MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan wrestling team will compete in the 2018 NCAA Division III Northeast Regional Wrestling Championships on Saturday, Feb. 24 and Sunday, Feb. 25 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in the Sports & Recreation Center.
The opening round of the regionals will begin Saturday at 11 a.m. and will wrap up around 7 p.m. Sunday's semifinals and consolation quarterfinals begin at 10 a.m. with championships and third/fourth place matches starting at approximately 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, and free for children under 12.
Seventeen teams will compete in the Northeast Regional Championships, which is an NCAA qualifying tournament. The top three placers in each weight class qualify for the NCAA Championships in Cleveland, Ohio. The region is made up of teams from the New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) and New York University.
- Senior Isaiah Bellamy and post-graduate Devon Carrillo have dominated on the mats all season and highlight the Cardinals' 10-person lineup entering this weekend.
- Bellamy won his first 26 matches of the year and boasts a 28-2 overall record at heavyweight. He currently ranks No. 2 in the country—in all divisions—with 19 pins on the season and is the No. 2 "Most Dominant" wrestler in Division III, averaging 4.80 team points. He is the No. 4 ranked heavyweight in Division III and enters the regionals as the top-seed.
- Carrillo qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of the past two seasons after placing second at regionals a year ago and third as a junior in 2015-16. Now in his third year competing at the collegiate level, the Middletown native will look for his first regional title at 197 as he enters the tournament with an incredible 31-2 record. He currently leads the country with 20 pins and is tied for 10th in Division III in the "Most Dominant" standings, averaging 4.61 team points. He is the No. 7 ranked 197-pound wrestler in the country and is the top-seed in the regionals.
- Senior Dominic Pirraglia is seeded fourth at 174 and owns a 19-9 overall record with seven pins.
- James Matias '19, Amir Daouk '20, Carter Armendarez '18 and Ed Pierce '18 are all seeded 5-7 in their respective weight classes.
- Matias is 18-8 overall this season but 14-4 at 141, which is the weight he'll wrestle this weekend as the No. 5 seed.
- Daouk and Armendarez both enter the regionals as the sixth-seed at 125 and 149, respectively. Daouk is 20-10 this season and Armendarez, who qualified for the NCAA Championships a year ago, is 26-9. Last season, Armendarez placed third at 149 to qualify for the postseason tournament for the first time in his career.
- Pierce wraps up the top-seeded wrestlers for Wesleyan with the No. 7 spot at 157. He is 18-14 on the year.
HEAD COACH DREW BLACK:
- "The training and preparation has been outstanding, I have a great feeling that the Cardinals will shine on Saturday and Sunday.
- "There has been a very similar vibe or aura surrounding the team these past two weeks, very similar to that of the 2012 and 2013 teams.
- "The team is focused on their best positions, opening up, and wrestling to win. Confident, relaxed, aggressive is what we want from each Cardinal, each and every match this weekend. It is all about doing what you do great!"
WESLEYAN STARTING LINEUP: