From NYU Athletics
A school-record-tying four members of the New York University wrestling team have qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships by finishing in the top three of their respective weight classes at the NCAA Division III East Regional Championships, which were held Saturday and Sunday, February 27-28, at the Warner Center in Lexington, VA. The meet was hosted by Washington & Lee University.
Juniors Nathan Pike and William Gockel-Figge captured second place at 133 and 184 pounds, respectively, while junior captain John Messinger (174) and sophomore Raymond Jazikoff (157) took third in their brackets.
Pike and Gockel-Figge each went 3-0 as they marched to their championship matches. Pike, who is ranked #1 in the nation at 133 pounds by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA), was beaten in a narrow 7-6 decision by #9 Ryan O'Boyle of McDaniel College. Gockel-Figge conceded the first-place match via medical forfeit.
"Pike had the lead but he lost it late and didn't have enough time to come back. However, he should still be ranked among the top three at Nationals," explained NYU Head Coach Bruce Haberli. "We kept Gockel-Figge out of the finals because he is slightly injured and had already qualified for nationals. There was no reason to have him wrestle again."
Messinger and Jazikoff were each defeated once, but won the remainder of their bouts to each secure third place with 4-1 records.
"Messenger and Jazikoff came through in a big way in their consolation finals to earn spots at Nationals," continued Haberli. "They showed a lot of toughness."
In addition to their impressive individual performances, the grapplers were successful as a team. NYU finished in sixth place out of 18 schools, 59.5 points behind meet champion Stevens Institute of Technology (137.0).
- Pike won his semifinal bout by an 8-2 decision.
- Gockel-Figge triumphed via a 4-3 decision in the semis.
- Messinger was victorious in both of his matches today, winning by fall in 6:24 and by a 5-4 decision.
- Jazikoff recorded victories by an 8-0 major decision and a 4-2 decision on Sunday.
- Senior captain Dylan Lojac also placed for NYU, finishing sixth at 165 pounds.
"Dylan Lojac wrestled great in a very tough weight class," said Haberli. "To place sixth was a great job by him."
NYU will return to the mat from Thursday-Saturday, March 10-12, when the qualified wrestlers will compete at the NCAA Championships, which will be held in Cedar Rapids, IA.