PHILADELPHIA, PA – Juniors Andy Roy (Wall, NJ) and Rudy Medini (Colonia, NJ) captured second-place in the 174-pound and 184-pound weight brackets respectively to lead Rutgers to a fourth-place finish in the centennial anniversary of the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships on Sunday. The Scarlet Knights garnered 90.6 points in the 13-school tournament held at the Palestra in Philadelphia, PA, to place fourth. RU finished 55 points back of eighth-ranked Lehigh, which took the team title. Tournament officials honored Rutgers head coach John Sacchi the EIWA Coach of the Year, while awarding the Scarlet Knights the Team Sportsmanship trophy.
“This was one of our best tournament performances ever,” said Sacchi. “It was a total team effort. These awards are a direct result of the hard work and dedication these guys have put in. I am proud of each and every member of our team.”
By placing in the top three, Roy and Medini both qualified for the NCAA Division I Championships in St. Louis, MO, Thursday through Saturday, March 18-20. Joining them at Nationals is freshman Ramel Meekins (Westwood, NJ), who placed fourth at 285 pounds to earn a wildcard draw.
The two finalists for Rutgers is the most for a Scarlet Knight team since 1994. The fourth-place finish is the highest for Rutgers in the 14-year tenure under Sacchi.
Roy, ranked seventh nationally, advanced to his second-consecutive finals with a 6-0 victory over seventh-seeded John Carr of East Stroudsburg setting up a rematch of last season’s final at 174 between Roy and top-seeded Bradley Dillon of Lehigh, the second-ranked wrestler in the country. Roy, the second seed, dropped a 7-4 decision to Dillon in the title bout. The loss to Dillon ends a run of 17 straight victories for Roy, who has tallied a team-high 28 wins this season.
Medini followed his upset of second-seeded and 19th-ranked Nick Ciarcia on Saturday with a 7-4 decision of 20th-ranked Luke Calvert to advance to the final round at 184 pounds. The Scarlet Knight grappler was finally defeated by top-seeded Travis Frick of Cornell. Frick, the 11th-ranked wrestler in the country, decisioned Medini, 5-3.
Meekins scored a pair of falls on Sunday to advance in consolation action, pinning Franklin & Marshall’s Shawn Coughlin in 1:06 and Brown’s Lee Beane in 6:42. He notched his third victory of the day, defeating Stanley Foster of East Stroudsburg in the consolation semifinals, 2-1. In the third-place match, Meekins dropped a 5-1 decision over Harvard’s Rode Ogunwole, to finish fourth.
Rutgers had a pair of fifth-place finishers in senior 141-pounder Donnie Defilippis (New Providence, NJ) and junior 165-pounder Chris Ressa (Andover, NJ). Senior 149-pounder Greg Austin (Seaville, NJ), senior 157-pounder Amir Khan (Voorhees, NJ) and freshman 125-pounder Dan Hilt (Manalapan, NJ) captured sixth-place for the Scarlet Knights in the two-day tournament.
For complete results of the EIWA Championships, log onto www.pennathletics.com/2004eiwas.