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3/12/15 NCWA Championships - Liberty Leads After Days 1 & 2

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3/12/15 NCWA Championships - Liberty Leads After Days 1 & 2

Postby Allen Brown » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:25 pm

^^After Day One (March 12, 2015)-

By: Scott Farrell

ALLEN, Texas – Liberty University’s returning All-Americans lead the way to the front of the standings, and the Flames have an impressive 12.5-point lead over second place at the end of the first day of the NCWA Championships at the Allen Event Center.

Liberty had 76 points at the end of the first three rounds of the three-day tournament, a total that includes 24 points carried over from the NCWA National Duals two months ago. Middle Tennessee, hurt by an upset of one of its top seeds, still carries second place for now with 63.5 points, followed by Central Florida (58.5) with Apprentice (52.5), Marion Military (49.5) and Rochester Tech (49) farther behind.

MTSU lost a big part of its scoring when Jonathan Roberts, a returning All-American and the top seed at 184 pounds, was upset by Jonathan Wiley of Montana Western in the third round. Wiley got on top and rode Roberts out before scoring a fall in 6:13 for the win. Wiley, seeded 16th, now faces unseeded Logan Shirey of Penn State-DuBois in the quarterfinals that begin at 4 p.m. Friday.

The rest of the top seeds all prevailed in a day largely quiet of major upsets. Below are other highlights from Thursday’s action.

NCWA CHAMPIONSHIP SCORING SYSTEM EXPLAINED
This is the second season for the NCWA to merge the scoring at its two championship tournaments. There are 22 teams that earned team points going into the 2015 Championships based on their finishes back in January at the 2015 National Duals.

Liberty earned 24 points as the champion of the 22-team bracket, while runner-up Apprentice earned 23, followed in sequence down to three points for East Tennessee State (two teams withdrew and forfeited points).

The move is unique among all other major-college championship sports, and is based upon recommended rule changes being studied for adoption by both the national coaches association and the NCAA Wrestling Committee. The objective is to crown a true overall team champion, adding weight to the national duals tournament while also keeping the hallmark season-ending individual championship tournament intact. Here are the team standings heading into the start of the Championships based off those carry-over points:

Here are the standings after the first day of the 2015 Championships:

DIVISION I
1. Liberty 76
2. Middle Tennessee 63.5
3. Central Florida 58.5
4. Apprentice 52.5
5. Marion Military 49.5
6. Rochester Tech (Minn.) 49
7. Grand Valley State 48.5
8. Wayne State College (Neb.) 35.5
9. U.S. Naval Academy Prep 35.5
10. Penn State-DuBois 30
11. North Florida 29
12. U.S. Air Force Academy Prep 26
13. Mercer 21
14t. Penn State-Mont Alto 20.5
14t. Alfred State 20.5
16. Davenport (Mich.) 20
17t. South Florida 15
17t. Florida Gulf Coast 15
17t. Md.-Baltimore County 15
20. MIT 12
21. Penn State-New Kensington 11
22. RPI 10.5
23t. Georgia Southern 9
23t. West Chester 9
25. Mott CC (Mich.) 7
26t. East Tennessee State 3
26t. Penn State-Greater Allegheny 3
28. New Hampshire 2.5

DIVISION II
1. Florida 38.5
2. Washington State 34.5
3t. Texas-Arlington 29
3t. Toledo 29
5. North Texas 28.5
6t. Glendale CC (Ariz.) 25
6t. Montana Western 25
8t. South Puget Sound CC (Wash.) 22.5
8t. Dixie State (Utah) 22.5
10. Maine 19.5
11. Penn State 18.5
12t. Arizona 17.5
12t. Akron 17.5
14. Temple 16.5
15. Texas State 16
16. Central Washington 15.5
17t. Henry Ford CC (Mich.) 15
17t. Connecticut 15
19. James Madison 14
20t. Georgia 13.5
20t. Rutgers 13.5
22. Saginaw Valley State (Mich.) 13
23. Texas A&M 12
24t. Colorado State 11
24t. Fresno State 11
24t. Michigan 11
24t. UCLA 11
28. Texas 10.5
29t. Auburn 10
29t. East Carolina 10
31t. BYU 8
31t. Ohio State 8
33t. Bowling Green 7.5
33t. Colorado 7.5
33t. Northern Kentucky 7.5
36t. Florida A&M 6
36t. USC 6
38t. Massachusetts 5.5
38t. Memphis 5.5
40. Amherst 5
41. Tennessee 4.5
42t. Kennesaw State 4
42t. Wisconsin 4
44t. Alabama 3
44t. Minn.-Duluth 3
44t. Northeastern 3
44t. SUNY-Cortland 3
44t. VMI 3
49. Idaho 2.5
50t. Lafayette 2
50t. Montclair State (N.J.) 2
50t. UC-Merced 2
53. Concordia-Ann Arbor (Mich.) 0.5
54t. Northwest Missouri State 0
54t. William and Mary 0


