Wrestling Hosts Columbia on Senior Day for Season’s Final Dual

Wrestling Hosts Columbia on Senior Day for Season’s Final Dual

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Brown University wrestling competes in its final dual meet of the season when the Bears host Columbia University on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the final home meet at the Pizzitola Sports Center for the team's senior class.

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Seniors Billy Watterson and Ophir Bernstein as well as sophomores Justin Staudenmayer and Steven Galiardo each won twice as Brown beat Johnson & Wales, 27-15, and fell to Harvard, 21-17, in a tri-meet at Harvard's Malkin Athletic Center on Feb. 14.

The Bears beat the Wildcats in their second match of the day after dropping a narrow decision to the host Crimson. Against their Ivy League and EIWA rivals, Watterson (Pound Ridge, N.Y.) won via forfeit, Staudenmayer (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) won via technical fall, and Bernstein (Allen, Texas) and Galiardo (Chicago, Ill.) each took wins through decision.

Junior Anthony Finocchiaro (Canastota, N.Y.), senior Ricky McDonald (Carson City, Nev.), and classmate Sebastien Levin (Amenia, N.Y.) each added wins in the nightcap against JWU.

Columbia carries a 4-5 overall record and a 3-5 EIWA mark into the weekend with the team competing in a dual at Harvard on Friday before traveling to square off with the Bears in Providence the next day.

Heavyweight Garrett Ryan and 165-pounder Tyrel White lead the team with 18 wins apiece. Ryan has posted an 18-11 record on the year while White has tallied an 18-12 mark. At 174 pounds, Shane Hughes paces the team with six pins.

The Lions have lost each of their last three matches, coming against Penn, Princeton, and Cornell. Prior to that, the team won back-to-back duals with victories over Hofstra and American. 

Brown carries five wrestlers on its roster who have earned a spot in the EIWA's latest rankings. Senior Billy Watterson (Pound Ridge, N.Y.) ranks fifth at 125, sophomore Justin Staudenmayer (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) is third at 157, sophomore Richard Muniz (Corona, Calif.) is sixth at 165, senior Ricky McDonald (Carson City, Calif.) is fourth at 174, and senior Ophir Bernstein (Allen, Texas) is fourth at 184. 

Senior 184-pounder Ophir Bernstein (Allen, Texas), an NCAA All-American in 2013-14, leads Brown with 10 pins on the season with his fastest fall occurring in 1:32.

He tallied three falls apiece at both the East Stroudsburg Open and the Navy Classic before earning a pin at the Cliff Keen Invitational. In dual action, he has garnered pins against Menlo College, Sacred Heart, and Johnson & Wales. Bernstein holds a 24-11 overall record on the year. 

Sophomore 157-pounder Justin Staudenmayer (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) paces the Bears in 2014-15 with 29 wins on the season as he carries a 29-8 overall mark into this weekend.

In dual competition, Staudenmayer has registered a 10-3 record and a 5-3 mark in EIWA meets. In tournament action, he posted nine wins over two events in the month of November and 10 victories over two competitions in December. He has placed no lower than fifth in each of the four tournaments in which he has competed for Brown this season. 

After taking a break from his studies in 2013-14 to found the non-profit Beat the Streets Providence, senior 125-pounder Billy Watterson (Pound Ridge, N.Y.) has returned to the mat in 2014-15 and has logged a 19-11 overall record thus far this season. On the season, he leads the team in dual points (45), dual wins (11), and dual EIWA wins (seven).

For his work with Beat the Streets, Watterson earned the Ben Mondor Community Service Award from Words Unlimited, a Rhode Island organization of sports writers, broadcasters, and publicists.

Beat the Streets Providence stands as an organization whose mission is to start scholastic wrestling teams in order to inspire urban youth and provide them with the resources they need in the after-school setting. The program has already spread from one to five middle schools in Providence in little over a year. 

Senior Ricky McDonald (Carson City, Nev.) has acted as a steady presence for the Bears at 174 pounds, tallying a 22-13 mark on the season. His 22 wins rank third on the team. McDonald leads the Bears with five technical falls on the year.

His younger brother, sophomore William McDonald (Carson City, Nev.), competes for the Bears in the 149-pound weight class. 

125: Billy Watterson (B) vs. Johnson Mai (C) or Penn Gottfried (C)
133: Zeke Salvo (B) vs. Angelo Amenta (C)
141: Anthony Finocchiaro (B) vs. Jacob Macalolooy (C)
149: Steven Galiardo (B) vs. Connor Sutton (C)
157: Justin Staudenmayer (B) vs. Tyler Ponte (C) or Markus Scheidel (C)
165: Richard Muniz (B) or Galloway Thurston (B) vs. Tyrel White (C)
174: Ricky McDonald (B) vs. Shane Hughes (C)
184: Ophir Bernstein (B) vs. Zack Hernandez (C)
197: Sebastien Levin (B) or Austin Pfarr (B) vs. Matt Idelson (C) or Troy Hembury (C)
285: Augustus Marker (B) or Austin Pfarr (B) vs. Garrett Ryan (C)

After its dual with Columbia, Brown will compete at the EIWA Championships at Lehigh from March 6-7. The NCAA Championships will take place in St. Louis, Mo., from March 19-21.