Wrestling finishes 13th

Andrew Lichtenauer

Senior Writer

Orange and Blue wrestlers Austin Miller ’15, John Regan ’12 and Corey Lear ’13 became place winners in their respective weight classes on the final day of the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships at Princeton’s Jadwin Gym on March 4. Miller earned the Bison’s lone automatic NCAA berth, finishing third at 125 pounds. Regan finished seventh at 157 pounds and Lear finished fifth at 165 pounds.

Regan posted a 2-2 record on March 3 and entered the next day of competition with just one opponent ahead of him. Regan ended up beating Troy Hernandez (Penn) 5-3 to take seventh place. Regan is now 20-12 this season, which marks his second career 20-win season.

Lear entered the day seeking a win in his first challenge to move on to the consolation finals (third-place match). Unfortunately, fifth-seeded Lear lost to third-seeded Marshall Peppelman (Cornell) 3-1. Lear then bounced back to defeat Mason Bailey (Navy) 6-2 in the fifth-place bout. Lear had a 3-2 record at the EIWA Championships, which adds to his career win total of a team-best 60.

Miller was the fifth seed in his bracket, earning his third-place finish with a 2-0 record on the second and final day of the EIWA Championships. He defeated Tyler Sackett (Navy) 12-6 to move on to the third-place match, and then beat third-seeded Billy Watterson (Brown) in a close match that ended 3-2. The top three finishers at 125 pounds earn an automatic NCAA berth, which means that Miller will be making his first career trip to the national tournament.

“Qualifying for nationals is definitely a big deal for me. I am very proud of that accomplishment,” Miller said. “However, it is only a stepping stone to being an All-American and, eventually, a national champion. No one will remember who was an NCAA qualifier in 2012 and I will not be satisfied with simply being a qualifier.”

Miller posted an impressive 3-1 record against four seeded opponents over the two-day championship. He defeated two individuals seeded higher than him and his only loss was to the eventual 125-pound champion Frank Perrelli. Miller is now 22-12 on the year and will enter the NCAA Championships having won 11 of his last 15 bouts.

“I wouldn’t exactly call my last part of the season momentum or anything even remotely related,” Miller said. “I have just begun to wrestle more consistently as the year has progressed. That is a result of practice and getting more accustomed to the college wrestling style. Besides, 11 out of 15 could, and should for that matter, be 15 out of 15.”

The complete NCAA field will be finalized March 7 when 40 additional at-large selections are added to the automatic qualifiers. The NCAA Championships will take place March 15-17 in St. Louis, Mo.

As a team, the Bison sent nine wrestlers to the EIWA Championships and finished 13th in team standings behind 12th-place Franklin & Marshall. Cornell won its 6th consecutive team crown with Lehigh, American, Penn and Navy rounding out the top five. In all six years since the wrestling program was reinstated, the Bison have had at least three placewinners at the EIWA Championships.

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