Senior Daniel Del Gallo continues to add to his accolades as a University of Southern Maine wrestler while freshman brother, Peter, picks up where he left off as a highly successful high school wrestler at Gardiner Area High School.

Both Daniel and Peter are a perfect 8-0 on the season. Each won their weight classes at last Saturday’s Washington & Jefferson Invitational held in Washington, Pennsylvania, helping the Huskies to a second-place finish in the 17-team field. While Peter is just getting started, Daniel is in the final season of what has been an exceptional college career.

Daniel holds a current career record of 99-18 and has two appearances at the NCAA Division III National Championships to his credit. He is currently ranked third in the 149-pound class in Division III by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA). Daniel has a game plan in place to achieve his ultimate goal — earning All-American honors.

“This season I am focusing on being more offensive,” said Daniel. “I wrestle my best when I attack, so the coaches are pushing me to always be offensive and not wrestle defensively.” USM coach Mike Morin feels Daniel can reach his goal.

“Dan has tunnel vision in the room and is constantly asking questions and working hard to get better,” Morin said. “He has the talent and work ethic and he is probably one of the best competitors you will ever come across. He’s definitely one of the hardest workers I’ve ever coached. I think Peter has taken notice of Dan’s work ethic and starting to pick it up on his end as well.”

Peter was a four-time high school state champion and a two-time New England champion while competing for Gardiner. He continues to flourish at the collegiate level in the 125-pound class, although he claims the college experience has taken a bit to get used to.

“I found the adjustment to college wrestling to be a new level of wrestling and training,” Peter said. “Practices are tougher and the other wrestlers in college are all well-rounded wrestlers. It’s very rare to wrestle someone that isn’t very good in college like it is in high school wrestling.” Morin is appreciative of Peter’s talents.

“Peter has definitely come in and made an immediate impact on the team,” Morin said. “He is very athletic and competes at a high level. He also has a great wrestling IQ. Most wrestlers take a year or two to adjust and ‘get caught up to speed’ with the level of wrestling at the college level, even if they were good high school wrestlers. Peter has jumped over this step and is competing at a high level right away. He is also a great competitor and just a winner. He has things that you can’t teach.”

The brothers were teammates in high school and Daniel is happy to have Peter at USM.

“Having Peter on the team has been a lot of fun,” Daniel said. “When we were on the same team in high school, we had a lot of success together. Now that we are in college we expect that same kind of success. Like this past weekend. It’s nice to win a tournament, but it’s even more special to win a tournament with my brother.”

The chance to wrestle alongside his brother was a major reason that Peter chose to attend the University of Southern Maine.

“They are definitely very tight,” said Morin. “I notice it more in competition settings where they are usually sitting mat side for each other’s matches, yelling instructions or cheering each other on. In practice, it’s just business as usual.”

USM will compete on Saturday at the Doug Parker Invitational at Springfield College in Massachusetts.

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