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Longo Third, Grippi Seventh at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships

Derrick Longo La Crosse, Wisc. -- March 10, 2012 -- The Springfield College duo of Derrick Longo placed third and Joe Grippi finished seventh in their respective weight classes at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships held at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse the past two days.

Both juniors, the two thus become Springfield College's first All-Americans since Elliot Smith did so in 2008.

Three SC wrestlers actually competed at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Besides Grippi of Bedford Hills, N.Y. at 133 pounds and Longo of Ardsley, N.Y. at 165 pounds, senior Ryan McGilvray of Manalapan, N.J. also competed at 157 pounds.

McGilvray had a great year, but had no luck in La Crosse. He lost both matches -- the first to #4-seeded Chris Burdge of Centenary, 6-1, and the second to #6-seeded Isaac Dukes of Case Western Reserve, 6-2. Of SC's three wrestlers, he was the only one to face two seeded opponents.

All three SC wrestlers actually began the tournament with losses, but Longo and Grippi were able to fight from a long ways back.

Longo, the #5-seed, began with an 11-8 loss to Matt Burns of Augustana, but followed that up with a spate of good luck as Nick Bach of Centenary forfeited because of a failed skin check, and Zach MFF-Thomson of Gettysburg forfeited due to injury.

Longo then won all three matches today to finish third. He defeated Quint Eno of Elizabethtown by pin at 5:33, then edged #4-seeded Joey Favia of Stevens, 6-4. He finally defeated Kevin O'Brien of hometown Wisconsin-La Crosse, 3-1.

Grippi, the #6-seed, began with a 6-3 loss to Dan Herr of TCNJ. He then defeated Alex Blank of Ursinus, 3-0, and followed that up with a 5-3 overtime victory over Timothy Wunnicke of Wisconsin-Platteville. Grippi was then pinned by Dalton Bullard of Elmhurst at 4:11, forcing him into the seventh-place match. Grippi ended his season by defeating #2-seeded Corey Brown of Thiel, 7-2, and garner that seventh.

Springfield finished 16th as a team (of 62) with 23.5 points. The Pride placed first of seven teams from New England.

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Head Coach Jason Holder Jason Holder will enter his third season as head wrestling coach in 2013. Holder had a standout first season at the helm of the Pride, leading Springfield to the NEWA Duals Championship and taking three wrestlers to the NCAA Championships. Read more.

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