NCWA NOTEBOOK

NCWA CASTS A WIDE NET FOR WRESTLERS

There are 31 states represented by the teams competing at the 2015 Championships.

The NCWA has programs established at 179 schools in 40 states across the United States: AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI

HAVEN’T LOST YET

Eight wrestlers entered the NCWA Championships undefeated, but only half made it through the day with their “zeros” in the loss column intact. One lost in the first round, with the other three falling in the third round. Here are the remaining undefeated wrestlers, and how the others fared during the day.

125 lbs. – Scotty Stossel, Penn State, now 16-0 – advanced to quarterfinals
174 lbs. – Phil Marra, Penn State-New Kensington, now 21-0 – advanced to quarterfinals
174 lbs. – Derek Wojcik, Mercer, now 12-0 – advanced to quarterfinals
197 lbs. – Wayne Sanders, Saginaw Valley State – now 9-0, advanced to quarterfinals

125 lbs. – Patrick Bassett, Michigan, 15-0 – reached 16-0, lost in third round
133 lbs. – Alejandro Calderon, Glendale CC – reached 7-0, lost in third round
174 lbs. – Frank Berduo, UC-Merced, 7-0 – lost in first round, alive in consolation
197 lbs. – Marcus Newsom, Temple – reached 13-0, lost in third round

READY TO DIEHL THEM AGAIN

Ryan Diehl of Liberty is the only defending national champion at the 2015 Championships. Diehl finished an extraordinary freshman season last year undefeated at 35-0 with the 133-lb. title in tow. But the sophomore is wrestling at 141 pounds this season, and entered the Championships as the top seed at 18-3 and the Mid-Atlantic Conference champion.

Diehl made quick work of both opponents today, pinning both in less than a minute in wins over Freddie Hsiao of UCLA (in 0:36) and Tyler Rhoads of Penn State-Mont Alto (in 0:53). He faces Casey Glassgow of Wayne State College, the 9th seed, in the quarterfinals Friday morning.

KEEPING THEIR ALL-AMERICAN PROFILES

There are 34 All-Americans returning to compete in the 2015 field. Six of those have earned multiple All-American finishes. Here is how they fared on the first day:

Three-time All-American

285 lbs. – Ian Jones, Apprentice (all at 285: 4th in 2014; 3rd in 2013; 7th in 2012)

Jones got two scares in the heavyweight class, but the third-seed squeaked past John Long of Marion Military (another All-American) in the second round, 1-0, and edged Rickey Carter of Florida A&M, 3-2 by tiebreak in the third round. Jones faces Theo Agbi of Amherst College in the quarterfinals.

Two-time All-Americans

149 lbs. – Nick Cegelski, USC (at 149: 4th in 2014; 6th in 2013)

Cegelski is the top seed at 149 and won two decisions to reach the quarterfinals. He faces Jacob Freeman of Middle Tennessee on Friday.

165 lbs. – Chase Boontjer, Liberty (at 157: 3rd in 2014; 7th in 2013)

Boontjer is the top seed at 165, and scored a pin in the second round and a 12-5 decision over JaviAir White of Rutgers in the third round. He’ll face Tyler Vogt of Rochester Tech, the eighth-seed, in the quarterfinals.

174 lbs. – Derek Wojcik, Mercer (at 174: 8th in 2012; 7th in 2011)

Wojcik, appearing at the Championships after two years away but still the top seed at 174, advanced to the quarterfinals with a decision and a fall. He faces Tyler Thomas of Saginaw Valley State in the quarterfinals Friday.

