Del Gallo Enters Preseason Ranked Fifth Nationally at 149
GORHAM, Maine – Juniors Daniel Del Gallo (Gardiner, Maine) and CJ Luth (Milford, Conn./Foran) have been named captains of the 2015-2016 University of Southern Maine Huskies wrestling team. Under the direction of first-year head coach and former USM wrestling All-American Mike Morin, Southern Maine enters the 2015-2016 season ranked ninth in the in the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Division III Poll released on October 27. The Huskies are set to kick off their season on Saturday (1:00 p.m.) in a dual match at home against Bridgewater State.
"Both Del Gallo and Luth were an easy choice for captains for the coaching staff," said Morin. "Both are extremely hard-workers on the mat, and excel in the classroom. They are some of the best student-athletes USM wrestling has ever seen. They both enter their junior seasons with sights to place high in the regional tournament and earn a spot on the podium at the NCAAs. Both Dan and CJ have demonstrated the commitment and dedication to be among the best of the country, and have themselves positioned to achieve their goals."
Coming off of a strong sophomore campaign, Luth, wrestling at 157, is a two-time National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Scholar All-American. During the 2014-2015 season, Luth posted a 27-9 overall record, winning six matches by fall and seven matches by technical fall en route to All-Region honors. Luth was also named honorable mention All-NEWA team.
Finishing fifth at the NCAA Regional tournament, Luth posted a 3-2 record with a win by fall and a pair of wins by major decision to earn his All-Region standing. With a career record of 54-19 over two seasons, Luth enters his junior season with a NEWA preseason ranking of fourth at 157 pounds.
USM's first NCAA Elite 89 Award winner, Del Gallo had a remarkable sophomore season culminating in a berth to the 2015 NCAA Division III National Championship. A philosophy major with a 4.0 grade point average, Del Gallo was presented with his Elite 89 Award during the national championship. The award, founded by the NCAA, is presented to the student-athlete who has reached the pinnacle of competition in his or her sport at the national championship, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. A standout in the classroom and on the mat, Del Gallo is a two-time NWCA Scholar All-American and a William B. Wise Scholar Athlete recipient.
During his sophomore season, Del Gallo excelled wrestling at 149 pounds earning All-Region honors finishing second in his division, highlighted by an upset win over top-seed Joey Gaccione of Johnson & Wales University in the championship semifinals. Del Gallo's entry into the NCAA National Championship tournament made his just the seventh Husky wrestler to do so, joining former USM standouts Adam Farrington (1999, 2001), Steve Valastro (2007), Mike Morin (2008, 2009, 2010), Matt Ulrich (2010), Billy Cole (2011) and Jon Deupree (2014, 2015).
Along with his All-Region and national academic recognition, Del Gallo was named to the All-NEWA first team. Del Gallo finished the 2014-2015 season with an outstanding 36-5 overall record and is 56-13 in his career. The Huskies' captain enters his junior captain ranked atop the standing in the NEWA preseason poll and is ranked fifth nationally in his weight class by Intermatwrestle.com.