NCAA wrestling: Messiah brings home third straight Mideast Region title
Williamsport, PA - No. 4 Messiah College won its third straight Mideast Regional team title with four champions and seven wrestlers that qualified for the NCAA Championships on March 11-12 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Falcons accumulated 139.5 points, 29.5 more points than runner-up finisher Baldwin Wallace.
No. 1 Lucas Malmberg defeated No. 9 Jacob Spearman from Washington & Jefferson by a tight 5-2 decision in the semifinal bout. Spearman struck first with a takedown on the edge of the match and took an early 2-0 lead.
Next, Malmberg earned a quick escape and shot a double leg takedown for two more points. Leading 3-2, Malmberg tallied another escape and finished the second period with a 4-2 advantage. Spearman chose down in the third period and Malmberg rode Spearman for the entire period for the 5-2 decision with riding time.
Malmberg captured his third straight Mideast Region title with a second period fall over Asher Kramer of Brockport. In the second period, Malmberg locked up a three-quarter nelson and earned the fall.
No. 7 Larry Cannon lost by fall to Brett Beltz of Thiel in the semifinals during the first period. Beltz scored the first and only takedown of the match from a scramble position. Cannon was coming around for a reversal when Beltz captured Cannon's head and turned him with a headlock for the fall.
In his consolation semifinal match, Cannon made quick work of Blake Dixon from John Carroll with a fall in 1:44.
Cannon earned third place at 157 pounds with a 5-3 decision over Ian Evans of Scranton. Cannon tallied a first period takedown off a double leg attack and headed into the second period with a 2-1 lead. Cannon held a 3-1 lead late into the third period when Evans reversed Cannon.
Cannon had riding time so Evans let Cannon escape and looked for a takedown. Cannon successfully held off Evans late comeback for third place and a bid to the national championships.
Jeff Hojnacki grinded out a tough 9-6 decision in the semifinals over Anthony Arroyo of Baldwin Wallace. Hojnacki scored the first takedown of the match off a single leg attack. Shortly after, Hojnack locked up a cradle and turned Arroyo for two back points.
Arroyo responded with an escape but Hojnacki capitalized with another takedown. Arroyo tallied two takedowns late in the match but Hojnacki held him off for the 9-6 victory.
Jeff Hojnacki won a Mideast Region crown with a 10-4 decision over No. 2 Nolan Barger of Lycoming. Barger scored the first takedown of the match, but Hojnacki capitalized with a reversal at the end of the first period.
Hojnacki chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped. Next, Hojnacki tallied another takedown to pull ahead of Barger 5-2. Barger took injury time which led to Hojnacki getting his choice on where he wanted to start.
Hojnacki chose the down position and Barger started with an optional start. Barger hit a cement mixer for two back points and Hojnacki quickly escaped. During the third period Hojnacki led 8-4 when he secured another takedown for the 10-4 victory.
No. 5 Ben Swarr dominated Troy Semour of Oswego State by a 12-1 major decision in the semifinal bout. Swarr quickly took an early lead with a takedown and locked up a tilt for four points for a 6-0 advantage. Swarr used multiple escapes, takedown, and riding time for the 12-1 major decision victory.
Swarr dropped a tight 7-6 decision to No. 8 Garret Chase of Baldwin Wallace and finished second in the Mideast Region. Chase tallied the first takedown of the match with a single leg at the edge of the mat and Swarr quickly escaped.
During the second period, Swarr reversed Chase, but Chase quickly escaped and tied the match at three. The third period started with an escape from Chase and a takedown by Swarr. Chase responded with an escape of his own and another single leg takedown at the edge of the mat that decided the match.
No. 3 Josh Thomson handled Rocco Hladney of Elizabethtown with a 10-3 decision in the semifinal bout. Thomson tallied a plethora of takedowns and limited Hladney to only escapes.
Thomson won his third regional title with a 6-2 decision over Dillen Decker of Heidelberg. Thomson accumulated two takedowns, an escape, and riding time for the comfortable victory.
No. 8 Kyle Koser lost by fall to Tyler Maclellan of Baldwin Wallace in the third period during the semifinals. Koser held a comfortable 4-1 lead in the third when he reacted to a snap down attempt by Maclellan and pulled his head up a little too high. Maclellan took advantage by throwing a headlock and pinned Koser for the upset.
Koser dominated John Short of York College by a 17-0 technical fall in the second period during his consolation semifinal match. Koser used multiple takedowns and a couple tilts to rack up his 17 points.
Koser won his third place bout by medical forfeit over No. 10 Daniel Smith of Oswego State.
Jason Wright dominated No. 7 Cole Tristram of Brockport in the semifinals with a fall in the third period. During the first period Wright secured a takedown to Tristram's back and collected two near fall points.
Wright led 4-1 late in the second period when he scored a takedown with 10 seconds left and extended his lead to 6-1. Finally, Wright perfected a double leg takedown right to Tristram's back and secured the third period fall.
Wright won his first Mideast Regional championship with a 5-0 decision over Will Porter of John Carroll. Wright scored a takedown in the first period and used an escape and two stalling points to pull ahead 5-0.
Next, Wright tallied a takedown in the third period and accumulated riding time for the 7-0 major decision.