Williamstown, Mass. - January 4, 2014 - Led by individual titles from Tom Casper (Bergenfield, N.J.),Eric Hamrick (Collingswood, N.J.), Tyler Keane (Glastonbury, Conn.), Dylan Foley (Southborough, Mass.), and Hunter Ayen (Gouverneur, N.Y.), the Springfield College wrestling wrestling team won the Williams College Invitational on Saturday.
The Pride easily handled the nine team field with a winning score of 135.5. Simpson College of Iowa was second with 95 points, while Wesleyan University was third with 84 points, host Williams was fourth with 62.5 points and Southern Maine was fifth with 48.5. STCC was sixth with 44 points while Plymouth State (36.5), AIC (29.5) and Trinity (29) rounded out the nine teams.
Top-seeded Casper opened the day with an 11-3 major decision before posting a 4-3 decision to advance to the championship bout at 125. Currently ranked eighth in the nation, Casper then sealed his individual title with a 5-2 decision against James Hamilton of Wesleyan.
Wrestling for the first time this year at 149, Hamrick was impressive with a pair of pins in 2:09 and 1:26, and a 5-0 decision to reach the championship match. By virtue of a medical forfeit, the junior picked up his first title of the year. Zach Joseph (Clifton Park, N.Y.) advanced to the semifinals before eventually placing third with a 3-1 decision in the third-place bout.
At 165, Foley cruised through his bracket with two decision wins, coming by scores of 8-2 and 7-2, to reach the title bout. In the championship, the junior pinned Evan Robinson from Trinity College in 3:57 to claim the title. For his efforts, Foley was tabbed the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Invitational.
The nation's 10th-ranked wrestler at 197, Ayen produced a pin in 6:26 and a 4-0 decision over Sean Fagan of Southern Maine to win his second individual title of the year.
A pair of Springfield wrestlers battled each other for the 133 crown with Keane besting teammate Victor Ekpenyong (Middletown, Conn.), by a 3-2 decision. Ekpenyong, who entered as the top-seed, produced two wins by major decision (13-2 and 11-3) to get the championship, while Keane notched a major decision (14-1) and decision (5-2) to get through the bracket.
Jacob Strohman (East Longmeadow, Mass.) posted two pins to start his day at 141, including a fall in 6:40 against the top-seed, Carson Brooks of Williams to advance to the title match. Despite dropping an 11-6 decision in the championship, the second-place finish was Strohman's best result in his young college career. Teammate Mark Pinto (Milford, Mass.) lost his first match of the day, but wrestled back well to place fourth, as he also was victorious over the top-seed in his weight class.
Second-seeded Vincent Silano (Emerson, N.J.) also advanced to the championship match at 174 for the Pride after registering a fall in 2:07 and a 7-2 decision. However, the senior was pinned in 2:51 en route to second place on the afternoon.
Michael Case (Cedar Run, N.J.) recorded an 11-0 major decision in his first match of the day at 184, and benefited from a medical forfeit to knock off the top-seed to reach the title match. In the championship, the senior was bested by a score of 16-8.
Springfield will now prepare for its second-consecutive trip to compete in the National Duals, which will take place next weekend in Des Moines, Iowa.