By virtue of winning their weight classes this weekend, Grippi of Bedford Hills, N.Y., McGilvray of Manalapan, N.J., and Longo of Ardsley, N.Y. all earned bids to compete in the NCAA Championships on March 9-10 in La Crosse, Wisc. This is the first time since 2007 that Springfield College will send three wrestlers to the NCAA Championships.
Host Wesleyan University won the competition with 126 points, edging Springfield College by just .5 points for the title. Wesleyan's 1/2 point win is tied for the closet finish in NEWA Championship history, which also occurred in 1990. Johnson & Wales (87.5), Roger Williams (80), and Rhode Island College (71) rounded out the top five.
Grippi earned his second New England title in three years and will go to the NCAA Championships for the third-straight season as he defeated Joey Schwartz from Wesleyan, 11-2, at 133. McGilvray will make his first trip to the national tournament as he edged Plymouth State's Femi Wheeler, 3-2, at 157. Longo was the Pride's third champion as he cruised past Luke Taylor from Coast Guard, 10-1.
Currently, Grippi is ranked eighth nationally and Longo is ranked ninth in their respective weight classes. As a team, the Pride is ranked 11th in the country.
Nick Camera was the runner-up at 184 and Jeremy Burns finished third at 197. Unseeded Joe Ortiz also had a breakout performance as he placed third at 141, while Erik Hamick was fifth at 149, and Mike Fish also took fifth at 174. Tommy Casper placed sixth at 125.
Each wrestler who finished in the top six earned All-New England honors. Springfield's nine New England honorees were the most in the competition from one school.