HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Josh Terao of American University won both his matches Saturday to advance to the 133-pound semifinals at the 114th annual Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships, hosted by Hofstra.
Terao was one of five Eagles who earned their way to Sunday's competition.
Jeric Kasunic sandwiched two wins by fall around a quarterfinal loss at 197, while Gage Curry (125), Michael Sprague (149) and Brett Dempsey (heavyweight) also went 2-1 on the day to clinch a spot on the podium with a top-eight finish.
The Eagles were in eighth place in the team standings after the first of two days of competition. Lehigh had 88.5 points to hold a lead over defending champion Cornell (80).
Automatic berths for the NCAA Nationals are at stake on Sunday. Terao and Kasunic are one victory away from the allocated berths for their weight classes, while Sprague and Dempsey need at least two wins on Sunday. Only one berth has been allocated to the EIWA at 125, with the eventual champion claiming that spot.
The NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will announce Tuesday the 47 at-large berths given to non-qualifying wrestlers from conference tournaments.
Terao, an Eagle junior seeded third in the tournament and ranked 11th in the nation by the NCAA Coaches' Panel, pinned Ryan Friedman of Harvard in 2:39 and beat David Campbell of Bucknell, 6-1, to earn a spot in Sunday's semifinals.
He will face No. 2-seed Scott Parker of Lehigh in Sunday's first session. The top three wrestlers at 133 pounds are allocated spots in the NCAA Division I Nationals.
Kasunic, ranked eighth in the nation but seeded fifth in the tournament, pinned Michael Bulkin of Columbia in 1:21, but lost 8-1 to 20th-ranked Chris Weiler of Lehigh in the quarterfinals. He advanced to Sunday's rounds with a 1:53 pin of Chad Reese of Bucknell.
The two pins gave him nine for the year and 39 for his career. His next victory will make him only the eighth Eagle to reach 100 career victories.
Curry's last match on Saturday was a 21-4 technical fall over Ryan Burns of Sacred Heart. He opened the day with a 7-2 decision over Geo Barzona of Bucknell, but fell 6-1 to Noah Baughman of Cornell in the quarterfinals. He reached the 20-win plateau as a redshirt freshman with his two victories on Saturday.
Sprague, seeded fifth, opened with a major decision over Alex Harnsberger of Sacred Heart, but dropped a major, 13-5, to fourth-seeded Jared Prince of Navy. He survived to Sunday with a 7-1 win over Bucknell's Seth Hogue.
Dempsey opened his day with a 21-3 technical fall over John Hartnett of Sacred Heart, his first technical fall since the 2014-15 season. He lost 8-0 to fourth-seed Jeramy Sweany of Cornell before blanking Brandon Stokes of Bucknell, 5-0.
American had six wrestlers win first-round matches early Saturday. In addition to the five wrestlers who made it to Sunday, Kizhan Clarke had a first-round win, scoring a 4-1 decisoin over Brett Kulp of Franklin & Marshall.
Sunday's morning session, with championship semifinals and the third round of wrestle backs, begins at 10 a.m. The championship, third-place and fifth-place bouts begin at 3 p.m.
AU RESULTS AT 114TH EIWA CHAMPIONSHIPS
125 - Gage Curry (AU) dec. Geo Barzona (Bucknell), 7-2
125 – Noah Baughman (Cornell) dec. Gage Curry (AU), 6-1
125 – Gage Curry (AU) tech. fall over Ryan Burns (Sacred Heart), 21-4 (5:52)
133 – #11 Josh Terao (AU) pinned Ryan Friedman (Harvard), 2:39
133 - #11 Josh Terao (AU) dec. David Campbell (Bucknell), 6-1
141 – Kizhan Clarke (AU) dec. Brett Kulp (Franklin & Marshall), 4-1
141 – #11 Tyler Smith (Bucknell) tech. fall over Kizhan Clarke (AU), 15-0 (6:22)
141 – Zeke Salvo (Brown) major dec. Kizhan Clarke (AU), 13-2
149 - #18 Michael Sprague (AU) major dec. Alex Harnsberger (Sacred Heart), 8-0
149 – Jared Prince (Navy) major dec. #18 Michael Sprague (AU), 13-5
149 - #18 Michael Sprague (AU) dec. Seth Hogue (Bucknell), 7-1
157 – Lucas Weiland (Army West Point) dec. Eric Hong (AU), 6-2
157 – Emmett LiCastri (Franklin & Marshall) pinned Eric Hong (AU), 5:20
165 – #19 May Bethea (Penn) tech. fall over Anthony Wokasch (AU), 19-3 (5:00)
165 – Anthony Wokasch (AU) dec. Tyler Tarsi (Harvard), 13-6
165 - #33 Ebed Jarrell (Drexel) major dec. Anthony Wokasch, 9-0
174 – #8 Jadaen Bernstein (Navy) tech. fall over Michael Eckhart (AU), 16-1 (4:42)
174 – Michael Eckhart (AU) dec. Nick Stephani (Bucknell), 4-2
174 - #31 Austin Rose (Drexel) dec. Michael Eckhart (AU), 6-0
184 – #17 Michael Coleman (Navy) major dec. Conner Allshouse (AU), 16-5
184 – Conner Allshouse (AU) dec. Mark Boyle (Sacred Heart), 14-10
184 - #26 Alex DiCiantis (Drexel) major dec. Conner Allshouse (AU), 15-6
197 – #8 Jeric Kasunic (AU) pinned Michael Bulkin (Columbia), 1:21
197 - #20 Chris Weiler (Lehigh) dec. #8 Jeric Kasunic (AU), 8-1
197 - #8 Jeric Kasunic (AU) pinned Chad Reese (Bucknell), 1:53
285 – #26 Brett Dempsey (AU) tech. fall over John Hartnett (Sacred Heart), 21-3 (5:33)
285 - #25 Jeramy Sweany (Cornell) major dec. #26 Brett Dempsey, 8-0
285 – #26 Brett Dempsey (AU) dec. Brandon Stokes (Bucknell), 5-0
Rankings listed are from NCAA Coaches Panel (2/22)