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NCWA Alum 2015 Flash-Back

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NCWA Alum 2015 Flash-Back

Postby Allen Brown » Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:22 pm

Four NCWA Alumni Qualify for NCAA Championships
08/17/2015 -

For a fourth consecutive season, the NCWA will have at least one of its alumni competing for college wrestling’s toughest title. Jadaen Bernstein of Navy, Santiago Martinez of Lehigh, and Cole Gracey and Bryce Barnes of Army 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 best from the NCWA 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 NCAAs by reaching the EIWA final. Martinez reached the final with a semifinal win by injury default over Brian Harvey of Army in 33 seconds. Martinez led 2-0 and was looking to turn Harvey when he suffered the injury and was forced to retire.

Bernstein moved into Navy’s starting lineup following a season-ending injury to Matthew Miller, the Most Outstanding Wrestler and 184 champion in 2012 within the NCWA.
For Army, Gracey came back from an early loss to take third place in the EIWA 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 Matt Idelson of Columbia 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 the 2014 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 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.

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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