BRISTOL, R.I. – Sophomore Peter Del Gallo (Gardiner, Maine) won his weight class as six University of Southern Maine wrestlers placed in their division to highlight a strong performance by the Huskies at the 2017 Roger Williams Invitational Saturday afternoon.
With six place-winners, Southern Maine finished fifth among a 13 competitors at the highly competitive event, which featured some of the best teams in the country including #4 Messiah, #6 Johnson & Wales, and #20 Wesleyan. The Huskies totaled 114.5 points. Johnson and Wales University won the team scoring with 171 points, followed by Messiah in second with 169.5.
Along with Del Gallo, five more Huskies placed in their division. Junior Mike Risti (Limerick, Maine/Massabesic) placed second in 285, freshman Austin Shorey (Lebanon, Maine/Noble) placed third at 141, junior Brendan Weir (Easthampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional) finished fourth at 149, sophomore Josh Smith (York, Maine) took fifth at 165, while freshman Brandon Cousino (North Ferrisburgh, Vermont/Vergennes Union) took sixth at 197.
After earning a thirty-four second win by fall in his opening bout, Risti went on to win a pair of matches by decision to earn a spot in the finals, including a 4-1 win over Frankie Girolamo of Norwich, the number two ranked wrestler in the region. Risti fell in the championship match by fall in 3:15 to Isaiah Bellamy of Wesleyan, the number one ranked wrestler in the region.
Shorey won the third place match convincingly with a 16-2 major decision over Wesleyan's Shane Ross. Shorey won his first two matches of the day overpowering his opponents with a pair of technical falls, before earning an 8-4 decision over Matt Elias of RWU. Falling narrowly 7-5 in the championship quarterfinal, Shorey bounced back for a third place finish.
Picking up where he left off last season at the New England Wrestling Association Co-Rookie of the Year Del Gallo posted five wins on the day, opening the tournament with a dominant 16-0 (3:00) technical fall over Andrew Hennessy of Wesleyan. Del Gallo, ranked second in the region, then earned a win by fall in 6:05 against Cliff Cornell of Muhlenberg before earning back-to-back wins by decision over Stephen Nadera of JWU (DEC 6-1) and third-ranked Nick Barbaria of Roger Williams University (DEC 6-2) to earn a spot in the finals. Heading into the finals, Del Gallo was set to compete against the top-ranked wrestler in the region Bobby Jordan of JWU, a returning All-American from 2017. Del Gallo was up to the task outwrestling Jordan for a 10-7 victory.
Southern Maine returns to competition on Saturday, November 18 at the Doug Parker Invitational hosted by Springfield College