Co-captain Ces Antista ’13 traveled to the University of Wisconsin La Crosse on Friday to represent wrestling at the Div. III NCAA Championships. Antista received a bid after winning the NEWA Championship in the 141-lb. weight class. Tom Foote ’13 also received an at-large bid to the tournament; however, due to an injury, he was unable to participate.
Antista entered the tournament unseeded in the 141-lb. weight class. His first opponent was Ryan Timmerman of St. Olaf. Although Antista fought hard, he succumbed to Timmerman in a 6-5 decision on Friday.
This loss placed Antista in the wrestle-back portion of the bracket. In his second match, he faced Paul Marcello of Johns Hopkins. Antista was able to overcome his previous loss and take the match in a tight 3-2 decision.
“Ces wrestled very well,” Head Coach Rich Hasenfus said. “When we scouted his opponent, we knew it would be a tough match, but Ces did a great job against him.”
Antista then went on to face Andrew Zobac of North Central Illinois on Friday night. Zobac proved to be too much for Antista, claiming the match in a decisive 11-4 victory. This knocked Antista out of the competition entirely and ended his junior season.
“Ces had an outstanding season,” Hasenfus said. “He started a little slow coming off from being away for a semester and recovering from shoulder surgery. Being away gave him some time to heal, but he didn’t get as much mat time heading into the season. He got better and better every time he wrestled. He was always improving, from his first match to Nationals.”
After receiving an at-large bid into the tournament, Foote was sidelined with a hamstring injury that prevented him from competing at Nationals. “Tom had an outstanding year,” Hasenfus said. “He improved greatly, on his feet and in every aspect. He led our team in takedowns, and I think that’s the first time a heavyweight has led our team in takedowns. He improved in all areas.”
Antista and co-captain Nikola Mirkovic ’12 received Scholar All-American Honors, and the team was honored with a Div. III Scholar Team Award. The men had the eighth-highest team GPA in the country.
Mirkovic will be the only member of the team graduating this spring. The rest of the roster will return next year with high hopes of building on the successes of this past winter.