January 21, 2013
Myhrberg pulls off three-peat
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Jared Myhrberg of SUNY Cortland handles Nikolas Christine of Lycoming College enroute to a first round pin at Saturday’s ECWC Championships. Myhrberg won the 197-pound title.
Though SUNY Cortland rested a bunch of its top talent while hosting Saturday’s Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference Championships, senior stalwart Jared Myhrberg was not one of those idle Red Dragons.
Myhrberg — the nation’s top-ranked 197-pounder in Division III — lived up to his top seed while capturing a third consecutive conference title and being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler when this eight-school gathering concluded at Corey Gymnasium.
The Queensbury native also became only the sixth wrestler at Cortland to surpass 100 career victories prior to winning a 5-2 decision over Messiah College’s Travis Ebersole in the title match at 197 pounds. With four victories on the day, Myhrberg improved to 23-1 on the season and stands 101-19 for his career.
The only other Red Dragon to reach the finals was Will Parks at 184 pounds, where the senior dropped a close 3-2 decision to John Thompson from Messiah.
Cortland came into the meet as the defending team champion, but Coach Brad Bruhn elected to save some of his top matmen and give a bunch of less experienced Red Dragons some crucial big meet mat time.
That move was made because for the first time the ECWC Championships were not used as an NCAA Division III national individual qualifier, too. In the past, each weight class winner and a group of ‘wild-card’ selections moved on to the national meet. This year those NCAA berths will be determined at six regionals being held on March 2-3, with the top three finishers in each weight class advancing to nationals.
Cortland will be part of the Northeast Regional field on those two March dates, with Worcester Poly Institute in Massachusetts the host school.
Without its top line-up, Cortland still finished in fourth place in the final ECWC team standings. Messiah won its first league title with 133 points. The Falcons from Grantham, Pa., were followed by Ithaca (130.5), Brockport (108.5), Cortland (108), Oneonta (106), Lycoming (94), Oswego (72) and RIT (32) in the final standings.
Messiah had six wrestlers reach the finals, with Kyle Coblentz at 133 and Thompson at 184 crowned champs. Runner-up Ithaca had four finalists, with Ricardo Gomez at 125, Derek Brenon at 157 and Jules Doliscar at 174 taking titles.
Myhrberg was among 10 Cortland wrestlers who earned top-six finishes out of the hosts’ 15 total entries.
After an 8-3 first round victory over Brockport’s Cole Tristram, Myhrberg set a school record with his 47th career fall — 45 of those pins to go along with two technical fall victories — when he flattened Lycoming’s Nikolas Christine in 1:30 of the first period in the quarterfinals.
Facing Oneonta’s Chad Obzud in the semifinals, Myhrberg earned his 100th career victory with a 12-3 major decision victory before going on to beat the second-seeded Ebersole for the title.
The top-seed Parks came up with three decision victories before losing to the second-seeded Thompson in the finals. He beat Oswego’s Edward Rose 6-1, Messiah’s Steven Bandstra 7-2 and third-seed Gregory Duvall from Oneonta 4-3 in a semifinal scrap.
Parks is 16-3 on the season.
Cortland’s Andy Scopino finished third at 285 pounds. After splitting his first two matches, the freshman he rebounded with four wins capped by an 8-4 decision over Oneonta’s Jacob Smith in the third-place match.
Freshman Chris Sarro placed fourth at 157 pounds with a 3-2 record for the Red Dragons. Fellow rookie Joe Cataldo ended up fifth at 174 pounds at 2-2, with five places also secured by freshman Mitchell Janes (3-2) at 149 pounds and freshman Tanavung Tim (2-2) at 125 pounds.
Also placing for the Red Dragons were sophomore William Maldonado (2-1) sixth at 174, sophomore Francisco DeCristo (2-1) sixth at 197 and senior Alex Meyers (3-3) sixth at 184,
Cortland has a dual meet on Wednesday at Oneonta, a 7 p.m. start, before competing at the Jamestown Open this coming Saturday.
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