HARTFORD, CT – A portion of the Williams College wrestling team traveled to Trinity College today to partake in the New England Wrestling Association Futures Tournament. After the Ephs' final dual match last weekend, the team was eager to get into the postseason to see how they stack up.
After strong performances across the board, Williams College was able to earn 55.5 points and a sixth-place finish amidst a field of fourteen.
Not all members of the team competed in today's wrestling. Eight representatives made the trek to Connecticut to compete. The remainder of the team will compete next week at the NCAA Regionals.
At 133 pounds, junior Dietrich Hartman stepped up for Williams wrestling. His first round of competition pitted him against Jacob Garcia of Southern Maine University. A dominant performance earned Hartman an 18-2 Tech Fall victory and advanced him to the quarterfinals. Unfortunately, a well fought loss to a Springfield College opponent prevented him from advancing further in the championship bracket. Hartman returned strong in the consolation bracket with a 12-4 Major Decision victory over Kasim Khan of the Wesleyan University Cardinals. His success in this match would be his final of the day as he ended the tournament with an even 2-2 record.
Sophomore Jack Murphy wrestled at 149 pounds. In the first round of the championship bracket, Murphy received a bye. He was beaten in the second round, but came back strong in the consolation bracket. In his first consolation match, Murphy recorded a 3:39 pin over Nathaniel Grimard of Southern Maine University. He continued his streak in the following match with an 8-3 decision victory over a Castleton University opponent. Murphy capped his day off with another pin in the fourth round of consolation. His second win in a row against a Castleton University representative was achieved in 4:57. He was defeated in the fifth round but not before earning seven points for the Ephs.
At 157 pounds, sophomore Brendan Kiernan represented the Ephs. He was unable to find success in his first match of the day, but delivered a decisive 14-8 victory in his second match. Unfortunately, he was unable to advance further. He did manage to earn a team point for his efforts.
At 165 pounds, Williams has a lot of team depth. As such, today's wrestling featured both first year Stephen Willis and junior Nick Anselmi. Anselmi led the day for the Ephs with an all-star performance. In his first match of the day, he won with an impressive 1:42 pin. He advanced through to the quarter finals when an opponent forfeited his second match of the day. In the quarter finals, Anselmi repeated his earlier success with a 2:27 pin over Zach Newton of Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His second and final pin advanced him to the semifinals of the tournament against a Johnson and Wales University adversary. A final 8-6 decision victory earned Anselmi a spot in the championship match. Unfortunately, an evenly matched back and forth bout went to over time, ending in a 12-10 decision for his opponent. Willis found success of his own in his string of matches. To start the day off right, he began with a bye and then pinned Dario Papallo of Western New England University in 3:39. He was defeated in the quarter finals, but showed grit with a final pin of the day in the fourth round of consolation. Despite impressive success up to this point, Willis was unable to advance any further. The duo earned 24.0 and 17.0 team points respectively.
Junior Dylan Millson wrestled for the Ephs at 174 pounds. He received a bye in the first round but was unable to find success in any of his matches.
At 184 pounds, senior Bennet Caplin received a bye in the first round. His efforts earned him a spot in the quarterfinals, but he was unable to advance further. First year Ian Darling returned from injured reserve to compete as well. Following in the footsteps of his teammate Anselmi, Darling went on an impressive run. In his first match of the day he recorded a 2:53 pin over a Bridgewater State University opponent. He advanced to the next round where a 4-0 decision victory earned him his second win of the day. Continuing his streak, Darling faced off against Alexander Green of Castleton University. He earned a 12-7 decision victory to gain entry to the first place match. After a well fought match, Darling ended up capturing second place and 18.0 team points.
With a successful NEWA futures tournament behind them, the Ephs are firmly in their postseason. The team members not present today have the opportunity to compete at Regionals on February 23rd and 24th. If the Ephs find success there, they will have the opportunity to continue to compete at even higher levels.