LaCrosse, Wis. – Senior Seth Ecker (Pottstown, Pa./Pottstown) and graduate student Jeremy Stierly (Pottstown, Pa./Owen J. Roberts) of the Ithaca College both won individual titles in Saturday’s final session at the NCAA Championships. Ecker won his second straight NCAA title at 133 pounds and Stierly claimed the crown at 149 pounds to highlight for the weekend for the Bombers, who finished in fifth place in the team standings. Ecker and Stierly’s titles bring the program’s total to individual national champions; they were two of Ithaca’s five all-Americans.
Joining Ecker and Stierly as all-Americans were junior Jules Doliscar (Trinity/Dix Hills), who placed seventh at 174; graduate student Nick Sanko (Lenhartsville, Pa./Hamburg Area), who finished seventh at 165; and senior Derek Brenon (Watertown/Immaculate Heart Central), who took eighth at 157. Ithaca’s sixth entrant, senior heavyweight Matt Mahon (Rochester/Brighton)went 1-2 Friday and was eliminated.
As a team the Bombers placed fifth in the standings; following a fourth-place showing last year and sixth-place efforts in 2009 and 2010, Ithaca’s four straight top-1o finishes match the school record set from 1992-95. Ithaca’s five all-Americans are one short of the school record set by the 1988 team. Brenon, Doliscar and Sanko all earned all-America honor for the first time; Ecker andStierly are three-time all-Americans.
Ecker, the top seed, became the first Ithaca wrestler to win more than one individual NCAA championship. He recorded an 8-0 major decision over seventh-seeded Jordan Westfall of Coe in the title bout (Coe upset the second and third seeds in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds). He beat Wartburg’s Thomas Mirocha 4-0 then beat eighth-seeded Timothy Wunnicke of Wisconsin-Platteville 5-2 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Ecker recorded his ninth fall of the season, planting unseeded Joe Mileski of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (who had upset the fourth and fifth seeds) in 4:25. The pin in the semifinals was the 34th of Ecker’s career; he went 30-4 this season with a career record of 108-20. He’s ninth all-time in wins as a Bomber.
Stierly finished the 2010 and 2011 season as NCAA runner-up at 141 pounds; he moved up a class for his final season and ended the year with his hand raised as the national champion.Stierly, who was seeded fourth, edged second-seeded Anthony Dattolo of Wilkes 3-1 to win the title. Stierly earned two points with a first-period takedown and the two wrestlers each picked up an escape (Dattolo in the second and Stierly in the third). He posted a 10-2 major decision over Wartburg’s Drew Wagenhoffer to open competition Friday, then defeated fifth-seeded James Locke of Coe 7-4 in the next round. Stierly’s semifinal win came by a 6-4 count on a takedown in the second overtime period against eighth-seeded Joe Wood of Coe (who was coming off an overtime win against the top seed). Stierly joined John Gemmell as the only Bombers to reach the finals three times (Gemmell also finished second twice, then moved up a weight class and won the title in his final season) and posted a record of 12-1 this season. Stierly’s career mark is 91-18.
Ecker and Stierly are the 11th and 12th Bomber wrestlers to earn all-America honors three times (joining Bart Morrow, 1983-84-85; Bob Panariello, 1983-84-87; Mike Fusilli, 1988-89-90; Bomber head coach Marty Nichols, 1988-89-90; Mike Murtha, 1992-93-94; Kent Maslin, 1992-93-94; Chris Matteotti, 1992-93-95; John Gemmell, 1996-97-98; Ryan Ciotoli, 2000-01-02; and Blaine Woszczak (Manasquan, N.J./Wall), 2009-10-11;
Doliscar was a 7-1 winner over Augustana’s Jordan Richardson in the seventh/eighth-place match. Seeded first, Doliscar opened competition Friday by defeating Josh Kohler of Augsburg, 9-4 before being upset by eighth-seeded Matthew Pfarr of St. John’s in the quarterfinal round.Doliscar outscored his consolation quarterfinal opponent 14-10, beating seventh-seeded Trevor Tyler of Olivet, then lost 8-6 to fifth-seeded Scott King of Coe in the next round. Doliscar finishes the season with a record of 36-4 (only four Bombers have ever won more bouts in a season).
Sanko won his seventh/eighth-place bout 11-4 over Quint Eno of Elizabethtown. He was seeded third and dropped a 3-2 decision to Kevin O’Brien of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in his first match. Sankodefeated Colin Crowell of Roger Williams (4-3) and Matt Burns of Augustana (8-2) in elimination matches. Sanko lost to eighth-seeded James Myers of Olivet in the consolation semifinal round. He posted a record of 19-5 on the year and finishes his career with mark of 55-24.
Brenon, the eighth seed, was a 7-3 winner over John Carroll’s Terner Gott before losing to the top seed, Augsburg’s Orlando Ponce. Brenon pinned Michael Letcher of Ohio Northern in 1:24 in the consolation quarterfinals to clinch all-America honors for the first time in his career, then lost 13-2 to fifth-seeded Dale Handley of Coe and was pinned by sixth-seeded Isaac Dukes of Case Western Reserve in the seventh/eighth-place match. Brenon went 15-7 this year and is 60-16 as a Bomber.
Mahon lost 9-3 to fourth-seeded Corey Anderson of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the opening round. He picked up a late takedown to beat Gettysburg’s Kevin Poplaski 11-9 in the consolation bracket before being eliminated. Mahon finishes his career 91-35 (he was 26-9 this winter) with a school-record 55 pins.
Ecker and Stierly were the second and third Bombers to win an NCAA title this weekend; senior Emma Dewart successfully defended her pentathlon title Friday at the NCAA Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championships.
–Ithaca College Sports Information