Okolo Earns First All-American Honors in Campus Wrestling Program
Freshman wrestler Chike Okolo became the first Penn State DuBois wrestler to earn the National Collegiate Wrestling Association's (NCWA) All-American honors over the weekend at the NCWA Championships in Daytona Beach, Florida. Okolo, who came to DuBois from Somerset, New Jersey, competes at the 197 weight class and finished the tournament in 8th place after going 4-3 on the weekend. Coach Matt Park was elated that Chike wrestled so well and became the first wrestler to become an All-American for the campus.
Okolo opened the competition with a 20-4 technical fall over Aaron James of Washington CCC. His second round opponent was eventual 197 pound champion Aaron Thompson from Liberty University. Okolo lost to Thompson 9-1 which put him into the consolation wrestle backs. Okolo followed up the loss with three straight wins to earn All-American honors. Including an 11-2 win over Jerad Korte of McKendree College, and a fall over Ben Pema of Iowa State University, and a fall over David Neff of Auburn University. In Okolo's final two bouts he was defeated by Charlie Farr of Mercer University and Alec Pence of the University of Maryland Baltimore City.
The rest of the DuBois contingent that qualified for the NCWA Championships had a mixed degree of success. Sophomore Nick Bogacki from DuBois High School was 2-2, as was 141 pound sophomore Garrett Zarecky. Shane Alterio, at 157 pounds, was 1-2 and Stephen Terwilliger was 0-2 in competition. Unfortunately, 285 pounder Chris Minarchick was forced to withdrawal in his first match due to a knee injury.
Coach Park stated, “The wrestlers worked hard all season and it was nice to see the payoff at the end of the year with guys wrestling so well against outstanding competition. Many of the top programs in the NCWA are ahead of us right now, but with continued commitment we will get there in the next few years."
For the latest news on all Penn State DuBois athletic programs, visit http://www.psuduboisathletics.com