Springfield, ranked No. 1 in the NEWA poll for most of the season, leads the pack of 14 teams with 104 points. The next four teams are tightly bunched with 2011 NEWA Dual Team Champion Wesleyan next with 73.5 points, two-time defending NEWA Champion Williams with 72 points, Johnson & Wales with 71 points, and Plymouth State with 65.5 points.
Springfield has not won this tournament since 2006.
The Pride finds itself in good shape as it has nine of its 10 wrestlers still alive entering the final two sessions on Sunday. Those nine wrestlers are guaranteed a placing in the top six of each of their respective weight classes. Four of those nine remain unbeaten entering the first session on Sunday morning.
Those four unbeatens from Springfield College include sophomore Joe Grippi (Bedford Hills, N.Y.) at 133 pounds, junior Ryan McGilvray (Manalapan, N.J.) at 149 pounds, senior John Archambeau (Ludlow, Mass.) at 165 pounds, and sophomore Derrick Longo (Ardsley, N.Y.) at 174 pounds.
Longo began the season at 157 pounds, moved up to 165 when Archambeau missed part of the season, but is wrestling at 174 for the first time all year in this tournament. Archambeau, healthy again, is currently ranked No. 1 in the NEWA listings at 165.
Others for SC in the wrestlebacks, all within the Top 6, include freshman Dru Thomas (Howell, N.J.) at 125, senior Eddie Giron (Bethpage, N.Y.) at 133, senior Steve Flathers (Stratford, Conn.) at 157, sophomore Jeremy Burns (Hoosick Falls, N.Y.) at 197, and senior Ron Fusco (Billerica, Mass.) at heavyweight. Giron is ranked No. 1 in the current NEWA individual poll.
Sunday's first session (Session III) begins at 9:30 am. Sunday's finals (Session IV) begin at 6 pm. In order to become individual champion, those still unbeaten must win two more matches. Those in the wrestlebacks must win four matches, including the lone unbeaten from Sunday's session III twice.
The champion from each weight class will move on to the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships which will be held Friday-Saturday, March 11-12 at the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse.
. There will also be individual wildcards selected by the NEWA coaches late Sunday, allowing a few more from the conference to wrestle in the NCAA's.
Team Standings After 1st Sesssion
1. Springfield College 104
2. Williams 72
3. Wesleyan 73.5
4. Johnson & Wales 71
5. Plymouth State 65.5
6. Roger Williams 49.5
7. Southern Maine 45
8. Rhode Island College 43
9. Bridgewater State 42
10. WPI 31.5
11. Coast Guard Academy 29.5
12. Trinity 10.5
13. Norwich 5.5
14. Western New England 8