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Taran Carr, Dominic Pirraglia, Carter Armendarez and Isaiah Bellamy help lead Wrestling to Fifth Place Finish at the Doug Parker-Springfield College Tournament

Photo by Amber Dimitroff '16
Photo by Amber Dimitroff '16

In back to back weekends, senior captain Taran Carr has led the team with his 3rd place finish in a 20 competitor bracket at the Doug Parker Invitational hosted by Springfield College.  Taran went 4-1 on the day capping the 3rd place finish off with a great lift and turk pin of his Williams College opponent Martin Strenk in 3:21.  

Sophomore, Dominic Pirraglia had a great day staring off with a pin of the #2 seed from Plymouth State.  Dominic was down by a couple points, but kept wrestling, kept up his offensive pressure, and came away with a great takedown to back for a pin in 6:42 of the 7-minute match.  Great job by Dominic to keep moving, keep attacking, and keep working till the final buzzer. Dom went 5-1 for a 3rd place finish in his 19-man bracket.  Dominic also had team high 3 pins of his 5 wins tying with his teammate Isaiah Bellamy.  One final note on Dominic, he majored his Coast Guard opponent Marc Wagner 14-4 for his 3rd place win who he lost to 4-3 in the previous competition.

Ironman.  This is the word that comes to mind when I see what sophomore Carter Armendarez has done here with the start to the season.  Carter has wrestled a total of 15 matches in competition and placed 4th in the biggest weight in the tournament with 29 competitors.  On his way to a 4th place finish, Carter defeated the #5 ranked wrestler in the country, Daniel Del Gallo, from the University of Southern Maine.  Del Gallo is a junior, who last season placed 3rd in the Northeast Region for a birth to the 2015 NCAA Championships.  Not only did Carter win, he dominated Del Gallo winning convincingly 11-5.  In Carter's weight class was also the #10 ranked wrestler in the nation from Williams College who did not even place in this tough weight.  Carter lost to the eventual champion Zach Joseph of Springfield College who received the "Most Valuable Wrestler Award" for the tournament with his dominating performance of two technical falls and three pins on the day.  Carter, "C-Nasty" is " En fuego" thus far.  What a transformation for Carter here in his young sophomore year.  Let's GOOOOIsaiah Bellamy/p>

Sophomore, nationally ranked Isaiah Bellamy had another strong performance in a tough weight class.  197 has been great thus far and the competitions and competitors Isaiah has faced will only prepare him for the February and March Madness run.   It is great to have tough matches, tough wins, and some tough losses early so you know where you stand and also what you need to work on to be great when it truly counts for the post season.  Coaches always say you learn more from losses than you do wins.  Obviously, we do not want to do a tremendous amount of learning in this way, but a few lessons go a long way so focus and preparation can be better day in and day out in practice and training.  This is exactly what Isaiah will do to shine at the most critical competitions.  Isaiah went 5-2 for 4th place in the 20-man competition.  Seeding is imperfect in these early season tournaments.  Isaiah faced a very worthy opponent from Centenary College in his first match losing 6-5.  Isaiah then rattled off 5 straight wins including 3 pins, a technical fall, and a great 5-3 win over Brooks of Williams College.  In his final match for 3rd, Isaiah wrestled senior Josh Rhoden of AIC, a Division II school.  Isaiah came out aggressive, hit his best shot and his opponent did something funky and wound up on top for a tight pin.  I need to watch the film on this to see exactly what happened, but it wasn't a routine counter.  Isaiah continues to expand his game and again I feel very good where he is in terms of his technical growth.  It will only get better each day and week moving forward for Isaiah.

As a team, Wesleyan finished in a very strong 5th place of the 18-team field, just 2 points out of 4th place.  #12 team in the country, Stevens Institute of Technology took the team championship.  Here is the team score breakdown.