184 lbs. – KeyShaun Ward, Liberty (at 174: 3rd in 2014; 4th in 2013)

Another of Liberty’s stalwarts, Ward romped through two rounds with 10-3 and 10-2 decisions. Two upsets in the upper half of the bracket have left Ward, as the third seed, and two-seed Giovanni Jiovenetta of Central Florida as the highest remaining seeds in the championship bracket. Ward will face Wesley Schulz of Rochester Tech in the quarterfinals. Schultz won two matches by fall to reach the quarters.

235 lbs. – Stuart Maddox, North Florida (at 235: 2nd in 2014; 6th in 2013)

Maddox, the top seed at 235, had an extended match in the third round but won both appearances today by fall to reach the quarterfinals. Maddox now takes on Zack McCarley of Central Washington, the eighth-seed, in the quarters Friday.

285-LB. BRACKET IS TRULY HEAVY

A tournament-high five returning All-Americans are in the heavyweight bracket, but only two are still in contention for the title. Part of that was due to two of them facing one another in the second round, where Ian Jones, a three-time All-American from Apprentice, took down John Long of Marion Military, last year’s eighth-place finisher.

Only four of the top six seeds still remain. Top-seeded Josh Pelletier of Liberty won two matches by fall Thursday to stay at the top of the field. Second-seeded Glenn Geurink of Davenport (Mich.) topped Dave Stratton of Washington State, last year’s sixth-place finisher, in the third round, 5-2. Rashied Rayford of Middle Tennessee, last year’s heavyweight runner-up, remains alive as well but will face Geurink in Friday’s quarterfinals. The winner of that match could face Jones, who takes on Theo Agbi of Amherst also Friday.

FOUR NCWA ALUMNI REACH NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

For a fourth consecutive season, the NCWA will have at least one of its alumni competing for college wrestling’s top title. Jadaen Bernstein of Navy, Santiago Martinez of Lehigh, and Army’s Cole Gracey and Bryce Barnes await their draw for the 2015 NCAA Division I Championships next week in St. Louis. Having four former wrestlers qualified for the Division I nationals is an all-time high for the NCWA.

In an odd twist of fate, two of the NCWA’s best from last season squared off in the 174-pound final at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships. Jadaen Bernstein of Navy scored a takedown in the sudden-victory period to edge Santiago Martinez of Lehigh, 3-1, to take the title. Bernstein was an NCWA All-American last year, taking fourth at 184 pounds. Martinez was a three-time NCWA All-American at Central Florida and two-time champion at 157 (2013, 2014), producing a 119-13 career record.

In the finals match, after a scoreless first period Martinez took a 1-0 lead with an escape 15 seconds into the second period. Bernstein evened it with an escape three seconds into the third period. Bernstein had a takedown waved off with 22 seconds left, forcing overtime. He then thwarted a Martinez counter attempt with 19 seconds left and scored the winning takedown to claim the first tournament title of his Navy career.

Both Bernstein (23-13), seeded fourth, and Martinez (19-12), seeded third, earned automatic qualifying spots to the NCAA’s by reaching the EIWA final. Martinez reached the final with a semifinal win by injury default over Army’s Brian Harvey in 33 seconds. Martinez led 2-0 and was looking to turn Harvey when he suffered the injury and was forced to retire after second-seeded Brian Harvey of Army had to retire.

Bernstein moved into Navy’s starting lineup following a season-ending injury to Matthew Miller, the NCWA’s Most Outstanding Wrestler and 184 champion in 2012.

For Army, Gracey came back from an early loss to take third place in the EIWA’s 165-pound class. The top three at 165 earned the automatic bids. Barnes finished fifth in the EIWA at 197, losing a match on the first two days beating Columbia’s Matt Idelson in the fifth-place match. The top six at 197 earned the automatic bids.

Also part of the four-year NCAA qualifying streak were Miller in 2014 and Cole VonOhlen of Air Force in 2013 and 2012.

NCWA alumni wrestling at other 2015 conference championships:

Jadaen Bernstein, Navy – won the 174 bracket at the EIWA Championships (see above). Bernstein took fourth at 184 at last year’s NCWA Championships wrestling for the U.S. Naval Academy Prep School.

Bryce Barnes, Army – qualified for the NCAA Championships at 197 after taking fifth place at the EIWA Championships (see above). Barnes was the 2012 NCWA Mideast Conference runner-up but did not compete at nationals.

Cole Gracey, Army – took third at the EIWA Championships at 165. Gracey was a 2011 NCWA All-American with a third-place finish at 174 wrestling for the U.S. Military Academy Prep School.

