Wrestling takes second in regionals

Brandon Jones (L) and Patrick Sheehan (R) each won an NCAA Regional Championship on Sunday.

The NYU men’s wrestling team had its best finish in program history Sunday, placing second at the NCAA Division III East Regional Championships. The Grapplers won two championships and send four wrestlers to the NCAA DIII Championships.

Seniors Brandon Jones and Patrick Sheehan each won their weight class championships while freshman Jacob Donato and junior Nathan Pike each finished in second. These four will represent NYU at the NCAA DIII Championship.

“Ending the season with a second place finish is bittersweet,” Pike said. “It feels nice to have made it to nationals, but I still wanted first. I got too comfortable knowing that I still had the safety of nationals two weeks from now.”

Jones, Donato, Pike and Sheehan reached the regional final and automatically earned spots in the NCAA Championship.

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“I still want to come out on top, so I’m going to put all my effort into these next two weeks preparing for nationals. That’s where everything counts. I’ve always wanted to go to nationals and I’m extremely excited to finally make my way there,” Pike said.

Jones, the Grapplers co-captain, was the first to win his match. He won in the first period with a pin. Sheehan won his bout in a 9-4 sudden decision to follow Jones to the podium.

Senior Matt DiGiovanni finished fifth on the day, winning three bouts and ending his season with a 13-5 record. Sophomores John Messinger and Matthew Coppola each finished in fourth place after winning three matches as well.

The Grapplers ended their season on a high note with a 21-3 record in dual meets and a 14-match winning streak. They were also 7-1 at home and a perfect 8-0 in conference matches. The Violets performed much better than last year and exceeded expectations.

NYU’s four representatives to the NCAA will take the mat again on March 13-14. Elizabethtown College will host the event at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, March 3 print edition. Email Kyle Luther at [email protected]

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