PISCATAWAY, NJ – In a vote by the league’s coaches, the Rutgers University wrestling team is ranked fifth in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) preseason poll, as announced on Tuesday.
Rutgers is fifth behind Lehigh, Pennsylvania, Cornell and Harvard in the league’s first poll of the 2003-04 season. ArmyArmy, Columbia and Navy are sixth, seventh and eighth respectfully in the 13-member conference.
Several individual Scarlet Knights were ranked in their respective weight classes. Junior Andy Roy (Wall, NJ) is ranked second in the 174-pound weight class. Roy is one of three returning NCAA qualifiers with the Scarlet Knights last season, joining seniors Greg Austin (Seaville, NJ) and Amir Khan (Voorhees, NJ).
Roy ended last season with a 21-5 overall record. He finished second at the EIWA Championships a year ago, guiding Rutgers to a sixth-place finish, recording a 3-1 record against nationally ranked opponents.
Austin, a 157-pounder, compiled a 23-8 record in 2002-03, earning fourth place at the EIWA Championships. He begins this season ranked third in his weight class by the league.
The pair shared Most Valuable Wrestler honors for the Scarlet Knights last season, guiding the team to a 10-4 record in 2002-03.
Khan is ranked third at 157 pounds. In 2002-03, he posted a 19-12 record and finished third at the EIWA Championships, while earning a second-round victory at the NCAA Championships.
Senior 141-pounder Donnie Defilippis (New Providence, NJ) is ranked third in the league’s preseason poll. A former New Jersey State High School champion, Defilippis transferred from George Mason for his final season of eligibility. He has been ranked as high as eighth nationally by Amateur Wrestling News.
Other Scarlet Knights ranked among the top five in their weight classes were sophomore 165-pounder Chris Ressa (Andover, NJ), ranked fourth, junior 184-pounder Rudy Medini (Colonia, NJ), ranked fourth, and junior 197-pounder John Foscolo (South Plainfield, NJ), ranked fifth.
Ressa registered a team-high 27 wins last season, including a 12-3 dual mark. Medini posted a sixth-place finish at the EIWA Championships, earning 23 wins last season. Foscolo replaces departing senior NCAA qualifier Ryan McGrath at 197 pounds this season after 12 wins a year ago.
Rutgers will open its season on Saturday, Nov.15, at the Oklahoma Gold/Brockport Tournament in Brockport, NY.