Haines and Hill Finish 8th at NCWA National Championships
For the second year in a row, Coach Matt Park’s team returned home from the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) National Championships with hardware. This year, two wrestlers earned All-American honors. Senior Kasey Haines, at 149 pounds, and sophomore Cliff Hill, at 197 pounds, both captured eight place and finished the tournament with 4-3 records.
Both Haines and Hill opened their tournaments with wins in the first round then dropped to the consolation bracket on Thursday evening with a loss. Friday was a big day for both wrestlers as they reeled off of three straight wins to get themselves into the top eight of their weight class. Along the way Haines reversed a loss from the Mid-East Regional qualifier where he was pinned by Jonathan Dempsey of Lafayette; on Friday he pulled out an 8-6 sudden victory win with a takedown in overtime. Hill saved his heroics for this last match on Friday where he was trailing Benjamin Hogan 8-2 (Cincinnati) in the second period, when he used an upper body throw to secure the pin at 4:13 and earn All-American honors. On Saturday both wrestlers lost their two matches to settle for eighth place and NCWA All-American.
Penn State DuBois’ other wrestlers competed hard and attributed to the team success with several winning matches along the way.125 Landon Clayton 1-2, 133 Sheibley 2-2, 141 Hildebrand 0-2, 157 Alterio 2-2, 165 Himes 1-2, 174 R.Terwilliger 2-2, S.Terwilliger 0-2, 285 Minarchick 2-2.
Penn State DuBois finished in 14th place with 36 points; the next best conference school was Penn College in 20th place and 19 points. In the team race, California Baptist established a lead with its strength in the lighter weights, and then held off McKendree in a thrilling race of All-American one-upmanship as the Lancers won their second National Collegiate Wrestling Association Championships here. The Lancers totaled nine All-Americans out of their 13 qualifiers, and each made the difference in their 145.5 points that edged McKendree’s six All-Americans and 137 points.
Fittingly, the tournament results came down to the heavyweight match, where CBU’s Zach Merrill sealed the title with a 3-0 win over Ross Janney of McKendree. That ended a rush of points for both squads that saw each team score All-American (top eight) finishes in five of the last six weight classes. McKendree had the higher finishes during the impressive run, but the Lancers’ three additional All-Americans earlier in the tournament were the difference.
For complete results from the NCWA Tournament, visit http://www.psuduboisathletics.com