Nassau CC then participating in the Nassau Open.