March 12, 2011


All-America clincher for two Dragons

La CROSSE, Wisc. — SUNY Cortland seniors Dave Colagiovanni and Aljamain Sterling guaranteed themselves All-America honors with their performances during the first day of competition at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships at The La Crosse Center.
Colagiovanni went 2-1 at 125 pounds, while Sterling was 3-1 at 141 pounds. They are both assured of top-eight national finishes and All-America recognition.
Three other Red Dragons were eliminated during the opening day. Sophomore Jared Myhrberg finished 1-2 at 197 pounds, while sophomores Troy Sterling and Corey James finished 0-2 at 157 pounds and 285 pounds, respectively.
Cortland is 18th out of 50 schools in the team standings after Day 1 with 13 points. Wartburg College leads with 63.5 points. The Red Dragons are the third New York school in the standings behind sixth-place Ithaca (37 points) and ninth-place Merchant Marine Academy (25).
Wrestling continues today, with the championship matches scheduled to be held tonight.
Colagiovanni, from Mahopac, is making his third appearance at nationals. Unseeded at 125 pounds, he opened with a 2-1 victory over eighth-seeded Alex Crown of Waynsburg by scoring a first-period takedown.
Colagiovanni fell 9-3 in the quarterfinals to defending national champion Clayton Rush of Coe College, but he guaranteed himself a top-eight finish and All-America honors with a pin in 6:52 versus Steve Godine of The College of New Jersey. He will face Brandon Gauthier of Rhode Island College in his first match today and can still finish as high as third nationally.
The third-seeded Aljamain Sterling, from Uniondale, was upset in his first match at 141 pounds by unseeded Nick Garber of Waynesburg 3-1. Sterling took a 1-0 lead on a third-period escape, but Garber notched a takedown to earn the decision.
The senior bounced back from that setback to win three straight matches and lock up All-America honors for the second straight season. He finished fourth at 133 pounds last year.
Sterling scored four points in the third period to pull away for a 6-1 win over Delaware Valley’s Matt Ulrich, then edged Mount Union’s Josh Malave, 2-1 — with riding time providing the decisive point after each wrestler recorded an escape.
The Red Dragon finished the night with a 3-0 win over eighth-seeded David Alsieux of Centenary on a second-period near fall. He will wrestle fifth-seeded Ryan Bridge of Stevens Tech to start action today and can place as high as third.
Myhrberg, seeded fifth at 197 pounds, just missed earning All-America honors.
He won his opening match versus Chad Gregory of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 6-3, using an escape and a takedown in the third period to break a 2-2 tie.
In the quarterfinals, Myhrberg faced two-time national runner-up and fourth seed Ryan Melo of Williams. Myhrberg led 4-2 after the first period, but a Malo reversal in the second tied the match. Malo then recorded a third-period takedown to go up 6-4 and withstood a Myhrberg escape to win 6-5.
Myhrberg then faced sixth-seeded Tim Lutke of Centenary, with the winner guaranteed All-America honors. Myhrberg led 2-1 after the first and neither wrestler scored in the second. Myhrberg went up 3-1 on an escape, but Lutke recorded a late takedown to tie the match and another in the first sudden victory overtime period to win 5-3. Myhrberg finishes the season with a 28-4 record.
Troy Sterling, unseeded at 157 pounds, dropped a 3-1 decision to eighth-seeded Dan Twito of Merchant Marine. Twito took down Sterling in the first period and each wrestler recorded an escape after that. In the consolation bracket, Sterling lost 4-0 to top-seeded Derek Brenon of Ithaca — who was upset in his opening match. Sterling finishes the season with a 29-10 record.
James, the sixth seed at 285 pounds, lost to unseeded Tom Bouressa of Concordia-Moorhead 3-1. James led 1-0 on a second-period escape, but Bouressa recorded a takedown later in the period and added an escape in the third.
James then lost 1-0 to unseeded Jeremy Klein of Loras. The only point came on a Klein escape in the second. James chose the neutral position to start the third but couldn’t record a takedown. James completes the season with a 28-3 record.


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