PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Head coach Dave Amato and the Brown University wrestling team has announced its class of 2016, consisting of five distinguished student-athletes: Will VanDoren (Delaware Valley, N.J.), Gus Marker (Castle View, Colo.), Sami Baghdady (Belmont, Mass.), Anthony Finocchiaro (Canastota, New York), and Austin Rugraff (St. Charles West, Mo.).
After admitting five wrestlers from west of the Mississippi in last year's recruiting class, Brown has continued to bring in top-notch student athletes from the western part of the country. Heading the group of Bears making the trip east is Rugraff from Missouri. Rugraff comes to Brown after capturing a Missouri State Championship in his senior year, capping off a 58-1 record. He had previously made the finals as a junior, and is a two-time district champion. Austin was named to the Academic All-State team his senior year, and was also an all-conference football player.
Joining Rugraff from out west is Colorado's Marker who also won a state championship his senior year after finishing second as a junior and third as a sophomore. He capped his career with an impressive 160 wins. Marker was named to the all-state team four times and was an all-league football player who also lettered three times in lacrosse.
A New England, Baghdady joins the Bears as a former Massachusetts state champion. Baghdady was four time state placer and four time sectional champion. He is a place-winner at the prestigious New England Championships, and amassed 158 wins during an impressive career.
Joining the Bears from New York is Finocchiaro who collected a school record 235 varsity wins over his career, capping it off with second- and third-place finishes in his junior and senior seasons. Finocchiaro was also a three-time NHSCA All-American and four-time section champion.
Rounding out this year's recruiting class is New Jersey's VanDoren, a two-time qualifier for the New Jersey state tournament, placing eighth as a senior. He was also a district and region champion during his senior campaign.