Zen Ikehara, Air Force – placed fourth at 184 at the NCAA West Regional/Western Wrestling Conference Championships. Ikehara was the NCWA’s Great Plains Conference champion at 184 last year wrestling for the U.S. Air Force Academy Prep School, and lost to Bernstein in the quarterfinals. He then lost to Matt Reynolds of Liberty one match short of earning All-American honors.

Josh Martinez, Air Force – placed fourth at the NCAA West Regional/Western Wrestling Conference Championships at 125. Martinez was a 2012 NCWA All-American, placing third at 125 for the U.S. Air Force Academy Prep School.

Santiago Martinez, Lehigh – placed second at 174 at the EIWA Championships (see above). Martinez won back-to-back NCWA Championships at 157 in 2013 and 2014 and was a three-time NCWA All-American wrestling at Central Florida.


^^After Day Two (March 13, 2015)-

By: Scott Farrell

ALLEN, Texas – Liberty pulled away from the field Friday, earning 100 points on the day to all but secure its first NCWA title. Five finalists and nine wrestlers who advanced to All-American standing overall led the charge that put plenty of distance between the Flames (176 points) and first-day challengers Middle Tennessee (115.5), Rochester (108) and the U.S. Naval Academy Prep School (104.5).

And with the team title assured, the Flames can now focus on adding to their 2015 historical ledger. A five-man sweep of the title matches would tie the NCWA record for most national champions in a season. It hasn’t been done in 14 seasons since Grand Valley State had five in 2001.

Tim Nordan (125 pounds), Ryan Diehl (141), Joshua Llopez (174), Evan Canady (235) and Joshua Pelletier (285), all of them the top- or second-seed in their bracket, each advanced to the title match for Liberty.

Saturday will carry a patriotic theme for the finals rounds based on the success of Liberty, Navy Prep and the U.S. Air Force Academy Prep School. Combined, the three schools dominated the championship brackets Friday. All but one of the title bouts will involve a wrestler from those three schools as Navy Prep and Air Force Prep nearly matched Liberty with four finalists each. The first five championship matches have either a Navy Prep or Air Force Prep wrestler competing, including the 157-pound match where they’ll face each other as top-seed Hunter Sutton of Navy Prep faces third-seed Alex Mossing of Air Force Prep.

Navy Prep’s other three finalists also have notable matchups in the finals. Adam Connell faces Liberty’s Diehl, last year’s Most Outstanding Wrestler, in the 141 final. Nicholas Gil takes on one of the tournament’s biggest surprises in the 149 final in ninth-seeded Jacob Freeman of Middle Tennessee. Freeman upset top-seed Nick Cegelski in the quarterfinals, 13-8, then took out four-sed Trevor Scott of Rochester 10-3 in the semifinals. And Navy Prep’s Daniel Hawkins, the three-seed, faces Stefan Haas of James Madison, the fourth-seed, in the 197 final. Both won semifinal matches over the one- and two-seeds.

Air Force Prep’s strength is in the lighter weights. Isaac Jimenez faces Liberty’s Nordan, the top seed, in the 125 final. John Twomey then takes the mat to meet Davenport’s Zach Yates in the 133 final. Mossing follows in the 157 final, and Anthony McLaughlin, the four-seed, faces another tournament underdog in 11-seed Wesley Schultz of Rochester, who beat the third- and seventh-seed to reach the finals.

The 165-pound final broke away from the patriotic trio and pairs two schools appearing in championship bouts for the first time as Clay Kocsis of Penn State-Mont Alto faces Ruger Piva of Montana Western. Piva was one of Friday’s stars and is the only unseeded wrestler to make the finals. The high-scoring Piva started the day by knocking off second-seed and returning All-American Gabe Stepanovich of Grand Valley State 8-5 in the quarterfinals. Then he took out Brett Johnson of Washington State in the semifinals, 8-4.

Kocsis, the fourth-seed, advanced the finals after Liberty’s top-seed and now three-time All-American Chase Boontjer had to withdraw on injury default. Boontjer’s status for Saturday is still uncertain.

Kocsis and Piva are two of seven wrestlers who put their school into the finals for the first time. Yates and Geurink (Davenport), Phil Marra (Penn State-New Kensington), Wesley Schultz (Rochester) and Haas (James Madison) are the others.

