UCF Opens Big Lead After Day Two
By Scott Farrell
HAMPTON, Va. – Central Florida shot to the top of the team standings by advancing six wrestlers into the semifinals Friday night, and heads into the final day of the National Collegiate Wrestling Association Championships with a 15.5-point lead over The Apprentice School. UCF will have eight All-Americans going into Saturday’s placing rounds that begin at 9 a.m., Apprentice has four.
Apprentice held a slim half-point lead over UCF going into the quarterfinals, and had four quarterfinal winners. But the Builders also lost two quarterfinal matches, and had two others eliminated in the following consolation round. Apprentice, the defending champion, has 84.5 points and an 11-point lead over third-place Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
Each of the UCF wrestlers still competing in the day’s second session won their match, boosting the Knight’s team score by 50 points. Top-seeded Alexander Chiricosta at 125 pounds and Michael Dominguez at 235 will try to back up their seeding Saturday, and UCF also has All-Americans Steve DeAugustino (133 pounds), Christopher Hauser (174) and Richard Rippy (197) in the semifinals along with Daniel Rowe (285). T.J. Gillin (149) and Zumarr Archer (184) are still alive in the consolation bracket.
Apprentice’s All-Americans, Marcus Chevres (133), Ty Holley (141) and Matt Perry (157) are in the semifinals along with Patrick McIntosh (157). But the points earned by wins by Quinten Bowling (184), Stuart Roes (197) and Kevin Gray (285) in the consolation rounds were not enough to keep up with UCF’s surge. Apprentice
The U.S. Naval Academy Prep School made a late charge into fifth place, and will have four wrestlers in the semifinals. The top 12 is full of military-themed schools, with Marion Military Institute (Ala.) in sixth, the U.S. Air Force Academy Prep School eighth and the U.S. Military Academy Prep School in 12th.
The feature weight class continues to be 157 pounds, where four returning All-Americans will repeat this season. Peter Rose of Southern Virginia highlights that bracket field, already clinching four-time All-American status. He is only the 16th wrestler in the NCWA’s 13 years to achieve that feat.
Andre Ritchie of Northampton Community College, fourth-seeded Eric Powell of Williamson School of Trade, and two unseeded Apprentice wrestlers, Matt Perry and Patrick McIntosh, are in the semifinals.
A Colorado rebound
Colorado State’s Enes Ozekin has taken a long road to All-American status in the heavyweight division, but he’s done it in a short time. Ozekin has followed up a first-round loss with three pins and an advancement by medical withdrawal. The freshman (12-7) earned successive pins in 2:33, 4:43 and 2:16 before moving into the placing rounds when his opponent had to withdraw during the fourth consolation round. Ozekin placed third at the Southwest Conference Championships two weeks ago.
Other notes from Friday’s competition
Three of the five semifinalists in the 235-pound bracket are from the NCWA’s Southeastern Conference. Michael Dominguez of UCF is the top seed, and Georgia Southern’s Brooks Pendleton and Mark Koski of Florida will face off on Saturday. Texas A&M’s Brian Milford, seeded fourth, is the other semifinalist. . . . Pendleton has stormed to the semifinals in impressive fashion with consecutive pins in 1:18 and 47 seconds. He won his first-round match 9-1. . . . Texas-Arlington earned its first All-American since the 2007 season when Ramond Ramirez topped Timothy Casula of Williamson School of Trade, 7-6, in the fourth consolation round. Ramirez advances into the placing rounds Saturday morning to face Rob Vollrath of Penn State. . . . There are 69 teams that have scored points among the 79 entered in the tournament in both divisions. There are 25 teams in the Division I field, and 54 in Division II.
MIT leads Division II teams
It’s been a great first year for rookie NCWA program MIT, which is in the lead of the Division II club standings. Its 37.5 team points are tied for eighth overall combined with the Division I programs. Grant Kadokura (125) and Joe Silverman (197) are in the semifinals, and Ryan Madson (165) and Luke Schiefelbein (174) are alive in the consolation bracket.
Northampton is second in Division II with 28.5 points, followed by Massachusetts at 25.5.
Team Scores after Friday through five rounds
Division I Teams
1. Central Florida – 100
2. The Apprentice School (Va.) – 84.5
3. So. Illinois-Edwardsville – 73.5
4. Grand Valley State (Mich.) – 65.5
5. U.S. Naval Academy Prep – 59.5
6. Marion Military Institute (Ala.) – 49
7. West Chester (Pa.) – 47
8. U.S. Air Force Academy Prep – 37.5
9. Md.-Baltimore County – 35.5
10. Colorado State – 31.5
11. U.S. Military Academy Prep – 30.5
12. Northwest Missouri State – 23
13t. Winona State (Minn.) – 17
13t. Tennessee Temple – 17
15. Williamson School of Trade – 14.5
10 other teams in Division I
Division II Clubs
1. MIT – 37.5
2. Northampton CC (Pa.) – 28.5
3. Massachusetts – 25.5
4. Kennesaw State (Ga.) – 24
5t. Hudson Valley CC (N.Y.) – 22.5
5t. Douglas College (B.C.) – 22.5
7. Georgia – 22
8. Georgia Southern – 19.5
9t. Penn State – 19
9t. South Carolina – 19
44 other Division II teams