BRISTOL, R.I. – Five top three finishes propelled the Johnson & Wales University wrestling team to the title at the Roger Williams University Invitational. JWU posted 174 points to best Castleton by 28 points.
The biggest upset of the tournament came at 133 pounds. Rookie Hayden Brown worked his way to the finals where he defeated the top-ranked wrestler in the country, TCNJ's Jake Giordano, 4-2. Also claiming an individual title was senior Michael DiNardo, 3-1, over Ryan Higgins from Bridgewater State at 285 pounds.
Johnson & Wales just missed out on two more titles. Sophomore Tommy Wrzesien recorded a pair of pins on his way to the finals on 197 pounds where he was beaten by Castleton's Mitch LaFlam, 4-3. Classmate Gabe McDaniel also lost by a point falling in the 141 finals, 6-5, to TCNJ's Robert Dinger.
Senior Marvin Cunningham put together an impressive run. He recorded seven pins over two days to take third at 149 pounds.
Sophomore Liridon Leka was slowed down by his teammate DiNardo to take fourth at 285 pounds. Rookie Chris Rivas notched four pins to take third at 125 pounds. Included in his run was a pin of 9th-ranked Nick Denora from TCNJ. Two pins and two major decisions helped Nick Munsch take fourth at 184 pounds.
JWU is back in action December 6-7 at the Spartan Invitational, hosted by York College.