GORHAM, Maine – Off to another strong start and led by nationally-ranked and undefeated sophomore Peter Del Gallo (Gardiner, Maine), the University of Southern Maine Huskies' wrestling team will host its annual Ted Reese Invitational on Saturday (11:00 a.m.) at the Costello Sports Complex Field House.
The second to last time to catch the Huskies' wrestling program in action at home this season, USM will host 12 other schools in this highly-competitive and exciting tournament. Among the competing teams are a pair of nationally-ranked programs including 19th ranked Roger Williams University and fourth-ranked Johnson and Wales University.
Competing in a pair of invitational tournaments on the road so far this season, Southern Maine is coming off of an outstanding second place finish at Springfield College's Doug Parker Invitational, which saw six Husky grapplers place in their respective brackets.
With five players ranked in the latest New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Division III poll, Southern Maine is ranked seventh in the region in the latest coaches' poll (November 21). Juniors Mike Risti (Limerick, Maine/Massabesic) and Brendan Weir (Easthampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional) are ranked fifth at 285 and 149 pounds respectively, while sophomore Justin Stacy (Rochester, N.H./Marshwood) is ranked fourth at 174 pounds. Freshman Austin Shorey (Lebanon, Maine/Noble) is off to a hot start in his intercollegiate career ranked third at 141 pounds, while Del Gallo is ranked atop the 125-pound contenders in New England.
A two-time William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete studying athletic training, Weir moved up from wrestling 141-pounds his first two seasons to compete at 149 pounds. Through 13 matches this season, Weir is 10-3 with three wins by fall and four wins by major decision. At the Doug Parker Invitational, Weird placed fifth posting a 5-1 record that included a dominant 17-0 win by technical fall in his opener.
Finishing third at the Doug Parker Invitational, Risti is 8-2 early in 2017-2018 including a 5-1 record by decision. Both of Risti's losses are to top-ranked Ian Bellamy of Wesleyan University. An exercise science major, Risti is 65-22 in his career, and posted a 32-11 overall record (including NWCA and club opponents) as a sophomore after moving up to 285.
Coming off of a fifth place finish at the Doug Parker Invitational, Husky sophomore Stacy went 4-1 during the competition, dropping his only bout to a regionally ranked opponent. In the fifth place match, Stacy gutted out an 8-6 decision victory, helping USM to its second place finish. A second semester addition to the Huskies last season, Stacy is 10-6 in his career at USM.
A two-time State Champion at Noble High School, Shorey is 8-2 early in his career with a pair of third place finishes, including the Doug Parker Invitational. Among Shorey's eight wins are included a 5-0 record in major decisions and a pair of wins by technical fall. A criminology major, Shorey is ranked third at 141-pounds.
Undefeated at 11-0, Del Gallo is ranked third by d3wrestle.com and fifth by intermatewrestle.com at 125 pounds and is atop the NEWA rankings. Dominating his opponents through 11 bouts of the season, Del Gallo has five wins by fall. At the Doug Parker Invitational, Del Gallo posted a 5-0 record winning his first three matches by fall to advance to the semifinals. Once in the semis, Del Gallo took down a pair of regionally ranked opponents, both by major decision, to claim his second first place finish of the season. Last season's NEWA Co-Rookie of the Year, Del Gallo has a career record of 45-3. Earning Pilgrim League and NEWA All-Academic honors as a freshman, Del Gallo is an exercise science major.