GORHAM, Maine – Off to another strong start and led by top-ranked junior Peter Del Gallo (Gardiner, Maine) at 125-pounds, the University of Southern Maine Huskies' wrestling team will host its annual Ted Reese Invitational on Saturday (10:00 a.m.) at the Costello Sports Complex Field House. This annual tournament will feature wrestlers from some of the top programs in New England and in the country.
The second to last time to catch the Huskies' wrestling program in action at home this season, USM will host this 16 teams in highly-competitive and exciting tournament. Among the 16 teams scheduled to compete in the tournament, are fourth-ranked Johnson & Wales University, 14th-ranked Roger Williams University and 21st-ranked Castleton University. JWU, RUW and Castleton are ranked first, third and fourth in New England, while the Huskies and the United States Coast Guard Academy are ranked sixth and eighth.
Competing in a pair of invitational tournaments and a dual meet on the road so far this season, Southern Maine is coming off of an outstanding third place finish at Springfield College's Doug Parker Invitational, which saw five Husky grapplers place in their respective brackets.
With seven players ranked in the latest New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) Division III poll, Southern Maine is ranked sixth in the region in the latest coaches' poll (November 14). Senior Brendan Weir (Easthampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional) and junior Josh Smith (York, Maine) are ranked sixth at 157 and 165 pounds respectively, while sophomores Bradley Beaulieu (Waterboro, Maine/Marshwood) and Austin Shorey (Lebanon, Maine/Noble) are ranked fifth at 133 and 141 pounds. Senior Mike Risti (Limerick, Maine/Massabesic) is ranked fourth at 285, and sophomore Brandon Cousino (North Ferrisburgh, Vermont/Vergennes Union) is ranked third at 197. Del Gallo, ranked first and second in the latest d3wrestle.com and intermatwrestle.com national polls, is the top ranked wrestler in the region at 125 pounds.
Del Gallo, Shorey, Smith, Risti and junior Jared Garcia (Marshfield, Mass.) each placed last weekend for the Huskies at the Doug Parker Invitational. Del Gallo, who was named the NEWA Wrestler of the Week on November 14, rumbled his way into the finals before conceding a medical forfeit. Prior to the championship match, Del Gallo did not surrender a point against his three opponents, winning by major decision 8-0 over Williams' David Yeh, technical fall 15-0 over Springfield College's Robert Hartling, and decision 6-0 over Springfield's Christopher Trelli. Trelli is presently ranked seventh in New England. With seven wins on the season, Del Gallo has two wins by fall, and one by technical fall.
Shorey is 7-3 early in the season, and advanced to the finals of the Doug Parker Invitational, winning his first three matches to advance to the finals, including a 1:42 win by fall over Rhode Island College's Franky Roman, and a 13-3 major decision win over Colby Ems of East Stroudsburg in the semifinals. Shorey has three wins by fall this season.
Continuing a strong start to his junior season, Smith, 7-3 on the season, claimed wins in his first three matches at the Doug Parker Invitational before bouncing back from a narrow 3-2 decision to the top-ranked wrestling in the region to place third.
Winning three of his four matches by fall at the Doug Parker Invitational, Risti claimed a third place finish at the event and improved his overall record to 6-2 on the season. Risti has place in each of the Huskies' two invitational tournaments this season.
Garcia had a strong showing at the Doug Parker Invitational placing fourth, including a 6-2 win over regionally-ranked Nick Montelone of Springfield College. Garcia had a sixth place finish at the 2017 Ted Reese Invitational.
Action starts at 10 a.m. and will continue through the finals. Admission for the all day event is $5 for adults, and $3 for seniors and children. USM Students are admitted free with a valid Student ID. Live results for the full day's events, and video of the championship can be found southernmainehuskies.com