Wrestling Takes Second Place at NEWA Dual Championship with Wins over RIC & Williams, One-Point Loss to Springfield - Drops 2nd Tight Bout to Springfield 6 Days Later
Howard Tobochnik '13 was named to the 14-athlete all-tournament team during the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Dual Championship, hosted by Johnson & Wales Sun., Jan. 27, as Wesleyan went 2-1 to place second among the 14 NEWA squads. The Cardinals defeated RIC for the second time this year, 35-7, then knocked off Williams in the semifinals, 24-12, before taking on Springfield in the finals. Wesleyan, seeded #1, and Springfield, seeded #3, each won five bouts with each posting a pin, but the Pride took a 19-18 decision by virtue of a major decision along with three decisions while Wesleyan had four decisions.
Tobochnik was one of three Cardinals to go undefeated on the day as he had a technical fall and two decisions at 149 pounds. He leads Wesleyan with an overall regular-season record of 25-3 this season. Kyle Roosa '13 had a pin, a major decision and a decision at 174 pounds, that coming against the top-seeded wrestler from Springfield, 7-3. Jefferson Ajayi '13, top ranked at 184, had a forfeit win, a major decision and a decision to his credit on the day. Nick Scotto '13 had the Cardinals' pin against Springfield at 141 pounds. Three of Wesleyan's setbacks to the Pride came by two points.
Wesleyan, now ranked 12th nationally in Division III, didn't have long to wait to try and avenge its close loss to Springfield as the teams met in their regular-season matchup Sat., Feb. 2, in Springfield. This time, Springfield, ranked 11th, took six of the 10 bouts to secure a 19-17 win. Scotto again had a pin, his 17th of the year. Tobochnik picked up a major decision, as did Roosa while Ajayi took a decision, accounting for the Cardinals' 17 points. Wesleyan carried a 17-10 lead into the last three bouts as the match started with the 133-pound weight class. But the Pride posted a decision in each of the last three bouts, including a tense 2-1 score at 125 as James Hamilton '16 came ever so close to making a winner of the Cardinals.
Wesleyan heads to Williams for a four-team affair Sat., Feb. 9, facing the Ephs along with Oneonta St. and Western New England.