Wrestling earns 11th place at Regionals

Wrestling (7—10) finished 11th in a at the NCAA Div. III Northeast Regional Championships this past weekend. Brendon Seyfried ’19 and tri-captain Chris Chorzepa ’17 earned spots in the Div. III NCAA Championships, which will be held on Mar. 10-11 in La Crosse, Wis.

The top three finishers in each weight class automatically qualify for NCAAs. Chorzepa was the Northeast champion at 184, while Seyfried punched his ticket with a third-place finish in the 141-lb. weight class. Martin Strenk ’17 also competed in the consolation semifinals at heavyweight but was unable to secure an NCAA berth.

Chorzepa has qualified for NCAAs four straight seasons, earning All-American honors as both a first-year and a sophomore. Last year, he suffered an injury in the first round and was unable to finish the tournament.

On Saturday, he took on Ithaca’s Jake Ashcraft in the semifinals. He wasted no time securing a spot in the finals and took down Ashcraft just over a minute into the opening round. He retained control throughout, taking 2:10 of riding time in the first period. He upped his lead to 4-0 with a reversal in the second round and improved his rising time to 3:40. In the final round, Chorzepa executed another takedown to move into a 6-0 lead, and the match ended with a 9-1 major decision for Chorzepa.

In the championship match, Chorzepa met Michael Gallagher of Rhode Island College. 35 seconds into the first period, Chorzepa scored two points on a takedown and he would never trail in the match. Gallagher earned two points on escapes, but Chorzepa fashioned a takedown in each period to capture the title by a score of 7-2.

A NCAA qualifier last year, Seyfried was named to the D3Wrestle.com National Freshman Team. Looking to make a second consecutive trip to the tournament, his semifinal contest at 141 was against Castleton’s Zak Hale, who had previously beaten Seyfried twice this season. Hale won again by a score of 4-2, sending Seyfried into the consolation bracket.

He first faced Oneonta State’s Richard Dennison in the consolation bracket, winning 7-3 to move onto the third-place match against Ithaca’s Nick Wahba.

The first period ended scoreless, with neither wrestler accruing any riding time. Wahba scored first in the second period, when he escaped from the bottom to earn a 1-0 lead.

In the last 30 seconds of the second period, Seyfried scored a takedown and built up 34 seconds of riding time to take a 2-1 lead into the third. On the bottom to start the final period, he made the score 3-1 with an escape. A Seyfried takedown boosted his lead to 5-1 with just under a minute left. Wahba notched an escape of his own and a takedown to narrow the margin, but Seyfried escaped with a 5-4 victory and an NCAA berth.

Strenk moved up from 197 to heavyweight for the weekend and he made the consolation semifinals, where he fell 4-3.

Head Coach Scott Honecker commented on the team’s impressive perormances.

“Everybody peaked well and wrestled his heart out at Regionals,” he said. “This is a great group of young men, and I am excited about Chris and Brendon who are continuing their seasons, the underclassmen we have returning next year and the seniors we are sending out prepared for their next steps in life.”

Seven other Ephs ended their seasons at Regionals. After NCAAs, the team will graduate Chorzepa, Strenk, C.J. Levin ’17, Austin Wruble ’17 and tri-captain Gabe Corrochano ’17.