USMMA Preview

A few years of great recruiting paid off in a big way for the Merchant Marine Academy in 2008 as they won their first Centennial team championship and send four to the NCAA Championships.  Six Mariners made the conference finals, and Phil Greene, James Beshada, and Eric Vincent came away with championships.  Dan Twito was 2nd but took the Centennial’s wild card slot to qualify.  All four NCAA qualifiers return and make USMMA heavy favorite to repeat as conference champs for new coach Greg Ilaria.  Along with the four qualifiers, 125 lb. Jordan Alfaro barely missed winning the conference, and sophomore 165 Vincent Renaut was the top seed coming in, but he was slowed by a late season knee injury.  A trio of state finalists make the trip to King’s Point to start their wrestling careers.  Pat Graham is from North Carolina, Josh Miller is from Wyoming, and Travis Wynn is a South Carolina state champ.  With four national qualifiers back, King’s Point is hopeful they can have their 2nd All-American in 2009.

Team: United States Merchant Marine Academy
Head Coach: Greg Ilaria
Years at School as head coach: 1st season
Career Record at school: 0-0

2007-2008 Dual Meet Record: 13-4
2007-2008 National Qualifiers and All-Americans: Phil Greene (133/NQ), James Beshada (141/NQ), Dan Twito (149/NQ), Eric Vincent (197/NQ)
Returning Qualifiers: Greene, Beshada, Twito, Vincent

Top returning starters: 125 Jordan Alfaro 2nd Centennial, 133 Phil Greene National Qualifier 1st Centennial, 141 James Beshada National Qualifier 1st Centennial, 149 Dan Twito Nationa Qualifier 2nd Centennial, 157 Scott Lowe 3rd Centennial, 165 Vincent Renaut 3rd Centennial

Top incoming wrestlers: 125 Pat Graham 2nd NC, 165 Josh MIller 2nd WY, 184 Travis Wynn SC Champ