Wrestling pins down WPI and MIT, falls to Trinity

Returning to New England competition after a trip to Iowa last weekend, wrestling defeated Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) but fell to host Trinity College in a quad-rangular meet Saturday.

“I was really happy to get that last win,” Head Coach Michael Whalen said of his team’s 27-20 victory over WPI. “It was the last match of the day and we had to juggle things around a bit, but the guys showed a lot of heart.”

Leading by only one point going into the last match of the WPI dual-meet, the Ephs looked to New England’s top ranked 125-pounder, Tom Prairie ’05, to seal the victory. Despite falling behind 6-2 early in the first period, Prairie rose to the occasion and pinned his opponent by the period’s end to win the match.

“I was wrestling pretty badly at first,” Prairie said. “But then I hit him with a chuck-duck and stuck him.”

Williams got off to a rocky start in the match with Charles Danhof ’03 (133lb), co-captain and inventor of the “chuck-duck,” falling to his opponent after getting caught in a disorienting scramble situation. He won his other two matches in the meet.

“I think if they had pinned our first two guys we’d have been in trouble,” Whalen said, but Tim Madden ’06 (141lb) and Scott Moskowitz ’05 (149lb) answered back with an obstinate resolve that seemed to defy their lack of collegiate experience, winning minor decisions and tying the match.

“I was feeling pretty confident coming out of last weekend,” Moskowitz said. “I’m glad I could come up with a win in a tight match.”

Taking the mat after a loss at 157lb that returned WPI to the lead, James Sheehan ’06 (165lb) preserved the Ephs’ momentum with another minor decision victory.

“Those three matches really enabled us to win,” Whalen said of Sheehan, Moskowitz and Madden’s performances. “[They] put us right back in the match.”

Seeing mismatches to exploit in WPI’s line-up, Whalen bumped Gus Whyte ’04 (174lb) and Mike Cirrito ’05 (184lb) up to 184lb and 197lb, respectively. The gamble paid off as both Williams wrestlers pinned their opponents.

“Gus had a great day,” Whalen said. Whyte won all three of his matches at the meet, including a 3-2 victory over Trinity’s Lucas McKittrick.

Tony Bletsis ’04 (HVY), filling in for regular starter Justin Sullivan, lost 3-1 in overtime.

In the first match of the quad-meet, the Ephs defeated MIT 48-9.

“There were a lot of forfeits,” Whalen said. “But Ari Crystal ’05 got a pin at 125lb and wrestled really well.” Crystal, who sees only sparse mat time wrestling behind the nationally-ranked Prairie, was excited with his performance.

“I just like to help the team whenever I can and wrestle well when I get the chance,” Crystal said.

Williams fell 32-13 to Trinity with wins by Prairie, Danhof and Whyte.