WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Alex Martocello and Chris Albright put together championship performances as the York College wrestling team snagged third place at the 2011 Metropolitan Conference Championships as they picked up 70 points on the day.
Junior 184-pound Martocello had a spectacular championship as he garnered not only his weight-weight title but also the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler honor. After securing a pinfall and an 11-6 decision over his first two bouts, Martocello entered the championship round against TCNJ's Mike Denver, who ranks #3 at 184 pounds in Division III. Perhaps Martocello's most impressive performance came in that title bout as Denver had bested Martocello in each of the pair's five previous meetings, including a pair of decision wins this season. In what simply proved to be Martocello's day, he opened up as much as an eight-point advantage at 11-3 at one point and nearly pinned Denver during that run. Martocello would finish out the remainder of the bout to secure the 11-8 decision and now moves onto the NCAA Championships with a 28-4 record.
Albright's title at 141 pounds also came by way of three victories. The weight's top-seed and the #3 141-pounder in Division III, Albright started his tournament with a 15-0 technical fall before securing a tough 4-2 decision in the semifinals. Holding true to their seedings, Albright took on second-seeded David Alsieux of Centenary – the #7-ranked 141-pounder in Division III. Albright got on the board first with a first period takedown before going up 4-2 in the second period. However, in almost the same motion, Alsieux registered two points of his own to cut Albright's lead to 4-2 right at the end of the period. The Spartan was able to garner an escape point during the third period to secure the 5-2 triumph. Albright's fantastic season, as he now sports a 31-1 record, continues on to the NCAA Championships.
In addition to Martocello and Albright, York's James Laughlin garnered the second-place award while Kyle Minogue snagged third. Laughlin, the Spartans' 285-pound entrant, picked up a technical fall triumph in his first bout of the day with a 17-2 result before taking a tight 4-3 victory in the semifinals. That win over Delaware Valley's Zeke Pyle came via comeback as Laughlin was down 3-2 in the third. The senior registered a late two-point takedown and then successfully finished out the remainder of the bout to advance to the finals. In the championship however, Laughlin dropped a 12-6 decision to Centenary's Joseph Zitone.
Minogue snagged his third-place at 197 pounds as he successfully wrestled back after dropping his first bout of the day. After suffering a pinfall loss to Wilkes' Matthew Transue, Minogue came back through the lower bracket to secure significant team points for the Green and White. In his second match, Minogue had a pinfall of his own over NYU's Stephen Massey and then moved on to the third-place bout by way of injury forfeit. In that match, the Spartan 197-pounder notched a tight 9-7 victory ensuring his place on the podium.
Chris Gugliotti, who had a tremendous sophomore campaign, finished in fourth-place for the Spartans. Gugliotti picked up four wins on the day to close out his 2010-2011 season with a strong 24-11 record.
With the Metropolitan Championships now complete, Martocello and Albright will begin preparations for their first trip to the NCAA Championships. Slated for March 11-12, the national tournament is set to take place in LaCrosse, Wis.
Photo animation: Alex Martocello and Chris Albright stand atop the podium at the 2011 Metropolitan Conference Championships
Correction: Chris Albright's championship match was incorrectly reported in the initial release. It has been corrected in this update.