UCF Finishes with 6 in the medal round at Shorter University
Coming off a strong performance at the Citadel Open, the Knights traveled to the Rome, GA for Shorter University's Roman Open. Shorter University celebrated their first wrestling home event in their inaugural season with the NAIA. The tournament was held in the Roman Forum in Rome, GA and featured 180 wrestlers from the NCWA and the NAIA; including NCWA participants Marion Military Institute, Mercer College, Middle Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, and the University of Georgia. From the NAIA, Baker College, Central Baptist, and Shorter University.
The Knights finished the tournament with 6 place winners; including, 133 lbs. Alex Chiricosta (5th Place - 3-2), 141 lbs. Steve DeAugustino (1st Place - 3-0), 149 lbs. TJ Gillin (3rd Place - 5-1), 165 lbs. Kyle Brooks (2nd Place - 3-1), 184 lbs. Daniel Polaski (6th Place - 3-3), and 197 lbs. Richard Rippy (4th Place - 4-2). Unattached wrestler Ashton Griffin also finished the tournament with a perfect 5-0 record at 133 lbs.
"This tournament was a perfect early benchmark event for our team; we could have performed better in the early rounds, but the guys showed a lot of heart in many of the wrestle-back rounds," commented Head Coach Jason Balma. The returning NCWA National Champions also used the event to get an early look at some of the NCWA's traditional powerhouse teams like Marion Military Institute who finished 8th at the NCWA National Tournament last season. "After seeing both Apprentice and MMI this season, our team has quite a bit of work to do in order to be on top of the NCWA again. We have a hard-working team and I'm sure our guys will answer to the challenge."
The Knights now look to bring some of the NCWA's best to Central Florida for the 2010 Knight's Brawl Duals and the UCF Open on November 19 & 20. The event will feature Sierra College from California, Marion Military Institute, The Apprentice School, Georgia Southern University, Mercer University, Kennesaw State University, and other teams from around the Southeast Conference. Last season the Knights were able to finish the tournament as champions, but there is no doubt that others will challenge them for the title.