LA CROSSE, Wis. – University of Chicago's Steve Bonsall secured a top-eight finish in his weight class during the first day of the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships on Friday.
Bonsall received the toughest opening draw in the 157-pound bracket when he matched up with undefeated No. 1-seed Robert Dierna of SUNY Cortland. Dierna defeated Bonsall with a 23-5 technical fall.
In the evening session of the consolation bracket, Bonsall faced off with Nicholas Racanelli (Wilkes University). The UChicago freshman earned a 5-1 decision to pick up his team-leading 32nd victory of the season.
His final match of the night occurred against No. 7-seed Logan Meister (Ferrum College). Bonsall registered a quick takedown only 11 seconds into the match and added another takedown later in the period. However, Meister earned an escape to start the second period and then got a takedown of his own to go up 5-4. Bonsall's subsequent escape tied the match at 5-5.
In the third and final period, Bonsall received an escape point to go up 6-5 when Meister opted for neutral position. The Maroon rookie then fended off Meister's attack attempts and earned the one-point victory. With the win, Bonsall guaranteed a spot in the top eight at 157 pounds and All-American status.
Bonsall will continue action on Saturday morning with a pair of matches.
"It was a wild ride to the second day," said Head Coach Leo Kocher. "Steve got hammered the first match. His opponent was the defending champ, but Steve did not look good. He made some adjustments for his next match and looked much better. Then came the All-American round against a returning All-American who finished sixth last year. This opponent also won the very tough Wheaton Invite where Steve finished seventh. It was a good time for Steve to wrestle his best match of the year."
- Saturday, Mar. 11 @ 10:00 AM – UChicago at NCAA Division III Championships (La Crosse, Wis.)