La CROSSE, Wis. – On Saturday, United States Merchant Marine Academy senior #8 Dan Twito (Cedar Falls, Iowa) defeated #5 Justin Berns of Concordia College-Moorhead, 2-1 in a tiebreaker to advance to the Finals of the 157-pound national championship in La Crosse, Wis. In that finals match, Twito defeated #2 Orlando Ponce of Augsburg College to bring home the Mariners' second-ever national wrestling championship! In addition, Kings Point wrestling this year finishes with three All-Americans: Twito, Vincent Renaut (165) and Judd Connell (285).
Ponce's name might be familiar to Kings Point fans, as Vincent Renaut defeated him last year for the 165-pound national championship.
165-DIVISION: #4 Senior Vincent Renaut (Plymouth, Mass.) fell to James Myers of Olivet College, 6-3 decision. Renaut then squared off against Josef Waples (St. Olaf), whom he wrestled yesterday, and defeated him (8-5 dec.) to claim seventh place in the 165-pound weight class. This marks the second-straight season Renaut was named an All-American.
285-DIVISION: #3 Senior Judd Connell (Hastings, Minn.) lost to #7 William Mayer of La Crosse-Wisconsin, 9-5 decision. Connell then wrestled #8 Chad Johnson of Augsburg College, but dropped that match (7-3 dec.). The Hastings native claims eighth place in the heavyweight division and becomes a first-time All-American.
As a team, USMMA finished tied for eighth place with Mount Union (37.0 points).