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Wrestling Pinned by Williams, Rhode Island

By Daniel Wang
Associate Sports Editor

The wrestling team lost two matches at Dupont Gymnasium Wednesday, both to two of the nation's top Division III teams. The first loss came at the hands of Williams College, 24-21, and the second was a 32-15 setback to Rhode Island College. The Engineers' record is now 6-7-1 for the season.

The matchup against the Ephs of Williams was quite close. The Engineers went out ahead 12-0 by winning the first two bouts, both by pins. In the 118-pound category, Mark Graham G pinned his opponent with 33 seconds into the second of a possible three periods. Graham, who remained undefeated for the season, dominated most of the match. Drew Rideout '95 matched the feat in the 126-pound weight class, ending the match after four minutes had elapsed. Rideout is the ranked third in his weight class in the New England Division III region.

However, Williams rebounded by winning in the next six weight classes to lead 24-12. A 4-2 decision by Andy Phelps '95 in the 190-pound division and a pin by Aaron Goldfaden '97 in the heavyweight division were not enough for MIT to come back. Williams matmen recorded only one pin among their wins, which were mostly three-point straight decisions, adding the lowest possible number of points to the team score.

Coach Tim Walsh said, "The match could have gone either way," and attributed two factors to the loss. The first was the absence of 177-pound wrestler Rafi Levin '94, who was delayed with an internship and could not make the meet. Jeff Breedlove '94, another 177-pound representative, suffered an allergic reaction, causing him to perform sub-par, resulting in his loss.

The Engineers' chances also looked good in the meet against the Rhode Island College Anchormen. A pin by Graham, and a 10-5 decision by Rideout in the first two weight classes, helped give MIT a 9-0 lead. However, the Anchormen responded with two pins to take the lead, 12-9. In the 150-pound weight class, Phil Rowe '97 prevailed in a hotly contested battle to tie the score up, only to see the results of the efforts disappear when MIT forfeited the 158-pound event. RIC was awarded an automatic six points, to go up 18-12, taking a lead it would never lose.

In both the 167- and 177-pound divisions, Chris Kantner '97 and John Niforatos '97 fought hard, but their opponents proved to be too much. The two victories by RIC helped it clinch the victory. Even so, Chandler Harben '95, the second-ranked wrestler in New England in his class, dominated the 190-pound matchup, winning with an 8-2 decision. The Anchormen finished off the match with their heavyweight representative pinning Goldfaden near the end of the first period.

The MIT matmen will compete in the Plymouth State College Invitational tomorrow. The Engineers will compete in their final dual meet of the season next Friday against Plymouth State College at home. After that, some team members will go on to compete in regional, and possibly national, competition.