GORHAM, Maine – Ranked 25th in the most recent d3wrestle.com national poll, the University of Southern Maine Huskies' wrestling team is preparing for the upcoming NCAA Division III Northeast Regional Championship hosted by Worcester Polytechnic Institute this Saturday and Sunday, February 24-25.
Seventeen teams from the Northeast and New York region, including the Huskies, will compete for the regional championship while each student-athlete wrestler will vie for one of the total of 180 spots in the NCAA Division III National Championship tournament on March 9-10 at the Cleveland Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio. Of the 17 teams competing in the Northeast regional, three of them are ranked in the top 25 nationally by d3wrestle.com, including fourth-ranked Johnson & Wales University (Providence, R.I.). Individually, student-athletes can qualifiy for the national championship by placing in the top three of their respective weight division.
With a 15-9 record in dual meets this season, the Huskies are ranked seventh in the most recent New England Division III Poll. Five Husky grapplers are ranked in the top six of their respective weight classes in the most recent (February 7) NEWA Individual Rankings release. Junior Mike Risti (Limerick, Maine/Massabesic) and freshman Brandon Cousino (North Ferrisburgh, Vt./Vergennes Union) are ranked sixth at 285 and 197 respectively. Cousino was recently named the NEWA Rookie of the Week after an outstanding 3-0 performance in dual meets against Oneonta State, RIT and Penn Tech, winning all three matches by pin. Sophomore Justin Stacy (Rochester, N.H./Marshwood) is ranked fifth at 174 pounds, and is riding a four-match win streak, winning his last match by technical fall 22-3.
Freshman Austin Shorey (Lebanon, Maine/Noble) is ranked third at 141 pounds. Carrying an outstanding 26-6 record in his rookie season, Shorey was named the NEWA Rookie Wrestler of the Week on February 8. Shorey has seven wins by fall, and four wins by technical fall.
Undefeated thus far in 2017-2018, Del Gallo sits atop the NEWA Regional rankings and is presently second in both the d3wrestle.com and intermatwrestle.com polls at 125 pounds. Holding a remarkable 35-0 record in his sophomore season, Del Gallo is an outstanding 70-3 in his career at Southern Maine.
WPI will host the two-day event at its Sports & Recreation Center. Wrestling starts at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. Wrestlers advancing to the championship semifinals and consolation quarterfinals will compete on Sunday beginning at 10:00 a.m. Brackets can be found at trackwrestling.com