Aggies Win 3rd Consecutive Midwest Title; 5 Wrestlers Capture Individual Crowns
Feb 23, 2009
Delaware Valley College, ranked second in Division III, ran away from the competition at the NCAA Midwest Regional as the Aggies captured their third straight team title. Individually, five wrestlers won individual champions and one earned a wild-card berth, giving Delaware Valley six qualifiers for the upcoming NCAA Division III Championships.
Chris Sheetz (125 pounds/Barto, PA/Upper Perkiomen), Brandon Clemmer (133 pounds/Pottstown, PA/Upper Perkiomen), Rocky Mantella (174 pounds/Newtown, PA/Council Rock), Mike Wilcox (184 pounds/Buena, NJ/Buena) and Kyle Bilquist (Heavyweight/Toms River, NJ/Toms River South) took top honors in their weight classes and earned automatic berths to nationals.
They will be joined by Dale Fava (149 pounds/Elmwood Park, NJ/Elmwood Park) as he placed second and was selected for one of the region's five wild-card berths. The six Aggies will now prepare for the NCAA Division III Championships which will take place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Friday and Saturday, March 6 and 7.
In addition, Mantella was named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler while Brandon Totten was selected as the Coach of the Year. Mantella is the second straight Aggie to receive the honor as Sheetz took home the award as a freshman last year.
For Totten, it is the third straight year that he has received the coaching honor at the Midwest Regionals and the seventh straight time at an NCAA qualifying tournament (he was the Middle Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year in the last four years of its tournament).
Delaware Valley racked up 183 points to outdistance 19th-ranked Olivet College and host Trine University which tied for second with 128.5 points. College of Mount Saint Joseph was third with 99.5 points while Thiel College and Waynesburg University rounded out the top five with 97.5 and 83.5 points respectively.
Mantella, a junior who is ranked fifth in the country at 174, brought a perfect 24-0 record to the regionals and was seeded second behind two-time All-American and second-ranked Kyle Vanderhyde of Olivet. Mantella had a bye in the preliminaries and received a win by medical forfeit in the quarters after Kyle Carlson of Manchester was injured earlier in the tournament.
Mantella hit the mat for the first time in the semifinals and cruised to a 17-5 major decision over third-seeded Nick Kraus of Thiel. That set up the highly anticipated meeting between Mantella and Vandehyde (37-4). The match was tied at 4-4 after regulation and Mantella notched a takedown in the first 30 seconds of overtime for the 6-4 win and the regional crown.
Sheetz, ranked fourth in Division III at 125 and the top seed at the regional, opened the tournament with falls over Jason Ray of Manchester (2:01) and Justin Fleeson of Olivet (3:17). In the semifinals, he dropped fourth-seeded Zach Cecchetti of Washington & Jefferson in 2:33. Sheetz then met second-seeded and ninth-ranked Rob Miller of Thiel and picked up a 5-4 decision for his second straight Midwest Regional title. He finished sixth to earn All-American honors at last year's NCAA Championships, and he will bring a 35-4 record to the 2009 tournament.
Clemmer also earned his second consecutive regional crown and berth to nationals. The senior and third-ranked wrestler at 133 was the top seed on Saturday and he began his run with a 12-0 blanking of Tye Bowman of Trine and a 16-0 techincal fall over Josh Mollica of Waynesburg. Clemmer then pinned fourth-seeded Chad Allen of Manchester in 3:47 for his 100th career win and a berth in the finals. He then shutout second-seeded Corey Brown of Thiel, 7-0 to up his season record to 30-6.
Wilcox and Bilquist each entered the Midwest Regionals as the number one ranked wrestlers in the country in their respective weight classes. Both seniors claimed their second straight regional title and return trips to nationals (a third such journey for Bilquist who was a wild-card selection in 2007).
Wilcox, the 2008 national runner-up at 184, opened with a 16-3 major decision over Patrick Morris of Thiel, and then pinned Charlie Thomas of Waynesburg in 4:25 to reach the semifinals. He cruised to a 15-4 major decision over fifth-seeded David Bernholt of Case Western Reserve and followed with a 6-2 decision over No. 2 Louis Posa of Thiel in the finals for the regional championship. Wilcox will head to Iowa with a 33-2 record.
Bilquist, who placed fifth for All-American honors at the NCAAs a season ago, had a bye in the preliminaries and then needed just 75 seconds to pin Kraig Smith of Thiel. In the semifinals, he edged fourth-seeded Taylor Potts of Washington & Jefferson, 2-1 and then notched a 4-1 victory over No. 2 Spencer Fulk of Manchester for the title.
