PISCATAWAY, NJ –The Rutgers University wrestling team has been picked to finish in fourth place along with the Naval Academy in the preseason rankings, voted on by the team’s coaches. Seniors Andy Roy (Wall, NJ), Chris Ressa (Andover, NJ) and John Foscolo (South Plainfield, NJ) and sophomores Ramel Meekins (Westwood, NJ) and Dan Hilt (Manalapan, NJ) have each been ranked near the top of their respective weight classes.
As a team, the Scarlet Knights and Naval Academy are picked to finish behind Lehigh, Cornell and Penn – who are each ranked in the top-15 nationally.
Roy, a three-time NCAA qualifier and two-time EIWA Championship runner-up at 174 pounds, is ranked at the top of his weight class. He owns a 77-22 career record after posting a 30-4 record in 2003-04 with all of his losses coming to wrestlers ranked among the top-10 nationally. He recorded a team-high eight major decisions last season, while winning 17-straight matches during one stretch of the 2003-04 campaign. He enters this season ranked seventh nationally by Amateur Wrestling News. Roy is looking to become Rutgers’ first EIWA champion since Tom Tanis took home the 184-pound title in 2000.
Meekins, who is currently in his second season as a defensive tackle for the Rutgers football team this fall, is ranked fourth in the 285-pound class. He placed fourth at the EIWA Championships, earning a wildcard berth to the NCAA Championships last season. Meekins went 2-2 at Nationals and completed his first season with the Scarlet Knights with a 15-10 record. He is ranked as high as 13th in the country in the preseason polls.
Hilt is ranked fifth in the EIWA in the 125-pound class. He completed his first season at Rutgers with a 13-14 overall record, while posting a 6-5 record in dual competition. He recorded three major decisions and one technical fall as a regular starter for the Scarlet Knights last season. Hilt finished sixth at the EIWA Championships and Wilkes Open last year.
Despite moving up two weight classes, Ressa enters the season ranked fourth at 184 pounds. He posted 16 wins as regular starter at 165 pounds last season. Ressa finished the dual season with seven wins, while recording two pins and two major decisions. He finished fifth at the EIWA Championships last season.
Foscolo is ranked sixth in the EIWA at 197 pounds. He finished 11-9 overall with a 7-5 record in his first full season as a regular starter at 197 pounds last season.
Rutgers ended the 2003-04 season 10-4 overall and 5-1 in the EIWA. The Scarlet Knights placed fourth at the EIWA Championships and 46th at the NCAA Championships.