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2002 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships

NCAA wrestling tickets on sale

By:staff reports February 12, 2002Tickets for the 2002 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships to be staged at the First Union Arena in Wilkes-Barre Township on Friday and Saturday, March 1-2, will go on sale beginning today, tournament director Steven Laidacker, Ed.D., announced Monday.

All session passes are $35 for club seats, $25 for adults and $20 for high school and college students with valid identification. Tickets for each of the four individual sessions - two on Friday, March 1, and two on Saturday, March 2 - are $10 for club seats per session, $7 for adults per session and $5 for students per session.

There are no student discounts for club seats, and all seating in the First Union Arena is reserved.

All session passes can be purchased through Ticketmaster by phone at (570) 693-4100, or through the Internet at www.ticketmaster.com.

Tickets for the four individual sessions can be purchased at the First Union Arena Box Office the day of competition. There will be no advanced ticket sales for individual sessions.

The NCAA will crown ten individual champions in the following weight classes: 125, 133, 141, 149, 157, 165, 174, 184, 197 and heavyweight (285).

One hundred and sixty wrestlers will be automatic qualifiers representing the following conferences: Centennial Conference, Empire Wrestling Conference, Great Lake Independents, Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Metropolitan Wrestling Conference, Middle Atlantic States Conference, Midwest Independents, Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, New England College Wrestling Association, Ohio Athletic Conference and Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

A number of wild card entries will also be invited to participate.

The 2001 NCAA Division III championships drew over 7,000 fans to the two-day event at Young Arena in Waterloo, Iowa, where Augsburg College of Minneapolis, Minnesota, won its seventh title in the last 11 years.

The Auggies will once again be a favorite at the 2002 championships, as Darin Bertram returns for his senior year after winning a national title at 125 pounds at last year's event following second place finishes in 1999 and 2000.

Other returning champions include Lenny Baker of SUNY-Brockport at 141, Garrett Kurth of Luther College at 149 and Dan Weber of Wheaton College at 165.

Locally, the Middle Atlantic Conference returns six wrestlers, including three who earned all-America honors a year ago. King1s College features All-American Jason Schlingman, a graduate of Meyers High School who was eighth at 184 pounds, along with fellow 2001 national qualifiers Mitch Marcks at 125, Mike Griffith at 133 and Jim Morgan, who moved up to 149 this year after qualifying at 141 last year. Messiah's Andy Vogel and Delaware Valley's Andrew Povenski finished second at 149 and sixth at 184, respectively, to garner all-America honors.

©The Citizens Voice 2002

The Citizens Voice Monarchs set sights on first-ever MAC title; Colonels look to contend

By:staff reports February 14, 2002With King's College and the University of Scranton co-hosting the 2002 NCAA Division III National Wrestling Championships at First Union Arena at Casey Plaza March 1-2, a number of Monarch grapplers will be looking to attend the event as participants and not spectators.

To accomplish that goal, King's, along with Wilkes and Scranton, must earn their place to nationals at the Middle Atlantic Conference Championships set for Friday and Saturday at Messiah College, Grantham.

Eight teams will battle for the team championship while wrestlers will look to be one of 10 individual champs and two wild-card selections who will represent the MAC at the national event in Wilkes-Barre.

Wrestling will begin Friday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. with the quarterfinal round and continue Saturday, Feb. 16 with the semifinals and consolations at 10 a.m. and the finals at 2:30 p.m.

After concluding its most successful season ever, the Monarchs are looking to win their first-ever MAC Tournament title. King's finished with a school-record 24-2 dual mark and were ranked fourth nationally in the final Brute-Adidas Division III Poll. Challenging the Monarchs will be 2001 MAC champion Lycoming College which is currently ranked 14th in the nation. Traditional MAC power Delaware Valley will also contend while Wilkes figures to make a serious run for the team title.

Three returning All-Americans and four returning NCAA qualifiers will headline this year's field.

Messiah's Andy Vogel is currently ranked second at 149 and is looking to make a return trip to the NCAA tournament where he finished second last year. Delaware Valley's Andy Povenski is a two-time All-American including last year's sixth-place finish and is currently ranked fourth at 184.

King's Jason Schlingman is also a returning All-American having finished 8th last year at the NCAA Championships.

The King's lightweight trio of Mitch Marks (125), Mike Griffith (133) and Jim Morgan (149) are returning NCAA qualifiers. Andy Hull of Lycoming also qualified at 174.

