KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Dec. 9, 2017) – On Saturday, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy wrestling team hosted the 2017 Mariner Duals at the Liebertz Gymnasium, welcoming in NYU, TCNJ, Hunter, Division II LIU Post and JuCo Nassau Community College. The Mariners went 1-2 on the day with losses to LIU Post (44-6) and TCNJ (29-9) before a victory over Hunter (42-12) to close out the event.
In the opening match against the Pioneers, junior Tyler Craig (Snowhegan, Maine) scored the only points for USMMA with a pin 4:05 into his bout at 133. LIU Post won nine of the 10 weight classes, four via pins en route to the 44-6 victory.
Against TCNJ, the Lions opened the match up with a 16-0 lead over the first four classes before freshman Kieran Duggan (Woodbury, Conn.) earned a 9-4 decision at 157 over the 17th-ranked wrestler in the country (D3Wrestle), sophomore Anthony Gagliano. Sophomore Kurtis Hahn (Winfield, Mo.) at 184 and junior Blake Bunce (Trophy Club, Texas) at 197 both recorded decision victories as well, but it was not enough, as TCNJ went on for the 29-9 win.
The Mariners opened the match against Hunter with back-to-back pins by freshman Jace Garza (Holland, Mich.) at 125 in 4:46 and Craig at 133 in 2:48. The Hawks responded with a fall of their own at 141, followed by a decision win at 149 to pull within 12-9 in the match. Merchant Marine again scored six points in consecutive bouts, as freshman Duggan earned a win via an injury default at 157 and senior Travis Ahrens (Mims, Fla.) pinned his opponent at 165 in 5:47.
Sophomore Collin Keil (Whitehouse, Ohio) claimed a victory via forfeit at 184 and Bunce at 197 (in 2:38) and senior Daniel Viera (Bentonville, Ark.) at 285 (in 3:28) finished the match with a pair of falls.
In exhibition action, Ahrens and junior Chad Puglio (Myerstown, Pa.) both had victories – Ahrens via a technical fall and Puglio via a decision – and freshman Cole Clement (New Orleans, La.) earned a win via a pin.
The Mariners are back in action on Friday, Dec. 15, with a dual match against NYU in at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan. First bout is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
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