The University of Scranton wrestling team is gearing up for the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships that will be held this coming Saturday and Sunday, February 23 and 24, at The College at Brockport in Brockport, N.Y. The Royals are one of 18 teams competing this weekend at the regional meet.
The action will get underway at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Brockport's Special Events Recreation Center, which opens to the public at 10 a.m. The first two rounds, along with the championship quarterfinals and three rounds of wrestle-back will be held on Saturday.
The competition resumes on Sunday with the championship semifinals and fourth round of wrestle-backs starting at 10 a.m. Following the wrestle-back semifinals at noon, the championship, third-place, and fifth-place bouts will be held from approximately 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Sunday to close out the action.
Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and students, and $2 for children ages 13 and under while children under the age of two will be admitted free of charge.
Last February, Scranton finished in 11th place out of 17 teams at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships and were led by Zachary D'Apolito, who finished fourth at 184 pounds, narrowly missing out on securing a spot in the NCAA championships as the top-three finishers at each weight class advance to the national meet.
Scranton, coached by Al Russomano in his 13th season, has sent 11 wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, but have not had one reach the national competition since 2018 Wall of Fame inductee Donell Young accomplished the feat in 2007.
Senior Dan D'Agostini (Allentown, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic), who finished sixth last season at 197 pounds has been ranked among the nation's top wrestlers at 197 pounds all season and sports a 35-2 record this season. He has the second most wins in a season by a Scranton wrestler in is just three victories behind Michael Grandchamp's single-season record of 38 wins set in the 1998-99 campaign. D'Agostini, who has won his last 16 bouts and has not lost since December 22, also ranks third all-time with 104 career victories and is eighth in Royals' history with 20 pins.
Junior Keegan Connelly (Schnecksville, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) is enjoying a strong season for the Royals at 285 pounds as he sports a 32-9 record and is tied for the sixth-most wins in a season in Scranton history. Connelly, who has won 12 of his last 14 bouts, has six pins, four technical falls, and three major decisions this season. With an 80-35 career record, he currently sits fifth on Scranton's all-time wins list and is tied for 17th with 14 career pins.
Senior Kevin Merle (Stroudsburg, Pa./Belvidere) enters this weekend's regional championships with a 22-13 record for the season, competing primarily at 165 pounds, with 11 pins, tied for the sixth-most falls in a season by a Scranton wrestler. He also has recorded 32 pins in his career, the second-most in program history and just two behind Tim Moser, who set the Royals' record of 32 career pins from 1985-1989. Merle also sports a 64-49 record for his career and is tied for the 11th most victories in Scranton history.
Freshman Matthew Murawski (Harrington Park, N.J./Northern Valley – Old Tappan) is enjoying a strong rookie season for the Royals, posting a 21-12 record on the season at 125 pounds. Murawski, who went 13-6 in dual meets, has pinned three opponents while posting four major decisions and three technical falls.
Sophomore Aidan McNally (Scranton, Pa./Scranton) sports a 20-11 record this season with a team-leading seven technical falls. Wrestling at both 174 and 184 pounds, he has also picked up three pins and one major decision. Since the start of the spring semester, McNally has gone 10-4 with all three of his pins coming during this span to go along with a pair of technical falls.
Junior T.J. Conlon (Long Branch, N.J./Long Branch) enters this weekend's competition with a 16-7 overall record with three pins, five major decisions, and one technical fall this season. Competing at both the 149 and 157 weight classes, Conlon has gone 12-2 since the turn of the calendar year and won 11 straight bouts before being edge out in an 11-9 decision at Wilkes last Saturday.
For more information about the 2019 NCAA Mideast Regional Championships, click here.