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Regionals performance sends three wrestlers to NCAA nationals

by Shelby Toth
Tue, Feb 27th 2018 09:00 pm
Senior 149Ib class wrestler Sean Peacock (above) has been declared the winner against a RIT opponent. His most recent performance at the NCAA Regionals against Ithaca this past weekend earned him a spot at the 2018 NCAA national competition in Cleveland, Ohio.
Senior 149Ib class wrestler Sean Peacock (above) has been declared the winner against a RIT opponent. His most recent performance at the NCAA Regionals against Ithaca this past weekend earned him a spot at the 2018 NCAA national competition in Cleveland, Ohio.

After a week-long break, the men’s wrestling team has come back to clinch fifth place at the NCAA Regional Tournament held at Ithaca College. The team earned 87.5 points.

Three of Brockport’s wrestlers placed in the top two of their respective weight classes. Unsurprisingly, these are the three wrestlers that have continued to rank nationally throughout the season. Senior Jonathan Haas continued to mow down competition in the 125 lb weight class, placing first through victories by fall, technical fall and two major decisions, one of which was the tight 2-1 championship bout against Ithaca’s Ferdinand Mase.

Senior Sean Peacock also earned first in his weight class, 149 lb. Peacock dominated the competition, winning his first four matches by two major decisions, one technical fall and one fall. To earn the first place title,  Peacock crushed his opponent, a wrestler from the College of New Jersey, by a score of 13-5. Junior Triston Engle earned second in the 197 lb weight class, rolling over his competition before being bested by the College of New Jersey’s Etiini Udott in the final round.

All three of the men will now move to the national level of competition, the NCAA Division III Championships. For Engle and Haas, this will be their second trip, both having qualified last year as well. Peacock will be seeing his first national competition.

The lengthy buildup to the regional competition was very important, as stressed by Peacock.

“Come regionals time, the atmosphere of the room changes,” Peacock said. “The starting 10 guys become the main focus and the rest of the team does their best to help us achieve the goal of getting to nationals. As regionals gets closer, everyone gets dialed in and really focuses on the task at hand. We take regionals very seriously and our guys put their best effort into this tournament, and that shows a lot about their character.”

Now that both the regular season and regionals are over, the wrestlers going to the national competition will continue to work as they have all season, if not harder. Their regular routine of practice will also differ.

“We aren’t doing too much different to prepare for nationals. Since there’s only three of us, we have specific partners coming in to workout with us,” Peacock said. “On top of that, we are pushing ourselves as much as we can to improve our conditioning as much as possible before the [championships].”

Last year, the team placed ninth at the national level. While the team undoubtedly wants to do better every year, and thus improve on that placing, coach Donald Murray doesn’t think standings are the main goal of the tournament.

“One always hopes to do better, but to be honest with you, I’ll be proud of them no matter what place we take, as long as they give me 100 percent on the mat,” Murray said. “Many times in coaching, some things are out of your control, and you can only hope that everything goes as planned.”

The NCAA Division III Championships will be held on Friday, May 9 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Also in the news for the wrestling team, associate head coach Bill Ja7coutot was named the Assistant Coach of the Year for the region. Murray referred to him as “one of the finest coaches at all levels” he has ever known.

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