BRISTOL, R.I. – Before the rest of the season heats up, a handful of Johnson & Wales University wrestlers took part in the Scotty Viera Open, hosted by Roger Williams University. Two Wildcats made it to the championship round with one coming away with a title.
Senior Giovanni Santiago earned the championship at 197 pounds by beating a trio of RWU Hawks. He pinned Mason Calise and Noah Tandy to get to the finals. Santiago claimed the championship by defeating RWU's Travis Arata, 4-2.
Sixth-ranked Michael DiNardo worked his way to the finals of 285 pounds. The senior recorded a trio of pins before medically forfeiting in the championship bout.
The 157-pound bracket saw two Wildcats in the semifinals. William Hughes had a pin and forfeit before losing to the top seed, Roger Williams' Michael Mirmina. Two pins got Sam Tenaglia in the semifinals, but he was stopped by RWU's Jack Kelly. Both won their consolation matches to set up an all-JWU third-place bout that Tenaglia won by medical forfeit.
A pair of wins got Craig Sampson to the semifinals of 141 pounds. He beat third-seeded Dylan Jones of Wesleyan, 6-4, before falling to the number two seed and regionally-ranked, Nathan Lackman of Rhode Island College.
Junior Cam Altobelli started 174 pounds with a win before falling 5-2 to Marco Caita, the number two wrestler in the region. Rookie Cole DiRico won his first bout at 149 pounds before falling to the fifth seed Joe Parsons of Springfield. He picked up another victory in the consolation bracket before his run was ended in the consolation semifinals.
Johnson & Wales is back on the mat Friday and Saturday at the NWCA National Duals in Louisville, Ky.