PROVIDENCE, RI – A third-straight regional championship is in the cards for the Johnson & Wales University wrestling team. The Wildcats have all 10 wrestlers still alive – including eight in the championship bracket semifinals – after the first day of the NCAA Northeast Regional.
The third-ranked Wildcats lead the team standings with 91.5 points. Coast Guard is second with 66.5 points while Castleton (64.0), Roger Williams (63.5) and NYU (57.5) round out the top five.
Day two action starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday at the Wildcat Center.
Top-seeded Jay Albis opened at 125 pounds with an 18-0 tech fall over Coast Guard's Parker Brunkala. He recorded a 15-0 tech fall against David Yeh from Williams in just 1:29.
Riding time gave Bobby Jordan, the top seed at 133 pounds, a 7-6 win over Chris DeRosa from New England College. He had a little easier time in the quarterfinals, taking down NYU's William Crisco, 7-3.
Joe Ferinde, seeded second at 141 pounds, pinned Bridgewater State's Andrew Valinda in the opening round. He advanced to the semifinals thanks to a 9-4 decision against Western New England's Justin DeLucia.
Fourteen seconds is all Da'mani Burns, the number one seed at 149 pounds, needed to pin Steven Ausheery from Plymouth State. His second pin came in 3:51 against Kearney Gutierrez from Springfield.
Also winning on riding time was Thomas Grippi at 157 pounds as he stopped Southern Maine's Zac Thompson, 4-3, thanks to a late reversal. He lost to the second seed Ryan Monteiro, 9-3, but came back to win his consolation match, 9-5, versus Castleton's Cameron Milliken.
Senior Adrian Gonzalez started slow then came on strong to beat Jeff Suschana of WNEU, 11-5. He advanced to the semifinals with a 13-5 major decision against Fox Maxwell of Bridgewater State.
A strong third period gave the third seed at 174 pounds, senior Michael Gargano, a 4-0 win over CU's Chance LaPier. He produced a convincing 7-0 win against Roger Williams' Brett Leonard to get to the semifinals.
Seeded second at 184 pounds, Khamri Thomas started the day with a 13-4 win over Springfield's Severianel Burgos. He pinned Dylan da Silva from Plymouth State in 5:44 to move onto the semifinals.
At 197 pounds, a pin got the top seed Michael DiNardo past Trinity's Mason Sangillio. He finished off Williams' Sebastian Dziadkiewicz, 6-2, to advance to the semifinals.
Rookie Tommy Wrzesien pinned Chase La Russo in 1:20 to start the day at 285 pounds. He lost an 18-3 tech fall to CGA's Patrick Irwin, but stayed alive in the consolation bracket by posting a 15-0 tech fall over Williams' Bennett Caplin in 3:05.