CHICAGO – In a big day for University of Chicago wrestling, both Maroon qualifers – Ben Sarasin and Kyle Peisker – are still alive in the 2019 NCAA Division III National Championships and are guaranteed an All-American finish as they continue competition in Saturday's consolation rounds.
Despite a loss each for Sarasin and Peisker, both have guaranteed themselves Top 8 finishes – and therefore a spot on the coveted national podium.
Sarasin, the sixth seed first-year at 174 pounds, opened his day with a 7-4 decision over Olivet's Haydn Kinjorski before falling in a tight, 9-5 decision to third-seed Kyle Briggs of Augsburg. Sarasin would rebound with a solid 10-5 decision over Jarrit Shinhoster of Wisconsin-Whitewater to stay alive into Saturday's consolation quarterfinal.
He will take on seventh-seeded Tanner Vassar of Augsburg Saturday morning, needing two wins to reach the third-place match.
At 184 pounds, a tough draw sent Peisker against No. 2 seed Jake Ashcraft of Ithaca in the first round, with Ashcraft pinning him in 1:27. The unseeded UChicago junior didn't give in and instead rose to the next two challenges, taking down No. 7 Devon Pingel of Adrian by a major decision before topping eighth-seeded Solomon Nielsen of Augsburg, 7-5.
Peisker will also need two wins to get into Saturday's third-place match.
"Ben is only the third freshman in program history to make the All-American podium," said Head Coach Leo Kocher. "That would not have happened if Kyle Peisker, who wrestled 174 all year, did not have the courage and confidence to go up to the next weight class at 184 and give us a shot at having two national place winners. We are super proud of both of them."
Day 1 of NCAA Division III Championships
Berglund Center at Roanoke, Va.
(6) Ben Sarasin (174 pounds)
Champ. Round 1 - Ben Sarasin (Chicago) won by decision over Haydn Kinjorski (Olivet), 7-4
Quarterfinal – (3) Kyle Briggs (Wartburg) won by decision over (6) Ben Sarasin (Chicago), 9-5
Cons. Round 2 - Ben Sarasin (Chicago) won by decision over Jarrit Shinhoster (Wis.-Whitewater, Dec 10-5
Cons. Round 3 – (6) Ben Sarasin (UC) vs. (7) Tanner Vassar (Augsburg)
Kyle Peisker (184 pounds)
Champ. Round 1 – (2) Jake Ashcraft (Ithaca) won by fall over Kyle Peisker (Chicago), 1:27
Cons. Round 1 - Kyle Peisker (Chicago) won by MD over (7) Devon Pingel (Adrian), 9-1
Cons. Round 2 - Kyle Peisker (Chicago) won by decision over (8) Solomon Nielsen (Augsburg), 7-5
Cons. Round 3 – Kyle Peisker (Chicago) vs. Josh Edel (Coe)
- Saturday, March 9: UChicago at NCAA Division III Championships, 9 a.m. CT