CHICAGO – In a hotly-contested dual full of momentum swings, it was only fitting that University of Chicago and New York University went all the way to the last minute of the final match to determine the conference wrestling team championship. NYU ended up pulling out the team victory and UChicago finished second at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship on Saturday.
The Maroons wrapped up their dual meet portion of their season schedule with an overall mark of 5-10, including 1-1 in the UAA. Four UChicago wrestlers earned weight class championships and a spot on the All-Association Team – sophomore Devan Richter (125 pounds), freshman Mason Williams (141 pounds), sophomore Nick Ferraro (165 pounds) and senior Ryan Walsh (197 pounds).
UChicago served as the host for the UAA Championship inside the Ratner Athletics Center. NYU opened up action on the afternoon with a 36-12 victory over Case Western Reserve University.
The hosts were next up on the docket, facing off with Case. The opening four bouts all went to the Maroons. Richter scored a 10-3 decision to lead off at 125 pounds, while freshman Louis Demarco pinned his 133-pound opponent a minute into his match. Williams followed with a first-period fall of his own at 141 pounds, and freshman Luke Iida received a forfeit victory at 149 pounds.
Case scored its 11 team points with a technical fall at 157 pounds and a forfeit at 285 pounds. The rest was all UChicago, who swept the 165 through 197 pounds matches. Sophomore Nicholas DiNapoli secured an 8-5 decision, followed by a 10-1 major decision by junior Paul Papoutsis. Freshman Jason Lynch scored a dominating 16-0 technical fall and Walsh wrapped up the victories with a 10-3 decision.
UChicago 36, Case Western Reserve 11
125 - Devan Richter (UC) def. Matt Moy (CWR), 10-3 decision
133 - Louis Demarco (UC) pinned Luke DiMuzio (CWR) at 1:05
141 - Mason Williams (UC) pinned Connor Howlin (CWR) at 2:32
149 - Luke Iida (UC) won via forfeit
157 - Connor Gordon (CWR) def. Justin Klein (UC), 17-0 technical fall (5:00)
165 - Nicholas DiNapoli (UC) def. Nick Tommas (CWR), 8-5 decision
174 - Paul Papoutsis (UC) def. Nick Lees (CWR), 10-1 major decision
184 - Jason Lynch (UC) def. Garrett Ruderman (CWR), 16-0 technical fall (3:48)
197 - Ryan Walsh (UC) def. Gavin Dersh-Fisher (CWR), 10-3 decision
285 - Brian McNamara (CWR) won via forfeit
The final opponent of the day was NYU. The Violets came into the day as the four-time defending UAA champions. Both sides embraced the stakes and produced a number of entertaining, tense bouts. The two teams exchanged pins to begin the dual. Richter pinned his 12th opponent of the year to give UChicago six team points. Williams delivered a come-from-behind 4-3 decision thanks to a takedown with only 12 seconds remaining in the match.
The next two decisions went NYU's way, but Ferraro helped the Maroons snatch back the lead. The sophomore rode his opponent out from his top position in both the second and third periods en route to a 9-1 major decision. With the score sitting at 13-12 in favor of the home side, the 174-pound match featured impenetrable defense that kept the suspense high. But NYU scored the go-ahead takedown in the last minute of the match and held on to win 4-3 to recapture the team lead, 15-13.
UChicago went into the 197 and 285 pound matches trailing 19-13 – needing a win in both matches to claim the UAA title. Walsh put together a clutch performance to keep the hopes alive, which included a late takedown and effective riding on top to clinch his win, 4-3. It all came down to the heavyweight class. With the Violets clinging to a 3-2 lead in the third period, NYU delivered a takedown in the waning moments to wrap up the day by a final team score of 22-16.
New York University 22, UChicago 16
125 - Devan Richter (UC) pinned Wayne Yuan (NYU) at 4:44
133 - Nathan Pike (NYU) pinned Louis Demarco (UC) at 5:32
141 - Mason Williams (UC) def. Anthony Calvano (NYU), 4-3 decision
149 - Nick Matthews (NYU) def. Luke Iida (UC), 5-2 decision
157 - Raymond Jazikoff (NYU) def. Devon Range (UC), 9-2 decision
165 - Nick Ferraro (UC) def. Manny Ramirez (NYU), 9-1 major decision
174 - John Messinger (NYU) def. Paul Papoutsis (UC), 4-3 decision
184 - William Gockel-Figge (NYU) def. Jason Lynch (UC), 15-1 major decision
197 - Ryan Walsh (UC) def. Mark Papish (NYU), 4-3 decision
285 - Santino Pelusi (NYU) def. Patrick Mulkerin (UC), 5-2 decision
"We put together our best dual meet lineup and best team effort of the year – it wasn't quite good enough to get the job done," said Head Coach Leo Kocher. "We put the load on five freshmen and they all battled, but only could one pull out a win. Senior leader Ryan Walsh goes out a UAA Champion, which is a fitting reward for his four years of hard work. The dual meets are behind us now and we need to focus on performing our best at the NCAA qualifying tournament in two weeks."
- Saturday, February 27 – UChicago at NCAA Midwest Regional (Wabash College), 9 AM (ET)