Cooper-John Trapp, Staff Writer
Peter Del Gallo recently achieved number two standing in NCAA DIII wrestling after beating the number one ranked wrestler in his division, Jonathan Hass, a returning All-American. The 19-year-old sophomore exercise science major, with a coaching minor, currently ranks undefeated in 32 matches this season.
His brother, Daniel Del Gallo, won the NCAA championship last year for the Huskies. Getting to compete against his older brother motivates the younger Del Gallo. In fact, the sense of competition is a major reason he came to USM—aside from the excellence of the coaching staff. “You don’t get many opportunities to play with family,” said De Gallo.
Sports is a long-standing family tradition for the youngest of five boys from Gardiner, ME. Del Gallo recounts that he began wrestling in the first grade, and plans to wrestle for USM until he graduates. Subsequently, he intends to enter the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and eventually pursue coaching wrestling himself, to give back to the sport he has given his life to.
Del Gallo does not feel he is living in the shadow of his older brother, who graduated last spring. If anything, the recognition motivates him to play harder; since, as the younger Del Gallo put it, “he won last year and I didn’t.” Last season found Del Gallo out of the chase for the national title after finishing fourth in regional tournament play with a 34-3 record season.
His favorite moment so far this season was winning the top-seeded match in overtime. The team has one more meet in New York before the regional tournaments, and march for the NCAA championship, begin.
Del Gallo thinks a lot of people don’t understand the mental aspect of wrestling. He gives up-and-coming wrestlers the following advice: “You gotta be mentally tough. You gotta make that choice. To earn that right. It’s so intense, so hard, so brutal.” That’s what drives Del Gallo, in the end. To get better, to be the best. To be number one.