PROVIDENCE, RI – For the first time ever, collegiate wrestling took the stage at the Providence Performing Arts Center for the Downtown Showdown. The fourth-ranked Johnson & Wales University wrestling team certainly performed like the headliner of the region as the Wildcats toppled No. 20 Roger Williams, 28-12, on Thursday.
The Wildcats got off to a fast start when fifth-ranked Jay Albis picked up a 10-2 major decision at 125 pounds. No. 6 Joao Vicente Jr. pushed the lead to 9-0 with his 16-1 tech fall over Tristan Haviland. At 141 pounds, ninth-ranked Joe Ferinde made it 12-0 by beating Matt Elias.
Roger Williams closed the gap by winning at 149 and 157, including a pin by the Hawks' Tyler Gazaway at 157 pounds. Tim Higginson swung the momentum back to JWU with his 14-6 major decision over Taylor Shay.
Adrian Gonzalez got a takedown in the closing seconds of his 174-pound bout to force overtime. He took down Brett Leonard in the extra frame for the triumph. No. 6 Khamri Thomas wrapped up the team victory with his 5-3 decision at 184 pounds.
Eighth-ranked Michael DiNardo wasted little time in beating Michael Fernandes at 197 pounds as he pinned him in just 1:20.
Most of the Wildcats are off until the NCAA Northeast Region Championships, hosted by WPI on February 24-25. JWU will send a contingency to the Future Tournaments, hosted by Roger Williams on February 18.
#4 Johnson & Wales vs. #20 Roger Williams J-R
125 #5 Jay Albis (JWU) def. Nick Barbaria (RWU) Major Decision 10-2 4-0
133 #6 Joao Vicente (JWU) def. Tristan Haviland (RWU) Tech Fall 16-1 (6:42) 9-0
141 #9 Joe Ferinde (JWU) def. Matt Elias (RWU) Decision 11-5 12-0
149 Justin Cochran (RWU) def. Thomas Grippi (JWU) Decision 4-2 12-3
157 Tyler Gazaway (RWU) def. Brady Robin (JWU) Fall 3:40 12-9
165 Tim Higginson (JWU) def. Taylor Shay (RWU) Major Decision 14-6 16-9
174 Adrian Gonzalez (JWU) def. Brett Leonard (RWU) Decision 9-7 (SV) 19-9
184 #6 Khamri Thomas (JWU) def. Connor Humphries (RWU) Decision 5-3 22-9
197 #8 Michael DiNardo (JWU) def. Michael Fernandes (RWU) Fall 1:20 28-9
285 Adam Patsun (RWU) def. Michael Larm (JWU) Decision 7-3 28-12