The Ithaca College wrestling team finished in third place out of 67 teams at the NCAA Championships. The Bombers scored 44 points on the first day of the tournament and held their position on the second day, ending the weekend with 79 points.
The South Hill squad sent seven wrestlers to compete in the tournament, where the team had five finish in the top eight.
The first to compete of the college’s top eight finishers was at the 125-pound weight class. Junior Ferdinand Mase placed seventh by defeating Baldwin Wallace senior Christopher Doyle by an 8–1 decision.
At the 141-pound weight class, sophomore Ben Brisman became the only national champion of the day for the Bombers by defeating freshman Brett Kaliner of Stevens Institute of Technology by a 10–7 decision. Brisman and Kaliner had previously wrestled each other in the final at the Regional Tournament on Feb. 25, where Kaliner got the best of Brisman by defeating him in an 8–3 decision.
The 165-pound senior Nick Velez was the next Bomber to compete in the championship. Velez took a defeat by a 15-0 technical fall from Augsburg’s sophomore Lucas Jeske, causing Velez to bring home silver in his final match.
The next top eight finisher was at the 184-pound weight class, where junior Jake Ashcraft took third place by defeating John Boyle, Western New England sophomore, with a 14–2 major decision. Ashcraft came into the meet as the No. 2 wrestler in his weight class.
The fifth wrestler to place in the top eight on the weekend was 285-pound junior Jake O’Brien. He placed fifth by defeating Konrad Ernst, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse sophomore, by a score of 5–3. O’Brien is the first back-to-back heavyweight All-American in program history.
This was the final match of the season for the Blue and Gold, as the team finished third at the NCAA Division III level.