By: Connor Blake, Staff Writer
Peter Del Gallo, of the Men’s Wrestling Team, is dominating his final season with the Huskies.
The exercise science major of Gardiner, Maine graduated from Gardiner Area High School (GAHS), as a two-sport athlete in soccer and wrestling. During his time there he earned three varsity letters in soccer and served as the team captain in his junior and senior years. Del Gallo shined on the wrestling mat, starting as a freshman he won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference (KVAC) Championship, Regional Championship, State Championship, and New England Championship.
He won the KVAC and State Championship all four years he was there. Lastly, during his senior season at GAHS Del Gallo was named Maine Wrestler of the Year, reclaimed his title at the New England Championships, and went on to place third at the National High School Coaches Association Senior Nationals competition. He finished his high school career with a record of 208 wins and 5 losses.
Since coming to USM, Del Gallo has continued his success on and off the mat. He was a William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete for two seasons and has earned New England Wrestling Association (NEWA) All-Academic Honors three years in a row.
Del Gallo’s first season with the huskies earned him numerous awards after an unprecedented rookie season, finishing with a 34-3 record competing at 125 pounds. He was named the 2017 NEWA Co-Rookie of the year, and placed fourth at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championship, earning All-Region honors. The second season for Del Gallo felt like more of the same, but only better, finishing with a record of 39-2 and even achieved a national-ranking of second during the season, and finished the year in second place at the NCAA Division III Northeast All-Region.
In Del Gallo’s third season he made USM history, becoming the fifth USM wrestler to earn NCAA Division III All-American honors. Wrestling that season at 125 pounds, he was nationally ranked number one by D3wrestle.com. Del Gallo went on to compete in the NCAA Division III National Championships and placed third, which is the second-best finish by a USM wrestler at the NCAA Championships.
As the current wrestling season is already underway for the Huskies, Del Gallo has already made some impressive accomplishments. For the senior season, he was named captain, earned his 100th NCAA career win and is currently ranked nationally number two by D3wrestle.com and Intermat.com on November 26th, 2019. Del Gallo is still competing this season with a current record of 28-0. At the time of publication, Del Gallo, has a USM career record of 125-8, with his losses only coming against other D3 All-American wrestlers.
This week, The Free Press spoke with Del Gallo’s final season, and what he looks to do after graduating this year.
Q: When did you start Wrestling?
A: I’ve been wrestling ever since I can remember all my brothers wrestled so I’ve always been involved in the sport. I technically started my career in first grade.
Q: Why do you Wrestle?
A: I wrestle because it is the thing that I love most in this world it is the best sport out there, it’s all about you on the mat and no one else is to blame for your loses it’s just you out there.
Q: What has wrestling taught you that can be transferred to other areas of life?
A: Wrestling has taught me self discipline and mental toughness and this can be applied to all aspects of your life. Taught me how to adapt and overcome anything that is thrown my way.
Q: What is it like being the Number 2 wrestler in D3 for the 125-pound class?
A: I’m currently ranked number two in the country and it feels good but like my coach always says about ranking. They are nice to have but you still have to go out and perform every match and prove that you are deserving of the spot.
Q: What do you do outside of the sport?
A: Honestly outside of wrestling I love to go hunting and fishing and anything that has to do with the outdoors.
Q: What are you planning to do after school?
A: After school, I hope to continue my wrestling career and take it to the next level. I would like to become a personal trainer and coach of the sport. I also would like to start an MMA career after wrestling.
Q: Who is your inspiration in life?
A: I would say my 4 older brothers are my inspiration because they have taught me so much about life.
Q: How have your coaches helped you on the mat and off the mat?
A: My coaches have always been super supportive in my life on and off the mat. They have helped me to become the man I am today.
Q: What piece of advice would you give to other student-athletes who are looking for success?
A: Advice that I would give to other student-athletes is that you always have to believe in yourself. You can accomplish anything that you set your mind to.
Q: When you look back at USM what will you remember?
A: When I look back I will always remember my wrestling family and the bonds and friendships that I made. I also would remember all the life lessons that the coaches instilled in me through my wrestling career.