From NYU Athletics
Three members of the New York University wrestling team won their weight classes at the 2018 Division III Northeast Regional, hosted by Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA, on Sunday, February 25, and have qualified for next month's NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships, hosted by Baldwin Wallace University in Cleveland, OH.
The trio - Matt Noble (133 pounds), Evan Drill (149 pounds) and Raymond Jazikoff (157 pounds) - will be joined by Sean Lyons (141 pounds), who finished in second place, at the NCAA Championships. The three regional champions sets a new program record and the four NCAA qualifiers ties the program record which was set in 2015 and matched every season since.
"We came into this qualifier with just eight guys, but still had high expectations," said NYU Senior Assistant Coach Corey Luce.
As a team, NYU finished with 89 points, which was good enough for fourth place at the 17-team event. Fourth-ranked Johnson & Wales University (154.5 points) ran away with the team title, while #21 WPI (92.5 points) and Wesleyan University (91.5 points) finished just ahead of NYU in second and third, respectively. NYU finished ahead of a pair of ranked teams in #19 Roger Williams University (87 points; sixth place) and #24 United States Coast Guard Academy (79 points; seventh place).
Noble gutted out an 8-7 decision over Joao Vincente of Johnson & Wales, who came into the tournament ranked sixth nationally by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, to win the 133-pound crown.
Drill defeated Brendon Seyfried of Williams College via a 12-7 decision in his championship bout, before Jazikoff grinded out a 3-2 decision over Tyler Marsh of WPI to take home the 157-pound title.
Lyons was defeated 8-4 in his championship match by Joseph Ferinde of Johnson & Wales.
"The four guys that qualified today are great examples of what a student-athlete should be," added Luce. "They work hard both on and off the mat and are exactly what we look for in student-athletes."
James Murdoch (165 pounds) and Jack La Corte (197 pounds) also advanced to Sunday's second day of the regional tournament, but both fell short of qualifying for the national tournament. Murdoch was defeated in the consolation quarterfinals and La Corte dropped a tough, 3-2 decision in the consolation semifinals. La Corte placed sixth in the 197-pound bracket.
"I'm very proud of the team we brought here this weekend," concluded Luce. "They grinded out every match and out-hustled their opponents."
The four qualifying wrestlers will return to the mat in Cleveland on Friday, March 9, as they each look to duplicate history made by Nathan Pike in 2017. Pike, a 2017 graduate, became the first NYU wrestler to win a national title when he won the 133-pound bracket in La Crosse, WI, last season.
Bonus Points: Jazikoff's four wins give him 146 for his career, the most in program history...Jazikoff's 45 wins this season are also a program record...of the four qualifiers, Jazikoff will be the only one with NCAA experience as he also qualified with a third-place finish in 2016...18 of Noble's 26 wins this season have come via bonus-point victories...Lyons' loss in the championship was his first of the season...all four NYU qualifiers hail from the state of New Jersey, although Lyons attended high school in Pennsylvania...the last time NYU had multiple regional champions was 2015, when Brandon Jones and Patrick Sheehan both won titles...six of the eight competitors at regionals for NYU were either freshmen or sophomores...this was NYU's first year competing at the Northeast Regional, in previous years the squad headed south of NYC to take part in the East Regional.
RECORDS HEADING INTO NCAA'S:
- Noble: 26-4
- Lyons: 15-1
- Drill: 32-4
- Jazikoff: 45-5