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Nathan Pike, Blaise Benderoth of NYU Advance to NCAA Wrestling Championship Semifinals

Nathan Pike, Blaise Benderoth of NYU Advance to NCAA Wrestling Championship Semifinals

From NYU Athletics

Four members of the New York University wrestling team wrapped up competition on day one of the 2017 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships. The event is being hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse on Friday and Saturday, March 10 and 11, at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, WI. 

Senior Nathan Pike and Freshman Blaise Benderoth highlighted the day for NYU, both winning a pair of matches to move on to the semifinals and clinch All-America status. 

Pike, the second seed at 133 pounds, earned his semifinal berth with a technical fall victory in the first round and a decisive 11-4 win in the quarterfinals. He will wrestle third-seeded Chris Williams of Millikan University, who is currently undefeated this season through 19 matches. Pike's semifinal berth also clinches his third-consecutive All-America honor, making him just the second NYU grappler ever to be a three-time All-American.

Benderoth, who was seeded seventh at 184 pounds earned wins via a pair of tight decisions to move into the semifinals. He becomes the first freshman in program history to earn All-America honors and will wrestle third-seeded Jordan Newman of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in tomorrow's semifinal round.

"To get our second-ever third-time All-American and our first freshman All-American is really special," said Senior Assistant Coach Corey Luce. "Benderoth really had to dig deep to pull out that win. That was pure heart and grit. Pike looked great today and has a lot of momentum going into tomorrow."

Jacob Donato and John Messinger also competed for NYU at 125 pounds and 174 pounds, respectively. Both lost each of their two matches at the national tournament to conclude their seasons. Donato finished his junior year with a 10-8 record, while Messinger finished 34-6 and ends his career with 115 wins, the fourth most in program history.