Fava, a sophomore making his first trip to regionals, was seeded fourth at 14 9 pounds. He opened with pins over Torryn Heflinger of Manchester (0:53) and fifth-seeded Nick Leon of Olivet (4:32) to reach the semifinals. Fava then had a takedown in overtime to upset top-seeded Jared Tribbet of Wasbash. His run in the regionals ended with a 6-2 loss to No. 2 Drew Gardella of Case Western, but he held off a challenge in the true second place match and received a wild-card berth from the coaches. Fava will bring a 19-7 record to the NCAA Championships.
Junior Marin Porter (Long Branch, NJ/Long Branch) placed second at 197 pounds while senior Justin Barowski (Point Pleasant, NJ/Point Pleasant Beach) finished third at 165 pounds.
Porter was the second seed and reached the finals with a bye in the preliminaries, a pin of Nate Rychlik of Mount Saint Joseph in 45 seconds and a 15-8 triumph over No. 3 Alex Fleet of Thiel. Porter then dropped a 12-2 major decision to top-seeded Corbin Semple of Waynesburg and also fell in the true second place match to end his year with a 21-9 record.
Barowski's lone year with the Aggies ended with a 25-10 record. He was seeded second and reached the semifinals with major decisions over Chris Becker of Manchester (15-3) and seventh-seeded Robert Beeler of Wabash. Barowski then dropped an 11-9 overtime decision to third-seeded Kyle Long of Thiel, but bounced back with a 4-3 victory over No. 5 James Neal of Olivet in the consolation finals.
Sophomore Eric McCann (Hatfield, PA/Pennridge) and junior Robbie Hickman (Waretown, NJ/Southern Regional) each placed sixth at 141 and 149 pounds respectively.
McCann was the third seed and he won his quarterfinal match with a 10-2 major over Clay Criss of Case Western Reserve. However he was pinned in the semis by No. 7 Jeremiah Edwards of Rose Hulman, and then dropped a pair of consolation matches to end the year with a 21-12 record.
Hickman was seeded fourth and fell into the consolation bracket with a 2-1 loss to fifth-seeded George Markou of Thiel in the quarterfinals. He won by a 6-1 decision in his next match, but dropped two straight to end the year at 17-14.
2009 NCAA DIVISION III MIDWEST REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
1. Delaware Valley College... 183.0 points
2. Olivet College... 128.5 points
2. Trine University... 128.5 points
4. College of Mt. Saint Joseph... 99.5 points
5. Thiel College... 97.5 points
6. Waynesburg University... 83.5 points
7. Case Western Reserve University... 66.0 points
8. Wabash College... 63.5 points
9. Manchester College... 51.0 points
10. Rose-Hulman Institute... 45.5 points
11. Washington & Jefferson College... 39.5 points
125 - #1 Chris Sheetz (DelVal) by decision over #2 Rob Miller (Thiel), 5-4
133 - #1 Brandon Clemmer (DelVal) by decision over #2 Corey Browk (Thiel), 7-0
141 - #5 Nick Garber (Waynesburg) by decision over #2 Jeremiah Edwards (R. Hulman), 9-7
149 - #2 Drew Gardella (Case Western) by decision over #4 Dale Fava (DelVal), 6-2
157 - #1 Jason Brew (Olivet) by decision over #2 Isaac Dukes (Case Western), 6-4
165 - #1 Tyle Goble (Rose Hulman) by decision over #3 Kyle Long (Thiel), 5-1
174 - #2 Rocky Mantella (DelVal) by decision over #1 Kyle Vanderhyde (Olivet), 6-4 OT
184 - #1 Mike Wilcox (DelVal) by decision over #2 Louis Posa (Thiel), 6-2
197 - #1 Corbin Semple (Waynesburg) by maj. decision over #2 Martin Porter (DelVal), 12-2
285 - #1 Kyle Bilquist (DelVal) by decision over #2 Spencer Fulk (Manchester), 4-1
Outstanding Wrestler: Rocky Mantella, Delaware Valley
Coach of the Year: Brandon Totten, Delaware Valley
The 10 individual champions along with five wild-card selections (Delaware Valley's Dale Fava among them) will compete at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships at U.S. Cellular Center (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) on March 6 and 7.
