Vindication shows itself in different forms, as was the case for senior Seth Ecker and graduate student Jeremy Stierly winning individual titles at the NCAA Championships yesterday in La Crosse, Wis. Ecker defeated all the competitors in the 133-pound weight class, while Stierly took first in the 149-pound category.
Ecker entered the tournament as the top seed and defending champion. He had his two main rivals eliminated by seventh-seeded Coe College senior Jordan Westfall. Ecker then recorded a major decision in the title bout against Westfall to become Ithaca’s first wrestler to win more than one individual championship.
Stierly was a two-time runner up before moving up a weight class and entering the tournament as a fourth seed. Stierly needed double overtime to defeat eighth-seeded Coe College senior James Locke of Coe 6-4 in the semifinals before recording a 3-1 win over second-seeded Wilkes College senior Anthony Dattolo in the final. Stierly matched John Gemmell’s ’98 school record of three national championship appearances.
The Bombers also registered five All-Americans, as senior Derek Brenon finished eighth in the 157-pound weight class, junior Jules Doliscar finished seventh in the 174-pound weight class and graduate student Nick Sanko finished seventh in the 165-pound weight class.
Senior heavyweight Matt Mahon went 1-2 in his matches and was eliminated Friday. He leaves the South Hill squad as the all-time leader in career pins with 55.
The Blue and Gold finished fifth in the team rankings, which marked the program’s fourth straight top-ten finish at the national championships. This matches the school record set from 1992-95.
Wartburg College won the team title with 141.5 points, which was 55 points more than second placed Augsburg College.