Wes Wrestlers Open Season With Two Strong Performances
The Wesleyan wrestling team, ranked #1 in New England in the first poll of the year, opened its highly anticipated campaign on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Doug Parker Invitational in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Cardinals return five All-New England performers from a standout 16-3-1 2010-2011 squad.
Spearheading the Wes lineup is reigning New England champion Kyle Roosa ’13 and 2011 NEWA runner-up Jefferson Ajayi ’13. At the Doug Parker Invitational, the Cardinals placed a solid 5th out of 15 teams. Roosa, ranked seventh nationally at 174 pounds reached the finals, as did Ajayi at 184 pounds. Reaching the consolation semi-finals were Maika Nagata ’13, Howard Tobochnik ’13, and Luke Erickson ’12 at 133, 149, and 197 pounds, respectively. SUNY-Brockport notched first place at the Invitational.
The team headed to Rochester for the RIT Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 3, one of nine participating schools. Wes placed second out of nine, with Tobochnik snaring first place at 149 pounds. Tobochnik, the third seed in the bracket, went 4-0 to secure top honors in a 16-man field, impressively defeating both of the top seeds en route to the championship. Three Cardinals placed second in their respective weight classes, Nick Scotto ’13 at 141 pounds, Ajayi at 184, and Erickson at 197. Ben Schwartz ’15 at 125, Nagata at 133, Tom Oddo ’12 at 157, and Roosa at 174 nabbed third place. Wes has participated in the RIT Invite every year since 2000, and this year’s second place finish matches last year’s runner-up performance as the team’s best showings. John Carroll University took home the title with 159.5 points, edging Wes’ 137.5 point total.
Wes has hit the ground running, and will look to continue its early season success in its first dual match of the year, a home contest versus Rhode Island College at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10. The Cardinals have not matched up against the Anchormen since the 1995-96 campaign, which resulted in a 30-18 Wes victory. The upcoming match will mark the final first semester action for the team.