 

Weight-By-Weight Contenders

125 Pounds

King's Mitch Marcks (32-2) enters the tourney as the favorite. Marcks was MAC runner-up in 2001 and is currently ranked seventh nationally. The Monarch sophomore will be challenged by Messiah's Jacob Clackett, Lycoming's T.J. Hunsberger, and Delaware Valley's Mike Weston.

133 Pounds

Mike Waldron of Lycoming has made a big impact in his first season and is the clear favorite at this weight. Waldron is currently ranked third nationally and takes a 28-1 record into the tournament. King's sophomore Mike Griffith (16-15) is the defending champion and was named the outstanding wrestler a year ago. Other top contenders will be Wilkes' John Muscarella (15-15) and Messiah's Ben Ewig, the 2001 runner-up.

 

141 Pounds

One of the most wide-open weight classes, several wrestlers could walk away with tournament gold. Lycoming's Andy Squires gets a slight nod as the favorite but will be challenged by Wilkes' Jason Hills (17-13), King's freshman Tim Martinez (17-13) and Delaware Valley's Bob Fieger. Fieger was fourth in the MAC in 2001.

 

149 Pounds

One of the strongest weight classes, the group is led by returning NCAA Division III national runner-up Andy Vogel of Messiah. The Falcon junior is currently ranked second nationally and brings a 32-3 record into the tournament. King's sophomore Jim Morgan is the top challenger with a 23-4 record. Morgan is a returning NCAA qualifier after winning the 141-pound MAC title last season but dropped a dual meet decision to Vogel last week. Lycoming's Corey Mowrey, Scranton's Darren Buseman, Jeremy Messinger of Delaware Valley also hope to challenge Vogel.

 

157 Pounds

Junior Dave Shafer of King's enters the tournament with a 30-1 record and is the heavy favorite. A year ago, Shafer dropped a hard-fought 2-0 decision in the MAC finals to eventual national champion Royce Eyer of Lycoming who has since graduated. Shafer was named an alternate to last year's national tournament and made the trip to at Waterloo, Iowa but did not compete.

Looking to challenge Shafer are Jeremy Adams of Lycoming, Jon Jamison (8-6) of Wilkes, and Anthony Politi of Scranton. Adams was second in the MAC tournament at 149 in 2001 and Politi was third at 149.

 

165 Pounds

Another highly competitive weight class, Monarch senior Jesse Martinez (25-8) will look to win his first MAC crown after finishing second the least two years. Other top contenders in the field include Scott Henshaw (18-8) of Wilkes, Lycoming's Derek Crane, and Jason Shivak of Delaware Valley.

 

174 Pounds

Another wide-open weight class with several quality contenders. Wilkes rookie Rex Harris could earn the top seed with a 26-10 record. King's freshman Joe Arnone figures to be among the challengers after posting a 27-7 record. Josh Housekeeper of Delaware Valley will also figure heavily in the mix, as he owns a win over Harris but fell to Arnone. Lycoming's Andy Hull, the returning MAC champion, has struggled at times this year but is hoping to win a return trip to the NCAA tournament.

 

184 Pounds

With the return of two All-Americans, 184 stands as an outstanding weight class. Delaware Valley junior Andy Povenski (19-1) is currently ranked fourth nationally and is a two-time MAC champion. Senior Jason Schlingman of King's was eighth in national last year and is a two-time MAC runner-up, losing to Povenski in the finals each of the last two seasons. Lycoming's Jeff Tierney finished 3rd at this weight last year and has given Povenski his only loss this year. Schlingman defeated Tierney in their lone meeting of the year. Wilkes' Jon Neyerlin 20-7 will also look to contend.

 

197 Pounds

Yet another weight class with a number of legitimate challengers, Monarch freshman Tegan McKee stands as a contender after finishing his rookie year with a 25-10 mark. Lycoming's Jon Neve has wrestled the entire season at 197 but was the MAC champion at 285 a year ago and could possibly be bumped to heavyweight for the tournament. Wilkes' Andrew Helms (16-6) will also factor in, as he owns a win over Neve. Other wrestlers who will seriously contend include Andrew Helms of Wilkes, Delaware Valley's Mika Miller, and Tanner Kolb of Messiah. Miller finished 3rd in the MAC last year.

 

285 Pounds

Cory Fleisher of Wilkes stands as the favorite and is 24-4 on the year. Challenging Fleisher will be Albright's Ben Hammond who was third in the MAC tournament last year. Should Neve elect to return to heavyweight, he would stands as a serious contender to Fleisher. King's sophomore Jared Potsko will also look to challenge the field after posting a 16-12 record.

 

©The Citizens Voice 2002