HOW DELAWARE VALLEY COLLEGE WRESTLERS FARED
Chris Sheetz - 125 pounds - Seeded 1st (Ranked 4th in Division III)
Preliminaries: Won by fall over Jason Ray (Manchester), 2:01
Quarterfinals: Won by fall over Justin Fleeson (Olivet), 3:17
Semifinals: Won by fall over #4 Zach Cecchetti (Washington & Jefferson), 2:33
Finals: Won by decision over #2 Rob Miller (Thiel), 5-4
- Sheetz, a sophomore, wins his second straight regional crown and bid to the NCAA Championships. The 2008 All-American (sixth place) will enter the national tournament with a 35-4 record -
Brandon Clemmer - 133 pounds - Seeded 1st (Ranked 3rd in Division III)
Preliminaries: Won by major decision over Tye Bowman (Trine), 12-0
Quarterfinals: Won by technical fall over Josh Mollica (Waynesburg), 16-0; 6:04
Semifinals: Won by fall over #4 Chad Allen (Manchester), 3:47
Finals: Won by decision over #2 Corey Brown (Thiel), 7-0
- Clemmer, a senior, captured his second straight and regional crown and automatic bid to the NCAAs. He will bring a 30-6 record to nationals -
Eric McCann - 141 pounds - Seeded 3rd
Quarterfinals: Won by major decision over Clay Criss (Case Western Reserve), 10-2
Semifinals: Lost by fall to #7 Jeremiah Edwards (Rose Hulman), 2:09
Consolation Semifinals: Lost by fall to #4 Bryan Wright (Thiel), 7:22
5th/6th Place Match: Lost by decision to #1 Rob Yahmarkt (Olivet), 2-1
- McCann, a sophomore, placed sixth and ended his season with a 21-12 record
Dale Fava - 149 pounds - Seeded 4th
Preliminaries: Won by fall over Torryn Heflinger (Manchster), 0:53
Quarterfinals: Won by fall over #5 Nick Leon (Olivet), 4:32
Semifinals: Won by decision over #1 Jared Tribbet (Wabash), 7-5 OT
Finals: Lost by decision to #2 Drew Gardella (Case Western), 6-2
True Second Place: Won over #3 Alec Miller (Thiel)
- Fava, a sophomore, finished second but earned a wild-card bid to nationals. It is the first of his career and he will bring a 19-7 record to the tournament -
Robbie Hickman - 157 pounds - Seeded 4th
Quarterfinals: Lost by decision to #5 George Markou (Thiel), 2-1
Consolation Second Round: Won by decision over Jared Roberts (Waynesburg), 6-1
Consolation Semifinals: Lost by decision to #3 Bryan Massong (Mt. St. Joseph), 4-3
5th/6th Place Match: Lost by decision to #5 George Markou (Thiel), 7-1
- Hickman, a junior, placed sixth and ended his season with a 17-14 record -
Justin Barowski - 165 pounds - Seeded 2nd
Preliminaries: Won by major decision over Chris Becker (Manchester), 15-3
Quarterfinals: Won by major decision over #7 Robert Beeler (Wabash), 10-2
Semifinals: Lost by decision to #3 Kyle Long (Thiel), 11-9 OT
Consolation Semifinals: Won by decision over #5 James Neal (Olivet), 4-3
Consolation Finals: Won by fall over Tim Pope (Mt. St. Joseph), 2:46
- Barowski, a senior, finished in third place and ended his season with a 25-10 record -
Rocky Mantella - 174 pounds - Seeded 2nd (Ranked 5th in Division III)
Quarterfinals: Won by medical forfeit over Kyle Carlson (Manchester)
Semifinals: Won by major decision over #3 Nick Kruas (Thiel), 17-5
Finals: Won by decision over #1 Kyle Vanderhyde (Olivet), 6-4 OT
- Mantella, a junior, won his first regional title and trip to the NCAA Championships. He will bring a perfect, 27-0 record to the national tournament -
Mike Wilcox - 184 pounds - Seeded 1st (Ranked 1st in Division III)
Preliminaries: Won by major decision over Patrick Morris (Thiel), 16-3
Quarterfinals: Won by fall over Charlie Thomas (Waynesburg), 4:25
Semifinals: Won by major decision over #5 David Bernholt (Case Western), 15-4
Finals: Won by decision over #2 Louis Posa (Thiel), 6-2
- Wilcox, last year's national runner-up, won his second straight regional title and bid to the NCAAs. He will enter the tournament with a 33-2 record -
Martin Porter - 197 pounds - Seeded 2nd
Quarterfinals: Won fall over Nate Rychlik (Mt. St. Joseph); 0:45
Semifinals: Won by decision over #3 Alex Fleet (Thiel), 15-8
Finals: Lost by major decision to #1 Corbin Semple (Waynesburg), 12-2
True Second Place: Lost to #4 Michael Burke (Wabash)
- Porter, a junior, finished in second place (third for wild card consideration) and ended his season with a 21-9 record -
Kyle Bilquist - Heavyweight - Seeded 1st (Ranked 1st in Division III)
Quarterfinals: Won by fall over Kraig Smith (Thiel), 1:15
Semifinals: Won by decision over #4 Taylor Potts (Washington & Jefferson), 2-1
Finals: Won by decision over #2 Spencer Fulk (Manchester), 4-1
- Bilquist, a senior and 2008 All-American (fifth place), won his second straight regional title and will make his third trip to nationals. He is 28-3 on the season -