In a stunning finish to its most prolific season in over a decade, the MIT varsity wrestling team won its last two regular season matches in last Friday's tri-meet. The Cardinal Gray rallied from a 17-5 deficit to upend U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 25-20, followed by a dominant victory over host Western New England College, 45-3. The Engineers (5-16) capped the campaign with five wins for the first time in 11 years.
The last time an MIT wrestling squad put together as many as five wins was in 1995-96, when the team posted an impressive 9-9 mark.
The heroes of the day, and there were many, led Tech to a complete turnaround from last season's defeats in the same tri-meet, in which the Engineers fell to Coast Guard and WNEC, 39-9 and 41-6, respectively. It was a remarkable conclusion to a season in which MIT showed striking improvement over last year's 0-13 record.
Joseph B. Silverman '10, Edward A. Scholtz '07, Alexander C. Cutting '07, Sean D. Jameson '10, Gregory T. Wellman '09, and Abraham M. Rosenfeld '10 all won both of their matches as the Engineers went out with a bang in the meet that leads up to this weekend's New England Tournament in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Wellman, at 133 pounds, won an early round against Coast Guard with a sound 15-0 victory to tie the tilt at 5-5. The match swayed in the Bears' favor to the tune of 17-5, before MIT swiped five of the next six rounds.
The 157 pound Rosenfeld began the surge with another 15-0 win, as Scholtz (165) followed with a 14-1 decision to cut the deficit to 17-14. After a loss, Cutting (184), Silverman (197), and heavyweight Jameson put Tech over the top with decisive 8-4, 6-1, and 18-3 triumphs.
MIT continued its domination against WNEC. The Cardinal and Gray shot out to a 20-0 lead courtesy of a pair of decisions and a pair of forfeits. Wellman and Rosenfeld scored victories of 8-5 and 8-0, respectively, while Bao H. Truong '07 (125) and Ismeal Olea '10 (141) took the no-show wins. After only its fifth loss of the day, MIT coasted the rest of the way with resounding wins from Cutting, Scholtz, and Jameson. Cutting won by fall, while Scholtz and Jameson prevailed 7-0 and 18-3. Jacob A. Simson '08 (174) took an 8-5 decision, while Silverman won by forfeit.
Silverman, improved his New England Conference Wrestling Association (NECCWA) ranking to the number 2 spot in his weight class after spending much of the season ranked fourth as he finished his campaign with a strong 25-9 record. Scholtz, ranked fifth in his class, closed the season at 15-1.