WESTMINSTER, Md. (Feb. 13, 2016) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy wrestling team had a great day at the 2016 Centennial Conference Championship Meet on Saturday, hosted by McDaniel College. The Mariners had six wrestlers place in the top three in their brackets, including two individual champions, as the squad finished the event in second place with 69.5 points. Stevens won the team championship with 121 points.
Junior Nathan Twito (Ames, Iowa) won the 149-pound weight class title and senior Ricky Fisher (Nashville, Tenn.) earned the championship at 197. Both wrestlers went a perfect 3-0 on the day. For Fisher, it was his second straight title at 197 and he has now finished in the top two in the past three seasons, as he placed second during his sophomore season.
Both Twito and Fisher earned pins in their opening bouts. Twito went on to record two straight decisions, including a narrow 4-3 win over Gettysburg's Quinn Merrigan in the first place match. Fisher went on to record a technical fall in the second round and then won the bracket with a 9-1 major decision in the finals against Anthony Puca of Gettysburg.
Two other Mariners came in second place in their brackets – senior Mike Mui (Hingham, Mass.) battled to second at 125 behind a 1-1 record and freshman Brandon Joest (Kendallville, Ind.) was the runner-up at heavyweight with a 2-1 record.
Freshmen Erik Beshada (South River, N.J.) and Christian Willoughby (Blountsville, Ala.) finished in third place at 157 and 165, respectively, as they both recorded 3-1 records on the day. Also earning a victory on the day was freshman Daniel May (Stafford, Va.), who went 1-2 at 141.
Up next, the Mariners will have a chance to send wrestlers to the NCAA National Championships through their competition in the NCAA Eastern Regionals later this month on Feb. 27-28, down in Lexington, Va., hosted by Washington and Lee.
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