PRINCETON, N.J. – After one day of action, six American University wrestlers remain in competition at the 2015 Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships, including four Eagles who advanced to the semifinals in their respective weight classes.
In the team standings, American currently sits in fourth place with 47.5 points. Cornell, the nine-time defending champion, sits atop the leaderboard with 91.5 points, ahead of second-place Lehigh (82.5 pts.) and Bucknell (55 pts.).
Senior captains David Terao (125) and John Boyle (157), as well as junior Tom Page (149) and sophomore Jeric Kasunic (197), all went 2-0 in their respective weight classes on Saturday to advance to tomorrow's semifinals. Meanwhile, redshirt seniors Tyler Scotton (141) and Mitchell Wightman (165) each posted 2-1 marks on Saturday and will compete in the consolation quarterfinals.
All six Eagles still in competition are guaranteed a podium finish as top eight placewinners in their respective weight classes. The six placewinners are the most by an AU team since 2012, when American earned a program-best third-place finish.
In order to advance to the NCAA Championships, Terao must finish in the top three, Page, Wightman and Kasunic must place in the top four of their respective weight classes, and Scotton must earn a top-six finish. Meanwhile, Boyle has already secured his second straight NCAA appearance, as the EIWA will send six wrestlers to the national tournament at 157 pounds.
Terao, ranked 15th in the nation, entered the weekend as the third seed at 125 pounds. A three-time EIWA placewinner and two-time runner-up, Terao got the day off to a strong start, pinning Franklin & Marshall's Aaron Moldoff in a time of 1:04. He then scored a 6-2 decision over sixth-seed Pat D'Arcy of Princeton to advance to the semifinals.
With his two wins on Saturday, Terao matched the career wins record at AU with 125, and will go for the outright record tomorrow, when he faces second-seeded Darian Cruz of Lehigh in the semifinals.
At 149 pounds, Page entered as an unseeded wrestler, but scored a 4-2 decision over eighth-seeded Mike D'Angelo of Princeton in the first round. In the quarterfinals, Page picked up another win, outlasting Army's Matt Kelly in a 7-5 decision.
"Mentally, I was just trying to stay focused and finish the match out strong," said Page. "I was stoked once I won the match. I'd never made it to the second day of a tournament in college, so this was the first time. I was glad I could make it happen at EIWA's."
Page will take on fifth-seed Joe Galasso of Cornell in his semifinal match on Sunday.
Boyle, ranked 14th in the nation at 157 pounds, earned his second straight EIWA semifinal appearance after winning a pair of decisions on Saturday. Boyle opened the day with a 5-2 decision over Bucknell's Zach Kelly before escaping with a 3-2 decision against seventh-seed Russell Parsons of Army West Point in the quarterfinals.
Boyle, seeded second at 157 pounds, will face third-seed Justin Staudenmayer of Brown in his semifinal match on Sunday morning.
Also earning a semifinal berth for the Eagles was Kasunic, who turned in a pair of dominant victories. Seeded seventh at 197 pounds, Kasunic began the day with a first-period fall over Binghamton's Mark Tracy, pinning his opponent in a time of 1:49. Meanwhile, he added another quick fall over second-seeded John Bolich of Lehigh, pinning the 17th-ranked wrestler in 1:57.
"I'm feeling pretty good right now, I'm wrestling well," said Kasunic. "I hope to keep it going tomorrow."
Kasunic will face sixth-seed Bryce Barnes of Army West Point in the semifinals on Sunday.
Scotton (141) and Wightman (165) each dropped overtime decisions in their first round matches, but picked up a pair of wins in the wrestlebacks to advance to the consolation quarterfinals.
Scotton rebounded from a 6-5 double tiebreaker loss to eighth-seeded Kevin Devoy of Drexel with a 9-7 win over Brown's Charles Banaszak. He then put together a dominant performance against Penn's Marc Mastropietro, earning a 12-4 major decision.
Wightman, seeded fifth at 165 pounds, dropped a 3-1 decision to Army's Andrew Mendel in sudden victory overtime in his first match of the day, but stayed alive with a 9-6 win over Matt Fisher of Sacred Heart. He then clinched his spot on the podium by holding on for a 1-0 victory over sixth-seed Jonathan Viruet of Brown.
Scotton will face Hofstra's Jamel Hudson in tomorrow's consolation quarterfinals, while Wightman will take on seventh-seeded Austin Rose of Drexel.
Meanwhile, redshirt junior Esteban Gomez-Rivera, returning from injury, posted a 9-3 win over Army West Point's Austin Harry in the consolation bracket at 133 pounds after coming up short in the first round. However, he was unable to get a win in the wrestlebacks, dropping a decision to fourth-seed David Pearce of Drexel.
"I'm excited that our guys are wrestling to their potential," said American head coach Teague Moore. "We've come out to score points in matches, and in those, we're getting our hands raised. We talked about that, we prepared for it, and we're excuting it.
"On the down side, we had a couple guys get knocked out, but they battled and they're going to learn from those experiences."
Action continues tomorrow, beginning with the championship semifinals and third round of wrestlebacks at 10 a.m. Meanwhile, the first-, third- and fifth-place finals are slated to begin at 3:30 p.m.
125: (3) David Terao fall Aaron Moldoff (F&M), 1:04
125: (3) David Terao dec. (6) Pat D'Arcy (Princeton), 6-2
133: (6) Zack Davis (Navy) dec. Esteban Gomez-Rivera, 5-4
133: Esteban Gomez-Rivera dec. Austin Harry (Army), 9-3
133: (4) David Pearce (Drexel) dec. Esteban Gomez-Rivera, 9-4
141: (8) Kevin Devoy (CU) dec. Tyler Scotton, 6-5 (TB2)
141: Tyler Scotton dec. Charles Banaszak (Brown), 9-7
141: Tyler Scotton maj. dec. Marc Mastropietro (Penn), 12-4
149: Tom Page dec. (8) Mike D'Angelo (Princeton), 4-2
149: Tom Page dec. Matt Kelly (Army), 7-5
157: (2) John Boyle dec. Zach Kelly (Bucknell), 5-2
157: (2) John Boyle dec. (7) Russell Parsons (Army), 3-2
165: Andrew Mendel (Army) dec. (5) Mitchell Wightman, 3-1 (SV1)
165: (5) Mitchell Wightman dec. Matt Fisher (SHU), 9-6
165: (5) Mitchell Wightman dec. Jonathan Viruet (Brown), 1-0
174: (7) Rustin Barrick (Bucknell) dec. Michael Eckhart, 6-0
174: Gordon Wolf (Lehigh) dec. Michael Eckhart, 9-4
184: (1) Gabe Dean (Cornell) fall Jason Grimes, 4:04
184: (8) Stephen Loiseau (Drexel) dec. Jason Grimes, 3-1
197: (7) Jeric Kasunic fall Mark Tracy (Binghamton), 1:49
197: (7) Jeric Kasunic fall (2) John Bolich (Lehigh), 1:57
285: (3) Mike Hughes (Hofstra) maj. dec. Jake Scanlan, 12-1
285: Antonio Pelusi (F&M) dec. Jake Scanlan, 8-3