Finals
125 – Tim Nordan, Liberty vs. Isaac Jimenez, U.S. Air Force Academy Prep
133 – John Twomey, U.S. Air Force Prep vs. Zach Yates, Davenport
141 – Ryan Diehl, Liberty vs. Adam Connell, U.S. Naval Academy Prep
149 – Jacob Freeman, Middle Tennessee vs. Nicholas Gil, U.S. Naval Academy Prep
157 – Hunter Sutton, U.S. Naval Academy Prep vs. Alex Mossing, U.S. Air Force Academy Prep
165 – Clay Kocsis, Penn State-Mont Alto vs. Ruger Piva, Montana Western
174 – Phil Marra, Penn State-New Kensington vs. Joshua Llopez, Liberty
184 – Anthony McLaughlin, U.S. Air Force Academy Prep vs. Wesley Schultz, Rochester
197 – Stefan Haas, James Madison vs. Daniel Hawkins, U.S. Naval Academy Prep
235 – Stuart Maddox, North Florida vs. Evan Canady, Liberty
285 – Joshua Pelletier, Liberty vs. Glenn Geurink, Davenport

Standings

DIVISION I
1. Liberty 176.0
2. Middle Tennessee 115.5
3. Rochester Tech (Minn.) 108.0
4. U.S. Naval Academy Prep 104.5
5. Central Florida 83.0
6. U.S. Air Force Academy Prep 82.5
7. Apprentice 66.5
8. Marion Military 65.0
9. Grand Valley State 62.5
10. Davenport (Mich.) 51.5
11. Penn State-DuBois 45.0
12. Wayne State College (Neb.) 45.0
13. North Florida 43.0
14. Penn State-Mont Alto 37.0
15. Florida Gulf Coast 29.5
16. Mercer 28.0
17. Penn State-New Kensington 27.0
18. Alfred State 24.5
19. Md.-Baltimore County 16.0
20t. MIT 15.0
20t. South Florida 15.0
22. RPI 13.0
23. Mott CC (Mich.) 12.5
24. Georgia Southern 8.5
25. West Chester 8.0
26t. East Tennessee State 3.0
26t. Penn State-Greater Allegheny 3.0
28. New Hampshire 2.5

DIVISION II
1. Washington State 52.5
2. Florida 50.5
3. Montana Western 45.5
4. Texas-Arlington 41.5
5. James Madison 37.5
6. South Puget Sound CC (Wash.) 37.0
7. Maine 35.5
8. Toledo 33.5
9. Glendale CC (Ariz.) 32.5
10. Arizona 30.0
11. North Texas 28.5
12. Connecticut 27.5
13. Saginaw Valley State (Mich.) 25.5
14. Dixie State (Utah) 25.0
15. Penn State 23.0
16. Central Washington 22.5
17t. Akron 21.0
17t. Rowan 21.0
19. Temple 19.5
20t. Texas State 15.5
20t. Florida A&M 15.5
22t. Henry Ford CC (Mich.) 14.5
22t. Michigan 14.5
24t. Auburn 13.5
24t. Georgia 13.5
24t. UCLA 13.5
27t. Rutgers 13.0
27t. Texas 13.0
29. Memphis 12.5
30. Texas A&M 12.0
31t. Colorado State 11.0
31t. Fresno State 11.0
33. BYU 10.5
34t. Amherst 9.5
34t. Massachusetts 9.5
34t. Tennessee 9.5
34t. USC 9.5
34t. Wisconsin 9.5
39. East Carolina 9.0
40t. Ohio State 8.0
40t. SUNY-Cortland 8.0
42t. Bowling Green 7.5
42t. Colorado 7.5
42t. Northern Kentucky 7.5
44. Alabama 6.5
45. Kennesaw State 4.0
46t. Minn.-Duluth 3.0
46t. Northeastern 3.0
46t. VMI 3.0
49t. Lafayette 2.0
49t. UC-Merced 2.0
51. Idaho 1.5
51t. Montclair State (N.J.) 1.5
53. Concordia-Ann Arbor (Mich.) 0.5
54t. Northwest Missouri State 0
54t. William and Mary 0

Jerry McGinty, Air Force – placed third last week at the 2015 NCAA West Regional/Western Wrestling Conference Championships. McGinty was a 2013 NCWA All-American at the U.S. Air Force Academy Prep School, placing seventh at 149 pounds to close a 24-14 season.
Allen Brown
 

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