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Perry, Malone set to wrestle at NCAA Division I nationals

OKLAHOMA CITY, March 19, 2014 — Two wrestlers from Connecticut will be competing at the 2014 NCAA Division I wrestling championship tournament this weekend in Oklahoma City.

Bloomsburg University senior Richard Perry, a former wrestler at Middletown High, is the sixth seed at 197 pounds. Northwestern University sophomore Dominick Malone, who grew up in Granby, qualified in the 133 pound weight class.

Wrestling begins Thursday morning and will be broadcast live on ESPNU and ESPN3.

Perry is looking to become just the fourth Connecticut wrestler to earn All-American status at the NCAA Division I tournament. The most recent All-American was Middletown High graduate Orville Palmer, who was seventh at 197 pounds for Oklahoma in 2000.

Perry (31-1),has won a school record 30 consecutive matches. He won the Eastern Wrestling League championship at 197 two weeks ago and is one of six Bloomsburg University wrestlers in the tournament.

It is the third straight NCAA appearance for Perry (108-28, career with 17 pins). He is 5-1 this season against other wrestlers in the NCAA tournament field. Perry has beaten No. 11 Dan Mitchell of American twice, No. 20 Alex Polizzi of Northwestern and No. 25 Cody Reed of Binghamton. Perry is 1-1 against No. 5 Travis Rutt of Oklahoma, losing 3-2 in the third match of the season at the Brockport Invitational. Perry won a rematch in February, pinning Rutt in 4:17 at the NWCA Duals.

In his last 11 matches, Perry has three pins and six victories by major decision (eight or more points). Not only did he win his first EWL title this season but he also won individual titles at the Keystone Classic, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championships and CradleGear Invitational.

Perry graduated from Middletown High in 2008 where he wrestled for two seasons. As a senior, he won the Class L and State Open championship and finished second in New England. After spending a year at Hyde-Woodstock, he joined Bloomsburg in 2010.

Malone (133) is in his second season in the starting lineup with Northwestern and earned a NCAA bid based on his overall work this season. He finished eighth at the Big 10 championship tournament and went 16-15 this season. Malone lost twice to Jimmy Gulibon of Penn State in the Big 10 tournament.

This is Malone’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament. He’ll face No. 5 Tyler Graff of Wisconsin in the first round on Thursday morning.

Malone was a three-time All-American in high school at Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania, where he graduated from in 2011. He won two prep school national titles in 2010 and 2011.

Thursday, March 20
First Session: 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Eight Mats) ESPNU/ESPN3
Second Session: 6 p.m.  – 9:30 p.m. (Eight Mats) ESPNU/ESPN3

Friday, March 21
Third Session – Quarterfinals: 10a.m. – 1p.m. (Eight Mats) ESPNU/ESPN3
Fourth Session – Semifinals: 7p.m.  – 10 p.m. (Six Mats) ESPN/ESPN3

Saturday, March 22
Fifth Session – Medal Round: 10a.m. – 1 p.m. (Three Mats) ESPNU/ESPN3
Sixth Session – Championships Finals: 7 p.m.  – 10 p.m. (One Mat) ESPN/ESPN3

 

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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