Senior #1 Mike Cannon won his second consecutive EIWA Championship Sunday afternoon to help the American University wrestling team to a program-record fifth-place finish at the 106th EIWA Championships. Cannon was joined in the finals by first-time placewinner #7 Jordan Lipp as a team-record seven Eagles finished on the podium.
Cannon captured the 184 lbs. EIWA Championship with a 5-1 decision over second-seeded Louis Caputo of Harvard. Cannon was making his third appearance in the EIWA finals, having also won last year's 174 lbs. title and wrestling for the 165 lbs. crown in 2008. Cannon's championship earns him an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships, joining him with Josh Glenn, '08, as the school's only four-time NCAA qualifiers.
Lipp made his first appearance in the finals after upsetting both the tournaments second and third seeds at 141 lbs. on Saturday. He faced top-seeded Kyle Drake from Cornell in the championship match where he fell by a score of 9-2. Lipp's second-place finish marked the first time in his career he has placed at the EIWA Championships and has earned the senior his first appearance at the NCAA Championships.
A total of seven Eagles finished on the podium at the EIWA Championships, surpassing the previous program record of six placewinners set last year. Junior #2 Steve Fittery placed third at 157 lbs. and freshman #5 Daniel Mitchell placed fourth at 197 lbs., earning the pair an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships. American's other placewinners included #2 Kyle Borshoff (5th), #3 Jasen Borshoff (6th) and #7 Thomas Williams (7th).
With Cannon, Fittery, Lipp and Mitchell all automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championships, the Eagles have matched their program record for NCAA qualifiers in a single-season. American sent Glenn, Christopher Stout, '09, Cannon and J. Borshoff to the 2008 NCAA Championships where Glenn and Cannon each earned All-America honors. K. Borshoff, J. Borshoff and Williams can still qualify for Nationals through the NCAA's at-large process. The NCAA has reserved 46 spaces for at-large qualifiers to this year's championship and will announce the recipients of those bids on Wednesday, March 10.
American finished the team race in fifth place with a total of 96 points, marking the team's best-ever finish at the tournament. The Eagles' previous best finish was sixth place which they had achieved each of the last three years.
Click here for complete results from day one of the EIWA Championships.
125 lbs. - #3 Jasen Borshoff
Borshoff fell behind Harvard's Steven Keith midway through the first period of the consolation semifinals and was unable to mount a comeback. Keith controlled the tempo throughout the match en route to a 9-3 victory. In the fifth-place match, Borshoff was again unnable to get on his offense and dropped a 6-4 decision to fourth-seeded Aaron Kalil from Navy to place sixth.
133 lbs. - #7 Thomas Williams
Williams squared off with Army's Travis Coffey, seeded sixth, in the seventh place match where he was forced to fight back from a 2-1 third-period deficit with Coffey also holding riding time advantage. With less than a minute remaining, Williams reversed Coffey and caught the Black Knight on his back for the pin to place seventh.
141 lbs. - #7 Jordan Lipp
Lipp, making his first EIWA finals appearance, fell to top-seeded Kyle Dake from Cornell, 9-2. Dake scored a takedown and back points in the first period for a 4-0 lead and added to his advantage in the second. Lipp came on strong in the third period, scoring a takedown midway through to close to within 6-2. A Dake takedown at the end of the period, however, closed the door on Lipp's championship bid. Lipp's second place finish marked the first time in his career that he has placed on the podium and has earned the senior his first career appearance at the NCAA Championships.
149 lbs. - #2 Kyle Borshoff
Borshoff took a 2-0 lead over Navy's Glenn Shober, seeded fourth, after scoring the first takedown of the match but could not hold on to his lead as the Midshipmen took a 4-3 advantage into the third period. Borshoff chose to begin down but was unable to escape from Shober who rode out the period for the win. The 2009 All-American returned in the fifth-place match where he caught Columbia's Steve Santos with a takedown and two sets of back points in the first period for a 6-0 lead. He would tack on an escape point in the second period and another takedown in the third. With riding time advantage, Borshoff earned the 9-1 victory for a fifth-place finish.
157 lbs. - #2 Steve Fittery
Fittery scored his first fall of the tournament with a second round pin of fifth-seeded Matt Dragon from Penn. The junior scored the match's first takedown and later used a reversal and three back points to build a 7-2 advantage. He added another set of back points in the second period before pinning Dragon's shoulders to the mat for the victory. In the consolation finals, Fittery picked up an escape point in the second period and rode out Rutgers' Daryl Cocozzo, seeded fourth, in the third period for a 2-1 victory and third place. Fittery has earned his first NCAA Championships appearance as an Eagle after placing second at the 2008 and 2009 NCAA Div. II Championships while wrestling for Shippensburg University.
184 lbs. - #1 Mike Cannon
Cannon won his second consecutive EIWA Championship with a 5-1 decision over Harvard's Louis Caputo, the tournament's second seed. Cannon was solid in the victory, scoring a takedown in the first period jump out on top. He added an escape point and another takedown in the second and third periods to gain the final margin. Cannon is now a four-time EIWA placewinner, a two-time EIWA Champion and one of only two wrestlers in the school's history to qualify for four NCAA Championships.
197 lbs. - #5 Daniel Mitchell
Mitchell earned his first trip to the NCAA Championships with a dramatic victory over seventh seeded Lamar Brown of Rutgers. Mitchell trailed early but worked his way to a one-point lead with an escape and takedown in the third period. A Brown escape tied the score before Mitchell was able to counter a shot and put Brown on his back for the fall. Mitchell returned to the mat in the consolation finals where he lost a 7-2 decision to Army's Richard Starks, who was seeded second. Mitchell's NCAA qualification puts him in an exclusive club at American with Cannon and Glenn as one of only three freshmen to earn a trip to Nationals.