Saturday, February 18, 2006
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TO WRESTLING NATIONALS
Senior 157-pounder Dale Mills and junior 197-pounder Matt Loesch of the Muhlenberg wrestling team each earned a bid to the NCAA Division III Championships by winning his respective weight class at the Centennial Conference Championships. The Mules finished in third with 67.5 points, a half-point behind second-place McDaniel.
Mills, the 2004 CC champion and 2005 CC runner-up at 149 pounds, opened the tournament with a first-period pin, then avenged two of his four losses this season. In the semifinals, he built an early lead, but his Ursinus opponent began to chip away. Mills was
In the title bout, Mills was taken down early, but reversed the top seed from Stevens Tech to his back near the end of the first period to take a 5-2 lead. He maintained a comfortable margin the rest of the way, conceding a meaningless takedown right at the end to make the final score 11-8.
Loesch, the fourth Mule wrestler to earn three trips to the NCAAs, allowed less drama. He pinned two of his opponents in the first period and defeated the other, 6-1. His fourth-place finish at the NCAAs last year is the best ever by a Mule wrestler.
The NCAA Division III Championships are March 3 and 4 at The College of New Jersey.
Ursinus captured its fourth consecutive Centennial Conference title with 98.5 points, 30.5 ahead of McDaniel. Muhlenberg posted its best finish in four years. The Mules were the only team other than the Bears to have multiple conference champions.
Muhlenbergs future showed promise as a pair of freshman reached the championship bouts of their respective weight classes before falling to nationally ranked opponents. Another first-year Mule captured third.
After a first-round bye, freshman Billy Hall captured an 8-0 major decision to reach the finals. He finished second after dropping a 10-5 decision to the CC wrestler of the year and seventh-ranked 133-pounder in Division III. Classmate Rob Kein won two bouts, one by major decision, before falling in the finals to the fifth-ranked 141-pounder in Division III.
Freshman Matt Horn (184) pinned his final two opponents to win the consolation bracket. The first one avenged a loss suffered last week to McDaniel, and the second came in just 44 seconds to give him third place. Also taking third was junior Michael Tenenhaus (125), who dropped his first bout, but came back with two victories to win the consolation bracket.
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Last updated February 18, 2006