Doug Parker Invitational Team Standings:

  1.  Stevens Institute of Technology 162
  2.  Williams College 139
  3.  Springfield College 127
  4.  East Strousburg University 92.5
  5.  Wesleyan University 90
  6.  Rhode Island College 81
  7.  Centenary College 73
  8.  Coast Guard 72
  9.  Johns Hopkins 62.5
  10.  Southern Maine 57
  11.  Plymouth State 42
  12.  AIC 35.5
  13.  Trinity 35
  14.  STCC 33
  15.  Western New England 32
  16.  Bridgewater State 31
  17.  Daniel Webster 27
  18.  MIT 14

Wesleyan Individual ReCarter ArmendarezPlacers:

149 Carter Armendarez- 4th place, (5-2)

174 Taran CDominic Pirragliaamysup> place, (4-1)

184 Dominic Pirraglia-3rd place, (5-1)

197 Isaiah Bellamy-4th place, (5-2)


Wesleyan Wrestlers:

125 Zack Murillo (2-2)

133 Frank Crippen (2-2), top 5/6

133 Shane Ross (3-2)

141 James Matias (2-0), inj. Def-illegal slam

141 Jonathan Oh (0-2)

149 Robert Rosenberg (1-2)

149 Nicholas Taylor (0-2)

157 Chris Siracusa (2-2)

165 Keonmin Hwang (3-1), Inj. Def


Zack Murillo at 125 got his first two wins as a Cardinal.  Zack is a great wrestler and is making adjustments as every freshman does entering the college ranks. Zack had a nice pin of his Williams opponent in the tournament.  Zack is right there in every match and will be competing at a higher and higher level with each coming competition.Frank Crippen2">133 is another great weight for us.  Junior Frank Crippen has been right there amongst the top competitors each tournament.  Frank is literally a couple technical skills from being a champ in each of these first two tournaments.  We will work on more attacks, counter offense, Shane Rossd top turn for the championship run.  Freshman Shane Ross, now called "Metcalf" short for Iowa's Brent Metcalf, for his work ethic, skill, intensity, tenacity, and passion.  Shane is a grinder, a worker.  I should actually call him "Tobochnik" as Howard was one of the top workers you could ever come across. Nothing but great things ahead for Shane.  Frank and Shane are James Matiast job competing and working.

James Matias, another standout freshman, was at the right weight for this one at 141.  He was looking great in his first two matches on the day.  James opened up with a nice 14-7 win for his first Cardinal victory of his career and then faced the #1 seed from RIC.  James was in a great back & forth battle with the score 9-7 in the RIC wrestler's favor, but James was on his way to an upset , but unfortunately the RIC wrestler lifted James and was called for an illegal slam.  Due to James' injury, he is just fine, but enough of an injury where we did not wrestle him the rest of the day.  This was unfortunate, as I really wanted to see James compete and of course, James also wanted to wrestle.  He looked good and probably would have at the very least placed in this tournament.Chris Siracusaos/hwang_keonmin_5y3r">Keonmin Hwang2">157 Chris Siracusa and 165 Keonmin Hwangboth team captains, wrestled strong, competed hard vs. quality competition.  Chris went 2-2 and Keonmin 3-1. Keonmin did not compete the rest of the day to a sprained ankle.  Both Chris and Keonmin are wrestling well and both will be instrumental in our team success this year.

I am proud, excited, and love seeing our guys compete.  This team cares about the process to be better, they come to practice with great energy and attitude everyday, and everyone is on the same page, mission, and drive to be successful.  We have a team that can compete with everyone and anyone and we are all working to be better each day.  "GBE", "Get Better Everyday" is our theme.

We have one more team workout before the Thanksgiving Holiday.  I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy your time with family and friends.  It is a day to be thankful for what we all have in our lives.  I am thankful to have a great group of young men on a journey and pursuit of excellence in all that they do.

Our next competition will be after the holiday break as we compete at the RIT Invitational on Saturday, December 5th in Rochester, NY.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Hard work, Smart work, Teamwork,

Coach Black